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Clinton Aide Settles With Matt Drudge By: New York Times
New York Times | Friday, May 04, 2001

SIDNEY BLUMENTHAL, an aide in President Bill Clinton's White House, has settled a libel suit that he and his wife, Jacqueline Jordan Blumenthal, brought in 1997 against Matt Drudge, whose Web site became a catch basin for negative information about Mr. Clinton.

Instead of winning any payment, however, over accusations that Mr. Drudge later apologized for and retracted, the Blumenthals have agreed to pay Mr. Drudge's lawyer $2,500. The payment, Mr. Blumenthal said, is to ensure that the litigation and the publicity it brought Mr. Drudge come to an end.

"We just decided for nuisance value that we would pay him off and make him go away and deprive him of his sort of oxygen," Mr. Blumenthal said.

Mr. Drudge said the suit had propelled him "from rags to absolute riches — and I got to keep them."

In a brief report posted in August 1997, Mr. Drudge wrote that Mr. Blumenthal, a journalist who was just joining the White House staff, was being gossiped about in Republican circles as someone with "a spousal abuse past that has been effectively covered up." Shortly thereafter, he retracted the report and, in an interview with The Washington Post, apologized.

The Blumenthals then filed their suit.

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