How nasty is The Truth About Hillary, Edward Klein's new biography of the former first lady? Let's just say that Monica Lewinsky appears on Page 1, groping Bill Clinton's crotch at the rope line outside a cocktail reception for his 50th birthday. Klein, who used to edit the New York Times Magazine and now churns out books on the Kennedys, includes tawdry Hillary tidbits that he gathered in interviews with mostly anonymous sources ranging from Hillary's first boyfriend to high-ranking White House staffers. Clinton's spokesman, Philippe Reines, told Reuters, "This is a book full of blatant and vicious fabrications contrived by someone who writes trash for cash.'' Want to see what all the fuss is about? Here's Slate's handy guide to the muck that Klein raked in:
Bill and Hillary in the Boudoir
Pages 91-92: Dolly Kyle Browning, who says she was Bill Clinton's longtime mistress, tells Klein that Bill asked her to pray for Hillary to get pregnant. "He and Hillary never had much of a sexual relationship," she explains. "Also, Billy had a low sperm count, and he and Hillary were going to a fertility specialist in California. They had been trying for quite a while without any success."
Pages 90-91: An unnamed source tells Klein that, after a night of heavy drinking at a Bermuda resort, Bill bragged, "I'm going back to my cottage to rape my wife." A source says he joined the Clintons for breakfast the next day. "When we get there," he tells Klein, "the place looks like World War III. There are pillows and busted-up furniture all over the place."
Page 91: Klein's source asserts that Bill learned Hillary was pregnant by reading the newspaper: "Hillary hasn't been feeling well recently," Bill told him. "She went to the doctor, and the doctor called a press conference, and lo and behold, I'm holding the Arkansas Gazette reading that my wife is pregnant." "Do you know what night that happened?" Bill continued, "It was in Bermuda ... And you were there!"
Bill in Other Women's Boudoirs
Page 70: Klein reports that Bill was already a veteran womanizer when he and Hillary met at Yale Law School. "Bill's pattern," one of his classmates tells Klein, "was seduction and betrayal. The latter seemed to come as naturally to him as the former. He would do anything as long as he got what he wanted from people."
Page 213: Klein alleges that Clinton recently had an affair with a divorced woman in her early 40s who lived in Chappaqua, N.Y. Klein says Clinton would spend the night at her house while the Secret Service sat parked in the driveway.
How Hillary Managed Bill's Women
Pages 98-99: Little Rock private investigator Ivan Duda tells Klein that Hillary called on him after Bill was defeated in his second governor's race. According to Duda, she said, "I want you to get rid of all these bitches he's seeing. ... I want you to give me the names and addresses and phone numbers, and we can get them under control."
Page 110: Klein writes that Hillary and her Deputy Chief of Staff Evelyn Lieberman allowed Bill to keep a number of mistresses on the White House staff. Klein repeats the characteristically sketchy claim of a "high-level White House staffer" who tells him that "the assumption among the women in the White House was that Bill took [one staffer] on political trips and that she stayed with him in his hotel room."
Hillary and Vince Foster
Page 22: Michael Galster, a former Arkansas prison contractor who had social connections to the Clintons, tells Klein that when he considered blowing the whistle on a crooked scheme that implicated Bill, Vince Foster came to intimidate him: "You know what your noncooperation means as far as the state's renewing your orthopedic contract, don't you, Mike?"
Page 21: According to Galster, "It was accepted as a fact that Hillary and Vince were sleeping with each other."
TODAY IN SLATE
The Self-Made Man
The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.
The GOP Senate Candidate in Iowa Doesn’t Want Voters to Know Just How Conservative She Really Is
Does Your Child Have “Sluggish Cognitive Tempo”? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?
Why Indians in America Are Mad for India’s New Prime Minister
The Strange History of Wives Gazing at Their Husbands in Political Ads
Transparent is the fall’s only great new show.
Lena Dunham, the Book
More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.