NEW YORK – In her first extensive interview in over a decade, the nurse who found Juanita Broaddrick in her hotel room immediately after Bill Clinton allegedly raped Broaddrick recounted what she says she witnessed in that room 38 years ago.
“She was crying,” recalled Norma Rogers, a nurse who worked for Broaddrick, who at the time was a nursing home administrator volunteering for then-Arkansas Attorney General Bill Clinton’s 1978 gubernatorial bid.
“And the thing I think I remember most is that her mouth was all swollen up. It was cut. … Her pantyhose were all ripped,” Rogers stated in dramatic, lengthy new testimony.
Rogers drove Broaddrick back home after the incident. This week, she recounted that emotional drive. “I think we stopped at least twice to get ice. I would go up and get fresh ice and put it on her mouth because she was trying to keep her face from bruising and looking like something bad had happened to her, you know. It was just crazy. The whole situation was just crazy.”
Rogers was speaking in a lengthy interview on this reporter’s talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio,” broadcast on New York’s AM 970 The Answer and NewsTalk 990 AM in Philadelphia.
Events leading to incident
Rogers took listeners back to the spring of 1978 when she traveled to Little Rock for an industry convention along with her nursing home boss, Broaddrick. The two shared a room at the city’s Camelot Hotel.
In an interview with me in November, Broaddrick herself provided background on her personal encounters with Clinton leading up to that infamous day.
Broaddrick said Clinton previously singled her out during a campaign stop at her nursing home. “He would just sort of insinuate, you know when you are in Little Rock let’s get together. Let’s talk about the industry. Let’s talk about the needs of the nursing homes and I was very excited about that.”
Broaddrick said she finally took Clinton up on that offer when she traveled to Little Rock with Rogers for the convention.
Broaddrick says she phoned Clinton’s campaign headquarters to inform him of her arrival and was told by a receptionist that Clinton had left instructions for her to reach him at his private apartment.
“I called his apartment and he answered,” Broaddrick recounted during our November interview. “And he said, ‘Well, why don’t we meet in the Camelot Hotel coffee room and we can get together there and talk.’ And I said ‘That would be fine.’”
Clinton then changed the meeting location from the hotel coffee shop to Broaddrick’s room.
“A time later and I’m not sure how long it was, he called my room, which he said he would do when he got to the coffee shop. And he said, ‘There are too many people down here. It’s too crowded. There’s reporters and can we just meet in your room?’”
“And it sort of took me back a little bit, Aaron,” she said of Clinton’s request.
“But I did say, okay, I’ll order coffee to the room, which I did and that’s when things sort of got out of hand. And it was very unexpected. It was, you might even say, brutal. With the biting of my lip.”
In the new interview, Rogers confirmed Broaddrick’s version of events:
I just know when I left that morning it was my understanding that she was going to be meeting with Mr. Clinton downstairs in the coffee shop for a meeting that they had planned ahead of time to discuss nursing home issues.
Bloody lip. Ripped pantyhose. State of shock.
Broaddrick previously recounted the aftermath of the incident, when her friend Rogers came back to the room after Broaddrick failed to show up to the convention.
In our radio interview, Rogers recounted what she says she saw upon entering the room.
I went back to the room and I can’t remember if it was because she didn’t come down to the meeting because I expected her to have a short meeting and then come to the meeting. And so I went back up to the room and when I went back into the room and she was just very, very upset. She was crying.
And the thing I think I remember most is that her mouth was all swollen up. It was cut. And she just told me. She started then telling me the story of how he had just basically overtaken her and bit her lip in order to keep her quiet and to keep her from trying to leave or get away from him. And then she proceeded to tell me that he had pushed her onto the bed, and had raped her.
Her pantyhose were all ripped. And she was just in a terrible state. Crying and just, she began telling me, you know, what had happened.
But in the meantime she was starting to get her things together and she said we are leaving now. And you know we just started getting our stuff together and I drove her home.
Asked whether Broaddrick’s lip was bleeding, Rogers replied, “There were obviously open spots where he had bitten her. It was open but not openly bleeding. You know it was just open spots on her lip.”
The drive home. Icing the lip.
Asked what she can remember of the drive back from the hotel, Rogers stated, “I just remember that she cried most of the way home. And she kept just questioning herself. ‘Why in the world would, you know? Why would I have ever trusted him.’ But you know she just did not ever think that he would do anything like that. She never suspected that he was interested in her other than her qualifications and her knowledge of long-term care. So it was totally surprising to both of us that this happened.”
Rogers said she believes Broaddrick was in a state of shock and blamed herself for allowing Clinton into her hotel room.
“Looking back as I am older now I realize that she was in a state of shock basically. And as so many rape victims do, I think she blamed herself. She felt bad for what had happened because she felt like, you know, ‘Why was I not smart enough to figure this out and keep something like this from happening?’”
Rogers said Broaddrick requested that the incident remain confidential. “And she was so afraid of people finding out and blaming her. There was just so many things going on and again seeing her in this state that she was in I just wanted to try to make her feel better if I could. So I just agreed that whatever she needed from me to do to help her to get through this that I would do this. Which her first thing to me was she did not want me to say anything to anyone and that’s what I agreed to.”
She continued: “And the other thing I remember is that on the way home I think we stopped at least twice to get ice. I would go up and get fresh ice and put it on her mouth because she was trying to keep her face from bruising and looking like something bad had happened to her you know. It was just crazy. The whole situation was just crazy.”
‘No doubt whatsoever’
Asked whether she has any doubt about Broaddrick’s story, Rogers replied, “Oh absolutely none whatsoever.”
Rogers added: “There is no way that she could have acted the way that she was that day and there would have been no reason to. If something had gone on that was you know a consensual thing I don’t think I would have ever even known that it had occurred, but this was certainly nothing that she had a plan for nor agreed to.”
1991 encounter with Bill Clinton
Rogers also backed up a 1991 incident that has been previously described by Broaddrick.
In our November interview, Broaddrick explained the climate of women’s issues in 1978 was such that “I felt responsible. I don’t know if you know the mentality of women and men at that time. But me letting him come to my room? I accepted full blame.”
“And I thought ‘This is your fault and you have to bear this. There’s nothing you can do. He’s the attorney general. And this is your fault.’”
She said all that changed in 1991, when she said she was at a meeting at the Riverfront Hotel in Little Rock and Clinton approached her there.
Clinton found out she was at the hotel “and they called me out of the meeting and pointed to an area to go down around the corner by an elevator area. And I walked around the corner and there he stands.
“And he immediately comes over to me with this gushing apology. Like, ‘I’m so sorry for what happened. I hope you can forgive me. I’m a family man now. I have a daughter. I’m a changed man. I would never do anything like that again.’”
Broaddrick said she thought Clinton was sincere until he announced his run for president the following week.
Rogers said that she was at the industry meeting described by Broaddrick and that while she didn’t see Clinton herself, she can vouch for Broaddrick returning startled from an encounter. She says Broaddrick immediately told her that she met Clinton.
“She was gone for a while and when she came back she was white and she said, ‘You are never going to believe what that was about.’ And of course I had no idea. And she said that guy led me around to a stairwell and she said Bill Clinton was there waiting on me. Totally (sic) surprise to her also. And said to her, ‘I hope that you are not going to hold what happened against me.’
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