Juanita Broaddrick– author, “You’d Better Put Some Ice On That”
In 1978, long before the “Me Too” movement debuted, then-Arkansas Attorney General Bill Clinton raped Juanita Broaddrick. He has never been held to account.
Juanita owned and operated nursing homes in Arkansas, was active in the Chamber of Commerce and in nursing associations, and had volunteered in the Clinton for Governor campaign. Juanita had met Clinton at an event; when she began telling him about the issues facing nursing home operators, he asked if they could meet to discuss the issues further. They agreed to meet in the coffee shop of her hotel, but he arrived early and called her from the lobby, claiming it was too crowded, and suggested holding the meeting in her room. He was the Attorney General and the leading candidate for governor; she felt she was in no danger. She was, however, about to be brutally assaulted.
Except for sharing it with a handful of close friends, Juanita kept the trauma to herself. She was convinced that going public would only bring her misery and legal expenses. But twenty years later, when summoned for a deposition in the impeachment case against President Clinton, Juanita told the truth. News of her story leaked out, and Juanita was soon bombarded with media requests. After many months of avoiding the press, Juanita granted an interview with NBC’s Lisa Meyers. Meyers believed her, as did the network executives who saw the tape of the interview. (The President of NBC news just happened to be one of Bill Clinton’s golfing buddies.) Because she was “too credible,” and might sway public sentiment against Clinton, NBC chose not to air the interview until after Clinton’s impeachment hearings were over. They aired it at the same time the Grammy Awards ran on another network.
Juanita had bravely gone public with an agonizing story of an event she can never expunge from her memory, but unlike today’s “Me Too” members, Juanita did not garner sympathy, nor support, from “women’s rights” leaders. The President of the National Organization for Women, Patricia Ireland, declared, “We need to stop wasting our time on unproven charges.” So much for sisterhood.
In the fall of 2015, Hillary Clinton proclaimed that women who have been assaulted have a right to be heard and believed; Juanita reacted viscerally. She tweeted: “I was 35 years old when Bill Clinton … raped me and Hillary tried to silence me. I am now 73 … it never goes away.” Juanita determined to do what she could to prevent this horrible woman from becoming President. She has become a Twitter tour de force!
Juanita’s experience taught her much about political power, about “women’s rights” groups, and about the media. She has written about all of this in her book, “Better Put Some Ice On That,” (which is what Bill Clinton instructed her upon noticing her bloody lip as he left the scene of the rape).