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Monica's Book: Not Much News

Although it's topping bestseller lists only a day after its release, some critics say Monica Lewinsky's new book will have a short shelf life, reports CBS News Correspondent Maureen Maher.

While there are few revelations to be found in Monica's Story, the 288-page book does give fresh insight from the former White House intern's perspective of the president. She recalls, "He had a glow about him that was magnetic."

But, predictably, there is harsh criticism for Linda Tripp. Lewinsky writes: "I wanted to hurt her. I felt like an animal wanting to claw at her skin."

CBS News Senior White Correspondent Scott Pelley reports that the book alleges that Kenneth Starr's prosecutors violated her rights and subjected her to threats and browbeating when they first interrogated her at a Virginia hotel.

The chapter titled Terror in Room 1012 says prosecutors threatened they were "going to prosecute [her] mother" if she didn't cooperate. The book says Starr's men discouraged her from phoning her lawyer.

In what appears to be a new revelation, the book says that during a break, Lewinsky slipped away from an FBI agent and tried to call Mr. Clinton's secretary. It says "she saw a pay phone, and she tried to call Betty Currie to warn her, but there was no answer."

The next morning, Mr. Clinton did not know Lewinsky had been with federal prosecutors when he arrived at his lawyer's office to deny under oath that he ever had sexual relations with Lewinsky.

Federal Judge Norma Holloway Johnson already has ruled that Starr did not violate Lewinsky's rights. But that's not the end of it. The Justice Department is looking into whether Starr broke the department's rules on issues including her right to counsel and whether Starr improperly collaborated with attorneys for Paula Jones.

The Lewinsky blitz got under way on Wednesday night when she was interviewed by ABC News' Barbara Walters. Lewinsky acknowledged she had an abortion after becoming pregnant during a three-month affair with a fellow Pentagon worker. The abortion occurred in the latter part of 1996, while she was still seeing President Clinton in secret meetings at the White House.

The White House was in an unusually generous and tolerant mood about the Lewinsky interview and book.

Spokesman Joe Lockhart told reporters that the president did not watch the interview, and does not plan to. However, Lockhart also said, "I think given all the things that have been said about Ms. Lewinsky, about what she said, what she's done, she certainly deserves a chance to speak for herself on this issue. And she's done that."

Unlike the White House, Starr said that he did indeed watch the interview. He told CBS News that he thought Lewinsky was intelligent, poised, and clearly affected by what's happened.

Authored by Anthony Morton, Princess Diana's biographer, the first printing of Monica's Story ha brought Lewinsky more than $1 million. But that's just a small dent in her attorneys' fees.

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