Childhood & Early Life
Juanita Broaddrick was born as Juanita Smith on December 13, 1942 in Van Buren, a town located in the northwest part of the US state of Arkansas. Her father, Buster Smith, owned and operated Buster Smith Cleaners. After his demise, her mother, Mary Elizabeth Smith, took up the business.
From her memoire, one can conclude that she did not have a happy childhood, being physically and emotionally abused by her mother.
In 1960, she graduated from Van Buren High School and entered Sparks School of Nursing, from where she graduated in 1963. Thereafter, she began working as registered nurse, eventually buying Brownwood Manor Nursing Home, with her mother as co-owner, in 1974.
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Her version of 1978 Incident
In the spring of 1978, Juanita Broaddrick met Bill Clinton when he made a campaign stop at her nursing home. At that time, he was serving as the Attorney General of Arkansas and running for the state’s gubernatorial election. Married to Gary Hickey, she was then known as Juanita Hickey.
Impressed by his charisma, Broaddrick felt that Clinton would be ideal as the governor of Arkansas and volunteered for the campaign. Clinton in turn told her if she ever went to Little Rock, she should not only visit his election office, but should also call him.
Not long after meeting Clinton, sometime in April 1978, she traveled to Little Rock in order to attend a nursing home conference. There she put up at the Camelot Hotel, now the Doubletree. Accompanying her was her friend and employee, Norma Rogers (Kelsey).
The next morning, while Norma Rogers left for a seminar, Juanita Broaddrick contacted Clinton’s office; but was told that he was at his apartment. When she contacted him there, he said that he would not go to his office, but they could meet at the coffee shop at her hotel.
Around 9 o’clock, Clinton rang up once again to ask if they could meet at her hotel room in order to avoid reporters. Although she felt little uneasy, she agreed, sensing no danger from the man. Instead she had coffee ready for him by the window.
Once Clinton came, they started talking business. But shortly, he came near her. Putting his arms over her shoulder, he pointed to a building that was visible through the window and said that he wanted to renovate the building as a prison. Suddenly, he was kissing her.
Startled, she tried to push him away, telling him that she was married and was not interested in such things. In spite of that, he tried to kiss her once again, biting her lips, asking her if she did not know why he was coming to her room.
He then forced her on the bed, turning a deaf year to her pleas. When everything was over, he straightened up and told her to put some ice on her lips before walking out of the door. According to her, all these happened in less than thirty minutes.
When Rogers returned to the hotel, she found Broaddrick in a state of shock. Her pantyhose was torn and her lips were swollen. Rogers then arranged for some ice and the two left Little Rock the same day without making any police complaint.
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All the way home, Broaddrick kept blaming herself for letting Clinton in. She did not tell her husband anything because their marriage was almost over. But she did tell David Broaddrick, the man he was dating at the time and also few other friends.
Three weeks after the incident, she attended a fundraising event for Clinton. Although Bill Clinton did not speak to her, his wife, Hillary Clinton approached her, saying that they appreciated what she did for him. Broaddrick thought they were thanking her for keeping silent.
Juanita Broaddrick continued with her life, opening a second facility, where she provided services for mentally disabled children. In 1984, her nursing home was judged best in the state and she received a congratulatory note from Governor Clinton, at the bottom of which he had written, “I admire you very much”.
In 1991, she again met Clinton at a state nursing standards meeting. This time, he apologized and asked her what he could do to make up for his doings. She told him to go to hell and walked away. One of her friends later corroborated the incident.
Although she never talked about it in public, rumors began to circulate. As Clinton stood for 1992 Presidential election, many important people, including Sheffield Nelson, Phillip Yoakum and Paula Jones, tried to push her into going public; but she refused, even making an affidavit that she was not physically assaulted.
In spite of her denial, rumors continued to float and tabloids began to hint that Juanita Broaddrick is keeping quiet because she was paid to do so. It became more intense after Clinton was impeached in December 1998.
Upset with the allegations, she decided to talk to NBC journalist, Lisa Myers. The interview took place on January 20, 1999; but was aired 35 days later on February 24, 199. Meanwhile, she was interviewed by Wall Street Journal and the story was published on its editorial page on February19, 1999.
By the time her interviews were published, Clinton had been acquitted. Both the President and his attorney denied allegation. Because of limited corroborating evidence and her earlier affidavit, her story was also viewed as false by many including The New York Times.
Family & Personal Life
While Juanita Broaddrick was undergoing her nursing training, she married her first husband, Gary Hickey. In 1969, they had a son named Kevin Hickey. The couple divorced in 1979.
In 1981, she married David Broaddrick, the man she was dating at the time of her sexual assault. He did not want her to come out with her story. Eventually they divorced in 2004.
In 2008, she sold her nursing home business and retired. However, her hurt never went away. In 2018, she self-published her memoir titled 'You'd Better Put Some Ice On That: How I Survived Being Raped By Bill Clinton'.