Ron Burkle and Bill Clinton used to go together like peanut butter and jelly, bread and butter, unprotected sex and gonorrhea. They were bros before that word was even in vogue, having met in 1992 on the Democratic fund-raiser circuit. After that they were always together, doing guy things: They hit the links. Had sleepovers at one another’s palatial estates. Flew around the world in Burkle’s private jet, spreading the message of peace, love, and diplomacy (especially to the ladies). After Clinton left office, Burkle even gave him a job at his Yucaipa company, so they could hang out even at work! But in 2007, something changed. They stopped hanging out so much. At the time, it was said that Clinton had distanced himself from Burkle because Hillary was running for president, and Burkle’s swinging bachelor lifestyle — and Yucaipa’s involvement with fraudulent Vatican representative Raffaello Follieri — seemed, if not exactly unsavory, less than presidential. But now, three years later, Burkle finally gives his side of the story to Business Week.
First of all, he was the good guy in the relationship.
“When Clinton left the Presidency he had to make money, and there were certain limits on how he could do it,” says Burkle. “In that regard, having him work for Yucaipa was the right thing to do. In other ways, it was the dumbest thing I ever did.”
Nice guys always finish last! Burkle knows that now.
And the idea that he might be the one who embarrassed Clinton? Well. That’s pretty rich.
“If someone wanted to embarrass [Clinton], I got thrown in it, too,” says Burkle. “I got all that for free.”
By the way, in the end, it was his decision, not Clinton’s, to end the relationship.
Why? Because he was bored. “Burkle says he and Clinton don’t see much of each other anymore and explains the rupture this way: “Before, every trip with him seemed like a once in a lifetime opportunity. Now I have so many things to do.”
Also, frankly, Clinton was bad in bed.