January 9, 2006

Ex-Clinton lover loses bid to revive lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A former lover of U.S. President
Bill Clinton on Monday lost her effort to revive a defamation
case against his wife, Sen. Hillary Clinton, and two of the
former president's top aides.

Former cabaret singer Gennifer Flowers came to public
attention during the 1992 presidential campaign when she
described a 12-year affair with Clinton, who later acknowledged
a relationship with her.

Flowers charged that during the 1992 campaign Hillary
Clinton had helped coordinate campaign attacks against her.
Flowers also said James Carville and George Stephanopoulos made
defamatory statements about her.

Flowers had said in the suit that Hillary Clinton, Carville
and Stephanopoulos falsely accused her of lying about the
affair and of doctoring tape recordings of her telephone
conversations with Bill Clinton.

She filed suit against the three in 1999. A Nevada appeals
court dismissed the suit in 2003, and Flowers appealed to the
U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to revive the legal action.

The 9th Circuit ruled on Monday that Flowers named Hillary
Clinton too late in the suit, after the passage of a four-year
limitation. "Thus, her claim against Clinton is barred," a
three-judge panel wrote.

As for the top aides, the court said: "Flowers's failure to
present evidence of actual malice is fatal to each claim
against Carville and Stephanopoulos."