“Hillary Clinton Hides Female Aide Amid Lesbian Rumors,” a 2013 National Enquirer headline read. Hillary Clinton “could be our first lesbian president,” a Christian radio host said that same year. “Is Hillary Clinton a Lesbian?” Jewish Business News asked in 2016.
From conservative blogs to liberal news outlets and sensational tabloids, rumors about the former presidential candidate have been percolating across the media and in public discourse since at least the early ‘90s. But in an interview with Howard Stern on Wednesday, the former senator dispelled the myth.
“Contrary to what you may hear, I actually like men,” Clinton said jokingly while talking to Stern about her pre-Bill Clinton boyfriend who was “really handsome” and resembled a “Greek god.”
Her quip drew laughter from Stern’s co-host and fueled an unsurprising response from the “shock jock.”
“Raise your right hand. You’ve never had a lesbian affair?” Stern asked.
A giggling Clinton responded: “Never, never, never!” Then added, “Never even been tempted, thank you very much.”
Stern’s sidekick, Robin Quivers, chimed in about how women who have “strong relationships” with other women often “cause suspicion.”
“Everything we do can cause suspicion, apparently,” responded Clinton, who is currently promoting "The Book of Gutsy Women," which she co-wrote with her daughter.
While Clinton’s remarks drew laughter in the radio studio, not everyone found them entertaining. Trish Bendix, an entertainment and LGBTQ reporter, said she was “disappointed” by Clinton’s comments.
“It's so frustrating when public figures like Hillary feel the need to dispel lesbian rumors in a way that equates lesbianism or queerness with salaciousness, and that's ultimately what I dislike about the way she phrased it. Specifically the word ‘tempted,’” Bendix told NBC News. “I think there's a way to refute untrue ideas about one's own identity without saying something damaging to others.”
Follow NBC Out on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram