In an interview with Bill Maher on Friday, Catch and Kill author Ronan Farrow said outright that former president Bill Clinton was “credibly accused” of rape, and that allegations against him made by Juanita Broaddrick were “overdue for revisiting.”
The comment came in response to a question from Maher during his Real Time With Bill Maher show about Representative Katie Hill, who resigned last week after admitting to having had a consensual relationship with a younger campaign staffer. “Could Bill Clinton, if he had done what he did in 1998, survive today — or would his own party have thrown him under the bus?” Maher asked, presumably pointing out the contrast between Hill’s resignation and Clinton’s treatment in 1998 after the former president’s relationship with Monica Lewinsky, then a White House intern, became public. (Though the House voted to impeach him, Clinton was acquitted by the Senate and was not removed from office.)
But Farrow called attention to different allegations of misconduct against Clinton, which he also managed to dodge: an accusation of rape from Juanita Broaddrick. “I think that it is very important to interject that Bill Clinton is a different conversation,” Farrow told Maher. “He has been credibly accused of rape. That has nothing to do with gray areas. I think that the Juanita Broaddrick claim has been overdue for revisiting.”
In 1999, Broaddrick accused Clinton of raping her in a hotel room in 1978, when he was attorney general of Arkansas. Clinton has repeatedly denied the assault. When Broaddrick’s claims first came out, they were widely dismissed by Democrats — including a number of prominent feminists. “I just wish some of the people who are high on the list of supporting victims would come forward and say, ‘Yes, I believe her,’” Broaddrick said in 2016. On Sunday, she tweeted a clip of Farrow’s comments and accused both Congress and the media of suppressing her account in 1998.
Farrow’s comments are the latest in a rising tide of support for Broaddrick spurred by the MeToo movement, which has inspired a reconsideration of Lewinsky’s treatment in 1998, and now might finally reach Broaddrick, too. Last year, Clinton provoked outrage when he said he “did the right thing” during his impeachment trial. “This man cannot say he supports MeToo,” Broaddrick said at the time. “He probably is the reason there is a MeToo movement.”