October 24, 2000 08:18pm
Paula Jones Defends Penthouse Shots
by: William C. Mann
(WASHINGTON) -- Every woman has a right to change her mind, Paula Jones said Tuesday night, explaining why she agreed to do a nude photo layout in Penthouse magazine after saying she would ``never ... never'' pose naked for any men's magazine.
Appearing on CNN's ``Larry King Live,'' she said financial obligations as a single mother with a looming tax bill and two young sons were major considerations that led her to take the assignment with Penthouse. The magazine published the spread, titled ``Perils of Paula Jones,'' on Tuesday, in its December issue.
She was not asked, and did not volunteer, how much she was paid for the shoot.
Was posing in scanty or no attire embarrassing?
``No, not really. I am an adult woman and made the choice to do so,'' Jones said. ``I thought it was the best thing to do for me and my children. Of course the money had something to do with it.''
Jones, whose allegations of indecent advances by President Clinton (news - web sites) opened the saga that led to Clinton's impeachment, saw a videotape of Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione saying in May that negotiations were under way for her to pose, and a deal was almost cut. A second tape from a few days later showed her denial of Guccione's statement and her no-nudity vow.
``I meant it at the time, but I changed my mind,'' she said. ``Any woman, anybody in the world, has a right to change her mind, and I meant it then.''
She said the magazine shoot ``was an adventure, a once-in-a-lifetime thing. ... It was a point in time in my life that I needed to pay taxes. I'm a single mother now and need to support my two little boys. I need to send them to college.''
Jones accepted an $870,000 settlement in November 1998 from Clinton, of which she reportedly received $201,000. A few months earlier, she had gone to New York City for cosmetic surgery to her nose.
Her eight-year marriage to Steve Jones ended last year and she moved from California to Cabot, Ark., near her mother.
A female telephone caller asked Jones whether, considering that she presented herself as a good woman who had been wounded by inappropriate advances by the president, her reputation is damaged by the photo spread.
Jones said she does not understand how ``one thing has anything to do with the other thing. I made this decision as adult woman. How can that have anything to do with something that Bill Clinton did to me, and I had no choice?''
She also attacked a characterization by a conservative commentator that she was a fraud.
``I don't see how it makes me an immoral person by doing something that will benefit my children,'' Jones said. ``I'm a single mother now. I haven't been able to do anything else. I haven't written any book like everybody else.''
While she denied that she bore ill will for Clinton, Jones implied she might take a chance to strike a blow at Clinton's vice president, Democratic president candidate Al Gore (news - web sites). She didn't say for sure that she plans to vote, but she said: ``I would vote for George Bush.''