Hillary Clinton may not have been as “dead broke” as she’s claimed her family was upon leaving the White House in 2000. In the final month of her husband’s presidency, Clinton reportedly inked a near-record book advance deal worth millions.
In an interview with Diane Sawyer to air on Monday evening, Clinton explained that she and her husband had to earn millions from speaking engagements because they were so deep in debt. “We had no money when we got there, and we struggled to piece together the resources for mortgages for houses, for Chelsea’s education — it was not easy,” she told Sawyer.
But in a December 2000 article, the New York Times reported that then-senator-elect Clinton sold her memoir, Living History, to Simon & Schuster for $8 million. The newspaper described the effort to nab her book as a “frantic weeklong bidding war” after she held an open auction on the proposal.
Simon & Schuster had already published Clinton’s three earlier books: It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us; Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids’ Letters to the First Pets; and An Invitation to the White House: At Home with History. The publishing company is also releasing her latest book, Hard Choices, due out on Tuesday.
Clinton’s 2000 deal was of near-record size: At the time, the largest advance ever given was $8.5 million for Pope John Paul II’s book in 1994, according to the Times.