The casualties of the Monica Lewinsky scandal still walk among us.
Lewinsky started a now-defunct handbag line and earned a degree from the London School of Economics. Paula Jones posed nude for Penthouse magazine and fought Tonya Harding in celebrity boxing.
Linda Tripp operates a Christmas-themed store in Middleburg and Kathleen Willey, who says President Bill Clinton groped her in the Oval Office in 1993, retreated to Powhatan County and wrote a book, “Target: Caught in the Crosshairs of Bill and Hillary Clinton.”
And then there's Julie Hiatt Steele, a former Midlothian resident and friend of Willey's who was the only person indicted by special prosecutor Kenneth W. Starr in the fallout from the Lewinsky affair.
Steele was charged with four counts of obstruction of justice and lying. In a 1998 affidavit, Steele said Willey asked her to lie to Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff to help corroborate Willey's account of the White House groping.
Her case ended with a hung jury and no decision, but the stress of Steele's ordeal has caused her to be unable to work, lose her house from resulting financial difficulties, move several times to undisclosed locations and now suffer from stage four renal failure, says Steele's daughter, Liza Steele, a Jackson Ward resident.
“My mother really was the victim in that whole scenario,” she says. She can't prove it, but the daughter believes the invasion of privacy and emotional tumult of the Willey ordeal contributed to her mother's kidney failure: “It really took a severe toll on her,” she says. “The stress of that is a process.”
Liza Steele, 43, contacted Style Weekly for help in seeking a donor for her mother, who carries Type O blood and therefore requires a Type O kidney donor, in the hopes that the scandal that waylaid her mother's life “can be a positive for her.”
Scheduling to meet a reporter on East Broad Street, the daughter writes in an e-mail that she'll be recognizable as the woman wearing long brown hair, black jeans and a leopard-print top: “In aspect and size I am roughly a cross between Jennifer Aniston and Jodie Foster, to give you a convenient visual.”
She says her mother doesn't want to talk to reporters or reveal her location, nor does she want to give out contact information. If a potential donor is interested, they'll be able to find her, the daughter says.