It seems as though no politician is exempt from Donald Trump's insults. On NBC's Today show, Trump commented on Bill Clinton's extramarital affairs, just days before Clinton is going to begin campaigning for his wife and leading Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton. And during those comments, Trump brought up a name many people haven't heard for a while, which made an important question come to mind: Where is Paula Jones now?
On the morning program, Trump declared :
You look at whether it's Monica Lewinsky or Paula Jones or many of them. That certainly will be fair game. Certainly if they play the woman's card with respect to me, that will be fair game.
During the early 1990s, Jones served as an Arkansas state employee when Bill Clinton was governor. In 1994, she publicly alleged that Clinton had sexually harassed her a couple of years before. Unlike Monica Lewinsky, with whom Clinton admitted he had an affair while he was president, Jones gained little media attention for her claims in the initial stages. Like many women today who are shamed for being sexually harassed or assaulted, Jones waited years to report the case because she was worried that no one would believe her.
Over four years after Jones reported the incident, the U.S. District Court Judge threw out her case. After she filed an appeal, Bill Clinton settled with her to drop the case, which had followed him throughout his two terms as President. She received $850,000. According to TIME magazine, she wished she would have taken the first settlement and ended the case earlier. In the race for president, even sexual harassment can become a political tool.
I hate the fact that people thought it was political. It was their agenda to make it [seem] like I was trying to bring down the President. They let political views bog their mind of what really happened.
Although Jones doesn't speak much on current politics, she made very strong comments toward both Bill and Hillary Clinton that fit in line with Trump's recent remarks. In an interview with the Daily Mail in 2015, Jones claimed that both Bill and Hillary would do anything "to get to the top" and described them as being "all about political status."
There is no way that she did not know what was going on, that women were being abused and accosted by her husband. They have both lied.
Clinton never acknowledged any wrongdoing and called Jones' claims "baseless." Clinton's attorney in the case, Robert Bennett, said that Clinton only paid the settlement to put the matter behind him, saying in 1998, "The president has decided he is not prepared to spend one more hour on this matter."
After the trials were said and done, Jones only received about $150,000 of the $850,000 she had been given. And after that, Jones didn't choose to fully separate herself from the scandal or speak out against sexual assault. Instead, she used it to create a celebrity status for herself.
In 2000, shortly after accepting Clinton's settlement, Jones posed nude for Penthouse magazine. Eight years later, she starred in a play about the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal called The Blue Dress. Jones also made an appearance in a Celebrity Boxing match that was re-enacted in a Saturday Night Live skit. And in a sense, more power to her for using her situation to gain that celebrity status. She told TIME that the past doesn't bother her.
I mean, why not? It wasn't hurting me. It wasn't hurting my family. It wasn't something I was ashamed of.
Currently, Jones is married and working as a real-estate agent.