Journo closing in on interview deal

NEW YORK — ABC News anchor Barbara Walters may be close to landing an interview with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

While there’s still some question as to whether Lewinsky’s immunity deal with independent counsel Kenneth Starr allows her to do media interviews, sources confirm that Walters and reps for Lewinsky are “very close” to a deal for an on-camera chat.

The interview would likely air on “20/20″ or as an ABC News special, hopefully before the end of the November sweeps. An ABC News spokeswoman declined comment.

Rumors of a Walters-Lewinsky deal have been floating around Hollywood and New York for the past month. Indeed, a few weeks ago, sources were insisting that ABC was ready to pay Lewinsky between $5 million and $6 million for an interview to be done by Walters outside the auspices of ABC News, which claims it doesn’t pay for news stories.

At the time, Walters flatly denied any deal was in the works, telling Daily Variety she would only interview Lewinsky as part of an ABC News broadcast, thus ruling out the possibility of cash changing hands.

Lewinsky could still profit from an interview with ABC News, however, if she’s given the overseas distribution rights to the interview or a cut of any of the revenue the Alphabet web might make by selling the chat to international news outlets like the BBC. Lewinsky could also ask for a share of any domestic homevideo revenue.

News Corp. had been talking to Lewinsky about a multimedia deal involving a Fox Broadcasting Co. interview and a book package. Those talks have since cooled, however.

(Jenny Hontz contributed to this report.)

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