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TV Offers Roll In For Monica

With her and her family's legal bills and other debts from the past 10 months well in excess of $2 million, Monica Lewinsky is about to go public. The only question is where.

Ms. Lewinsky's representatives are negotiating overseas for her to do a television interview that would bring in a lot of money, according to people familiar with the talks.

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Until an international interview is arranged, a possible deal with ABC's Barbara Walters is on hold, added the sources, speaking on condition of anonymity. An ABC appearance would be for free, since the major U.S. networks don't pay for interviews.

Congress may take some of the punch out of any TV appearance by Ms. Lewinsky.

The House Judiciary Committee may soon release the tape recordings Linda Tripp made of conversations with the former White House intern about her relationship with President Clinton.

British TV's Channel 4 said Wednesday it is negotiating with Ms. Lewinsky, and "I don't think it will be very long before" a deal "is complete... days rather than weeks," said a Channel 4 official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The price for any interview could be steep. The sources estimated the Lewinsky camp's costs at $2 million-plus.

Ms. Lewinsky's first lawyers were her father's attorney, William Ginsburg of California, as well as Washington attorney Nathaniel Speights.

Ms. Lewinsky's second set of lawyers are veteran Washington defense attorneys Plato Cacheris and Jacob Stein, who negotiated her immunity deal with prosecutor Kenneth Starr's office. Cacheris and Stein also will have to get a release from Starr's office before she can talk to anyone in the media. A no-talk provision was in her immunity agreement with the prosecutor.

Ms. Lewinsky's mother, Marcia Lewis, also incurred large legal bills, becoming a major witness in the investigation because she listened to her daughter's confidences about her relationship with Clinton. For a time during Starr's investigation, she also had custody of the dress Ms. Lewinsky wore that tests later showed had Clinton's DNA on it. Mrs. Lewis' lawyer, Billy Martin, struck an immunity deal with Starr at the same time as Ms. Lewinsky's immunity agreement.

TV offers have been rolling into the Lewinsky camp, daytime television queen Oprah Winfrey among them. The Oprah deal never went through. The sticking point: international rights.

Roseanne Barr offered "seven figures times two or three" if Ms. Lewinsky would speak for her syndicated talk show. That proposal foundered as well.

Written by PETE YOST

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