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Former Miss America Apologizes To First Lady

Gracen

Elizabeth Ward Gracen sorry over consensual tryst with Bill Clinton

NEW YORK (AP) -- A former Miss America who says she had a one-night stand with President Bill Clinton when he was governor of Arkansas has apologized to first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.

"What I did was wrong, and I feel very, very bad about it now. My behavior was inappropriate -- that's just the bottom line," Elizabeth Ward Gracen said of the alleged 1983 tryst, when she was 22.

"That's not the way a woman should treat a woman," she said, the [New York] Daily News reported Saturday.

In a television interview that aired Friday on NBC, Gracen said of Hillary Rodham Clinton: "I'll apologize to her now. It was wrong."

Gracen, who is from Arkansas, said she met Clinton when she was a struggling actress a year after being crowned Miss America. The beauty queen, who appears on TV in "Highlander," was married at the time.

"I was very young, but I always knew what I was doing," she told the Daily News. "It's behavior that I wouldn't recommend to any young women, no matter what degree of glamour or glitter there seems to be at first."

She said she went public only after hearing reports that Clinton had forced himself on her in the back seat of his limousine.

"It was not true that I was ever harassed or coerced or pressured or manipulated into having sex with Bill Clinton. That was not true," she told NBC.

Gracen believes the heavy media coverage of Clinton's alleged affair with a White House intern and the lengthy investigation into his past are "embarrassing for America."

For continuous breaking news, see AP Newstream

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Saturday April 25, 1998

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Former Miss America Apologizes To First Lady
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