Taking the offensive, Monica Lewinsky's father Monday decried prosecutors' efforts to question his daughter's friends and said President Clinton's decision to invoke executive privilege will only prolong her isolation.
"She cannot see her friends, she cannot talk to her friends, she cannot talk to her brother. She cannot communicate with anyone freely. She's virtually isolated in a state of limbo," Dr. Bernard Lewinsky said in an interview with the Associated Press.Lewinsky angrily criticized Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth Starr's decision to haul his daughter's friends before the federal grand jury - one from as far away as Tokyo - for hearsay evidence about Lewinsky's alleged sexual relationship with the president.
"I think this is just the drip torture technique that Ken Starr is using on her," the father said. "He is just trying to torture her in every possible way.
"And a lot of people are being inconvenienced not only by virtue of having to travel to Washington but also because they are being put at financial risk. These are all young people and they all have to hire attorneys that cost money," he added.
As for the decision by Clinton to invoke executive privilege to block the testimony of senior White House advisers Bruce Lindsey and Sidney Blumenthal, Lewinsky said it would only precipitate a legal battle that would prolong his daughter's suffering.
"That is a decision the president has to make. As far as the delay, that bothers me a lot because my daughter continues to be in limbo. Her life is at a standstill. She's virtually a prisoner in her apartment. She cannot go out," he said.
Lewinsky declined to discuss court proceedings in which his daughter's lawyers are trying to force Starr to give her full immunity in exchange for her testimony, arguing they had agreed on such a deal. Prosecutors deny there was a deal.
They want to know whether Lewinsky, who filed an affidavit denying a sexual relationship with Clinton, lied and may have been encouraged to do so by the president and his friend, Vernon Jordan, in exchange for help finding a job in the private sector.