In yet another twist in the Paula Jones-President Clinton settlement sweepstakes, a New York real estate mogul plans to hand Jones a check for $1 million today as inducement to restart negotiations and bring an end to her sexual harassment lawsuit against the president.
But as in all things attached to this on-again, off-again civil lawsuit, there is a catch:If an agreement is not reached within a specified time period, the $1 million goes back to tycoon Abe Hirschfeld.
The eccentric millionaire, who made his fortune in parking lots, originally agreed to put up $1 million to, as he said, "make the case go away" if it could be matched with money from Clinton.
Hirschfeld has described Jones as an "elegant lady" but said the case is simply distracting the government from going on about the people's business.
However the president, clearly not keen on joining hands with Hirschfeld at a time when the mogul is facing 123 counts of federal income tax evasion, declined to pony up. So earlier this week, Hirschfeld withdrew his offer.
Now comes Round 2.
According to sources close to both camps on Friday, Jones and Hirschfeld are to appear together in Washington today to announce his latest $1 million enticement to get the two sides talking again. But he will also say that if a settlement is not reached within a specified period of time, with details to come at today's news conference, she has to give him the money back.
Of course all of this could change again overnight, the sources warned.