The New York Times ran an opinion piece headlined, “I Believe Juanita,” referring to Juanita Broaddrick, who accused Bill Clinton of sexually assaulting her.
Columnist Michelle Goldberg began the piece railing against “right-wing” conspiracists for putting Democrats on their heels during the Clinton years and forcing Democrats to apologize for Clinton’s behavior when they shouldn’t have.
But Goldberg admitted that Broaddrick’s claim now haunts her, in light of the recent uptick in celebrities that face allegations of sexual harassment and assault:
Of the Clinton accusers, the one who haunts me is Broaddrick. The story she tells about Clinton recalls those we’ve heard about Weinstein. She claimed they had plans to meet in a hotel coffee shop, but at the last minute he asked to come up to her hotel room instead, where he raped her.
Five witnesses said she confided in them about the assault right after it happened. It’s true that she denied the rape in an affidavit to Paula Jones’s lawyers, before changing her story when talking to federal investigators. But her explanation, that she didn’t want to go public but couldn’t lie to the F.B.I., makes sense. Put simply, I believe her.
Conservative media questioned the timing of soul-searching among liberals, who defended Clinton when sexual assault claims were made public but now say that Clinton should have been held accountable.