Widow Sues Columnist

The widow of a former U.S. ambassador whose body was exhumed from Arlington National Cemetery sued a political pundit and the National Enquirer Thursday over articles claiming she had sex with President Clinton.

Shelia Lawrence’s suit seeks $25 million from political columnist Arianna Huffington, the column’s distributor, Creators Syndicate Inc., and the tabloid Enquirer.

Ms. Lawrence was married to M. Larry Lawrence, a Democratic Party donor who died in 1996 while serving as U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland. His remains were disinterred after Republicans found discrepancies in Lawrence’s war record.

Ms. Lawrence accuses the Enquirer and Ms. Huffington of claiming she had sex with President Clinton to secure her husband’s ambassadorship.

In her lawsuit, Ms. Lawrence claims that Ms. Huffington wrote that “(Lawrence’s) greatest leverage was his having turned a blind eye toward Clinton’s affair with his wife.”

“My hope is that never again will she ever be able to cause the pain, the suffering and the despair to someone else that she has caused me, my family, my friends, my colleagues and everyone else associated,” Ms. Lawrence said in a statement broadcast by KFMB-TV in San Diego.

The columnist, who was in Aspen, Colo., to tape the talk show “Politically Incorrect,” issued a statement saying she was “standing fully behind her column without any reservations.”

Messages left for National Enquirer editor Steve Coz and at the tabloid’s Lantana, Fla., office were not returned.

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