updated 06/13/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/13/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Doubters narrowly outnumbered believers on the question of whether Paula Jones, who has accused President Clinton of sexual harassment (PEOPLE, May 23), is telling the truth. Readers on both sides accused us of slanted reporting—the pro-Jones faction charging that we were making an issue of the accuser's past rather than of Clinton's behavior; the disbelievers ripping us for publicizing a woman whose motives, they feel, are mercenary.

You did your millions of women readers a disservice with your hatchet job on President Clinton's accuser, Paula Jones. While you bury the fact that no fewer than four people maintain that she did, in fact, tell them of the incident shortly after it occurred, you trumpet alleged facts such as her "mediocre" performance in high school (horrors!), her working-class upbringing and—straight from the sullied pages of every criminal defense lawyer's rape-case play-book—an allegation that Paula Jones liked to "dress provocatively." Why not just headline your article, "She Asked for It"?

After discussing the merits of Paula Jones's sexual harassment case or, more accurately, the lack thereof, with some lawyer friends, I consider it clear that this tart has no tort.
CAT POLLON, Studio City, Calif.

Paula Jones had three years to bring charges against Bill Clinton, yet she chose to do it hours before the statute of limitations expired. She says she is not doing it for the money, but publicity pays off in the end. If this were a different era, maybe Paula Jones and her supporters would be tried for treason.
APRIL M. LILLEY, Arlington, Va.

Paula Jones's motives and character are inconsequential. What is important is that more and more light is being shed on the integrity and character of the philandering hypocrite that is Bill Clinton.

Does your magazine honestly want us to believe that poor errant Willie is innocent of Paula's charges? Would that you had given equal benefit of the doubt to Clarence Thomas and Robert Packwood. You can't fool all of us some of the time.
Mount Vernon, Va.

Well, here we go again, another snake crawling out from under a rock to pursue fame and fortune at someone else's expense. What really gripes me is that when these despicable characters surface, the media just can't wait to give them exactly what they're seeking and we, the public, must endure the endless interviews and tabloid TV "scoops," and someone like Paula Jones can grab the cash while the grabbin' is good. Which is all just a prelude to the potential Playboy spread and movie-of-the-week deal. Forgive my bluntness, but when is this crap going to slop?

We don't know very much about Paula Jones, but we certainly know enough about Bill Clinton to know he's guilty. He used up his benefit of the doubt a long lime ago.

The losers in the Paula Jones situation are those facing the trauma of true sexual harassment. Each time such incidents are trivialized in this way, real victims face ridicule by being compared with Paula and having their complaints summarily dismissed. While your article appears to be a balanced presentation of the facts, rewarding her with cover status is reprehensible.
JUDY JUDY, Round Rock, Texas

With high hopes I sat down to read your article about the Paula Jones lawsuit. Finally, I said to myself, here's an article that will tell both sides of the story with some balance. Boy, was I wrong! It was so slanted that I slid off my couch. Shame on you, PEOPLE. Since when does being a poor southern girl also mean being a liar?
LISA E. LONG, Paso Robles, Calif.

I believe a clarification of the term sexual harassment is definitely in order. Is making a "pass" illegal? Sexual harassment should be defined as using power as a weapon affecting employment or advancement. Being asked a question is not sexual harassment. If every person who made a pass was sued, where would our court system be?
ELAINE R. FERRIS, San Jose, Calif.

My husband is unable to set the record straight, but I can. He was married to Elizabeth Ashley once. He never attacked anyone with a frying pan. Contrary to your words, he was an exceptional man. George talked about his former problems with drinking and later his battle with lung cancer in hopes it would help others be positive and win their own battles. He was grateful to be alive. He loved me, our families and friends and truly was the best friend anyone could hope to have. In this day and age, that is a rare gift indeed.

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