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The Kennedy family's reputation has been tarnished over the years. There was the
1991 Florida rape case trial acquittal of William Kennedy Smith, a medical student.
The rape allegation seemed the tawdry apex of a long series of revelations about
the untamed sexual appetites of the Kennedy men, revelations that spanned seven-decades
starting with the family patriarch, Joseph Kennedy (a former United States ambassador
to London). Kennedy Senior carried an open liaison with Gloria Swanson, a Hollywood
Then there were the assorted sexual adventures and encounters of John Kennedy in
the White House, the mysterious death of Mary Jo Kopechine, a congressional secretary
who was drowned in a car Edward Kennedy (now a Senator) drove off a bridge at Chappaquiddick,
Massachusetts in 1969, and Michael Kennedy's affair with the family babysitter five
years ago when the girl was 14.
Back to Bill and Paula. The United States Supreme Court in a rare show of unanimity
(9-0) two weeks ago rifled that Clinton, though a sitting chief executive, has no
privilege nor special protection against Paula Jones's civil suit.
When - and if - the trial begins, it promises to be the sexual harassment story of
the century, and both sides, as they already have and no doubt will, wage a fierce
legal battle. In sex as in war and lawsuits, all is fair.
In America one has to be extra careful indeed. Your cheating heart could give you
lots of trouble, even land you in jail. Still I find the American society is the
most promiscuous. Adultery in many states in the American Union is a crime punishable
up to three months in jail. The good news is, and for adulterers in New York - who
have included Donald Trump - the crime is only a Class B Misdemeanor, and is rarely
The bad news is while adultery is rarely prosecuted, that does not mean the law is
never applied. However, there have been only 25 arrests and seven convictions for
adultery statewide in New York in the last 10 years. More than in Kelantan, I think.
Out of 50 American states only 23 states do not have adultery laws on the books.
The other states have statutes prohibiting adultery.
In American politics as in all politics, I suppose, knowledge is strength, as they
say. Knowing that your opponent is a womaniser or his spouse is unfaithful has its
good uses even if you cannot beat him in elections as was the case with Bill Clinton.
Eve said: "Adam, do you love me?"
Adam: "Who else?"
Poor Eve. She was the only woman who could not say, "Haven't I met you before?"
Dato' Abdullah Ahmad is Malaysia's Special Envoy to the United Nations
(This article has been reporduced with the kind permission of Sun)