Less than two hours before tonight’s presidential debate, Donald Trump appeared alongside three women who have previously accused former President Bill Clinton of rape or unwanted sexual advances. A fourth woman was the victim in a sexual assault case when she was a child in which the accused perpetrator was defended by Hillary Clinton, who was appointed to the case by the court.
The unexpected event Sunday came as Trump’s presidential bid is reeling after the release of a recording of him speaking in vulgar terms about women. Trump had telegraphed before the debate that he planned to bring up Bill Clinton’s sexual history. He has also blamed Hillary Clinton for enabling her husband and said she attacked the women who made claims against her husband.
Here is a look at the four women Trump appeared with Sunday evening in an event that was streamed live on Facebook:
Juanita Broaddrick: In 1999, after Bill Clinton was impeached for lying about his affair with intern Monica Lewinsky, Broaddrick said the president had raped her when he was Arkansas’ attorney general in 1978. A handful of confidantes said she had told them about the incident when it occurred.
Clinton denied the claim through his attorney, and he was never charged. Some argued that Broaddrick was not credible because she waited 21 years to make the allegation and because she had earlier signed an affidavit denying non-consensual sex or advances by Clinton.
Paula Jones: Jones accused Bill Clinton of sexually propositioning her and exposing himself to her while he was governor of Arkansas. She filed a sexual harassment suit against him that was dismissed and still under appeal when Bill Clinton settled with Jones for $850,000 and made no admission of wrongdoing.
Kathy Shelton: Shelton was 12 when a man was accused of raping her. Hillary Clinton, an attorney, was assigned by a judge to defend him. The case against the accused rapist fell apart and the charges were reduced to fondling a child.
In her 2003 biography, Clinton wrote that she was reluctant to take the case but had been reminded by the prosecutor who had recommended her for the assignment that she was obligated to not refuse the judge’s request.