Juanita Broaddrick — a 73-year-old retired nurse whose allegations of rape against Bill Clinton were long ignored by the media — revisited her experience in devastating detail in a series of Wednesday morning tweets marking the 40th anniversary of the alleged attack.
Broaddrick, who initially went public with her story in 1999 at the behest of Special Prosecutor Ken Starr, recounted the alleged attack once again during a Facebook Live broadcast one hour before a 2016 presidential debate, which she attended as then-candidate Trump’s guest. She claimed she felt a responsibility to speak out because — like her fellow Clinton accuser, Paula Jones — she believed Hillary Clinton had threatened her into silence.
Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon told the New York Times that the allegations represented an attempt to “draw Hillary Clinton into decades-old allegations through recent fabrications that are unsubstantiated.” Clinton, he added, “has spent her whole life standing up for women, and charges to the contrary are grossly unfair and untrue.”
A number of prominent journalists and pundits cast Broaddrick’s reappearance in the national consciousness as an opportunity for the media to give her the opportunity to tell her story after ignoring her for decades. At the time, CNN’s Jake Tapper said of her resurgence:
The accusers of Bill Clinton back in the ’90s were never given the credence and treated with the same respect that these women are being treated and I think that there is something to be said about how society has evolved since then, but in addition, it’s hard not to look back at that period and think, you know what? The media treated those women poorly.