May 6th, 2014
11:38 AM ET
4 years ago

Lewinsky writes about affair with Bill Clinton

(CNN) - Saying "It’s time to burn the beret and bury the blue dress," Monica Lewinsky is writing for the first time about her affair in the 1990s with President Bill Clinton.

"I, myself, deeply regret what happened between me and President Clinton. Let me say it again: I. Myself. Deeply. Regret. What. Happened," says the now 40 year old Lewinsky in the upcoming issue of Vanity Fair.

Lewinsky maintains that her affair with Clinton was one between two consenting adults.

"Sure, my boss took advantage of me, but I will always remain firm on this point: it was a consensual relationship. Any ‘abuse’ came in the aftermath, when I was made a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful position," Lewinsky writes.

In 1995 Lewinsky, then a White House intern, began a sexual relationship with Clinton. The political scandal and investigation that emerged from that extramarital affair resulted in the Democratic president's impeachment by the Republican-led House of Representatives. Clinton was subsequently acquitted of all impeachment charges during a trial by the Senate.

Lewinsky has stayed virtually silent about the affair the past decade. She writes in Vanity Fair that "the buzz in some circles has been that the Clintons must have paid me off; why else would I have refrained from speaking out? I can assure you that nothing could be further from the truth."

But she adds that it's time to stop "tiptoeing around my past-and other people’s futures. I am determined to have a different ending to my story. I’ve decided, finally, to stick my head above the parapet so that I can take back my narrative and give a purpose to my past. (What this will cost me, I will soon find out.)”

Lewinsky was constantly in the media during and shortly after the controversy. In late 1999 she started selling a line of handbags and the next year she appeared in commercials for diet company Jenny Craig. In 2002 she appeared in an HBO special on the affair and the next year she hosted a reality dating program on Fox TV.

But in 2005, Lewinsky changed course, moving to Great Britain to obtain a masters degree in social psychology at the London School of Economics. She's stayed out of the spotlight since then.

In the Vanity Fair article, Lewinsky responds to reports made public in February that Hillary Clinton, in correspondence with close friend Diane Blair during the 1990s, had characterized Lewinsky as a "narcissistic loony toon."

Lewinsky writes that her first thought was "as I was getting up to speed: If that’s the worst thing she said, I should be so lucky. Mrs. Clinton, I read, had supposedly confided to Blair that, in part, she blamed herself for her husband’s affair (by being emotionally neglectful) and seemed to forgive him. Although she regarded Bill as having engaged in ‘gross inappropriate behavior,’ the affair was, nonetheless, ‘consensual (was not a power relationship).'"

The personal writings of Blair, made public earlier this year, gave insight into the former first lady's views on the Monica Lewinsky scandal, as well as a host of other issues. The papers were donated by Blair's family to the University of Arkansas

Asked about those conversations between Hillary Clinton and Blair, Lewinsky writes: "Yes, I get it. Hillary Clinton wanted it on record that she was lashing out at her husband’s mistress. She may have faulted her husband for being inappropriate, but I find her impulse to blame the Woman-not only me, but herself-troubling.”

And she rejects the “narcissistic loony toon” label, saying that she refused to cooperate with interrogators offering the then-24 year old immunity from the threat of jail time in return for wearing a wire to monitor staged conversations with two of Clinton’s confidantes. "

"Courageous or foolish, maybe," Lewinsky writes, "but narcissistic and loony?"

The full article will appear in the June issue of Vanity Fair, which will be available in New York and Los Angeles and on the iPhone, iPad, Nook, and Kindle - on May 8. The magazine will hit national newsstands on May 13.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Filed under: Bill Clinton • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (502 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    This isnt' news. It happened over a decade ago, and no one cares anymore.

    May 6, 2014 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  2. Joeseph Eclaire

    She must be broke.

    May 6, 2014 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  3. Graeme from Ottawa

    CNN troll, what silence?

    May 6, 2014 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  4. Obvious

    Oh, so she's broke and needs money. Nice timing. No one cares.

    May 6, 2014 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  5. Darth Obama

    she must be in need of some money.

    May 6, 2014 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  6. Dennis

    Funny timing on Monica's behalf, what GOP'er is behind this?

    May 6, 2014 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  7. Bill

    I can not wait to see and hear the GOP spin that this somehow disqualifies Hillary to run for president. The hapless GOP is so afraid of her. 2016 can not come soon enough.

    May 6, 2014 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  8. so what? one cares.

    May 6, 2014 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  9. firsty?

    Is this thing on? Am I first? and also... who cares!

    May 6, 2014 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  10. Jim Jimson

    Lewensky was and is an opportunist. Who saves a semen stained dress in a box under their bed? Psycho!!!

    May 6, 2014 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  11. N liten'd

    So, how much did the right wingers pay her to come out with this perfectly timed hit piece aimed at discrediting the Clintons?

    May 6, 2014 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  12. Kevin

    Thanks for the update. How's Los Del Rio doing?

    May 6, 2014 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  13. Joeseph Eclaire

    She must be broke.
    You have no story to take back, no narrative. Your actions have been played throughout history.

    Opening your mouth about it only shows your desperation.

    May 6, 2014 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  14. not a bozo

    wow...... pretty obvious about what is really going on.
    Anyone else think this wasn't Monica's idea?

    May 6, 2014 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  15. Steve

    Lewinsky just wanted to make a name for herself and Clinton was the idiot that fell for her schtick. Now years later when no one remembers who she is...she's trying it again because she's got nothing else going for her.

    May 6, 2014 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  16. JK

    She's still a teenager in her own doubt about that.

    May 6, 2014 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  17. Trilobiteme

    Air all of Clinton dirty laundry so it's old news so Clinton can run for president

    May 6, 2014 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  18. Ashta

    She wants attention again, move on, the world forgot about you long time ago.

    May 6, 2014 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  19. Olympic Eagle

    A decade ago! Try almost two decades ago.

    May 6, 2014 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  20. Peter

    This isn't the first president to have an affair while in office, nor the last.

    And fanboys: They were NOT all from just ONE party.

    May 6, 2014 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  21. Anonymous

    get on with your life

    May 6, 2014 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  22. JohnRJohnson

    Starved for attention, I guess. Interesting that she would open her mouth now, just as Hillary is about to announce her candidacy. Sounds like too much of a coincidence.

    May 6, 2014 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  23. yerkiddinright

    Time for Darrel Issa to launch an open ended investigation costing millions of dollars and wasting everyone's time. Oh wait, Ken Starr and the morally courageous Nest Gingrich already did that 20 years ago.

    May 6, 2014 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  24. gompy

    Enough already. Moni, we are not interested in your story. It's old and so are you.

    May 6, 2014 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  25. Jerry Andres

    Old news, its time Monica shuts up and fades away. The world has moved on.

    May 6, 2014 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
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