Former American President Bill Clinton refused a $14,000 (GBP7,775) get-well present from American TV programme The Tonight Show, because accepting it would break US Senate rules.

Presenter Jay Leno arranged for the tandem bicycle to be sent to Clinton, who is recovering from bypass surgery.

But it was swiftly returned because Clinton's wife HILLARY is senator for New York and it is illegal for her to accept gifts valued at more than $50 (GBP28).

An insider says, "What is weirder - that Jay Leno can reach in his pocket for a $14,000 gift, or that Leno has the clout at NBC to say to some assistant, 'Oh yeah, I want to give Bill Clinton a $14,000 gift - can you guys pick up the cheque on that one? I'm going to lunch.'"

A spokesperson for Leno tells website PAGESIX.COM, "The bicycle was a get-well gift from the show, not Jay."

01/11/2004 17:26