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. The west

    She just went to give a media job
    Before next election to slow down
    Henary. I don't think anything she does
    Is matter for voters, but Republican will
    Use her anyway. The history of Clinton has pass
    As a great leader, coming back with old propaganda
    Can not change anything.

    May 6, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  2. Forget the past move on

    I'm not saying what Clinton did was right. But it was nobody's business but his family, and him. I think it was distasteful for them to have put it on display for the public to see. God knows everybody has done something they wish that they could take back. People are only human and no one is perfect.

    May 6, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  3. Rafael

    She should just shut up. Ask God for forgiveness, and shut up! We all know what you did, how you did it and who you did it to. Just shut up about it! If you are sorry about it, go and ask God and the people im question for forgiveness discretely. She has some balls to claim being regretful and still claim herself a victim of her boss. She threw herself at him, and she was not a child, she was a woman. She is not a victim.

    May 6, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  4. RA

    Must be needing another check...

    old news...

    May 6, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  5. Stephen

    Old, old news folks,

    May 6, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  6. PEL

    THIS is your cover story, CNN? When there is such brutality going on in several African countries? You barely covered the kidnapping of over 200 school girls in Nigeria until it made the rounds on social media. Shame on you, and your so called "news reporting".

    May 6, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  7. Ellen Weaver

    Twist and skew the facts any way you want...bottom line is that Slick Willie used and abused his office for selfish, personal gratification. He was, and is, a weak, unprincipled, slimy human. While cheating husbands have been around forever, Clinton's behavior was the genesis of cheat and be caught, whine and cry on TV, receive a public forgiveness and go on your merry way. This has established a dangerous precedent for the moral fiber of our society. I know that I am of the opinion that if a person can cheat on a spouse and lie to the public repeatedly about it, why would this same person be honest and caring about the future welfare of millions of people?? Answer...he would NOT!!

    May 6, 2014 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  8. Alfred

    She should have kept her head "above the parapet" in 1995.

    May 6, 2014 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  9. HM8432

    The Second Wave feminism, NOW-crowd never came to this woman's defense; even though she was sexually exploited and abused by her WASP'y boss. I guess it's OK if the person oppressing the woman is a Progressive Democrat!

    May 6, 2014 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  10. steve

    waste of a story. why would anyone really care about this story?

    May 6, 2014 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  11. Charlie Moore

    I really have to thank Monica Lewinski. She's the primary reason I gave up cigars.

    May 6, 2014 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  12. Jack Martin

    Nobody cares... CNN, try to use your front page for something more news worthy 😉

    May 6, 2014 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  13. Vijay

    Why this news is in front page????

    May 6, 2014 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  14. Ramon F Herrera

    Every time MonicaGate or BenghaziGate are mentioned, Mrs. Clinton's approval rates go UP.

    May 6, 2014 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  15. sezyou

    Clinton has been a sexual predator since puberty. He went to Oxford in England to avoid the draft, England kicked him out of their country because he preyed on women. It goes on from there. Just another politician with no integrity.

    May 6, 2014 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  16. Jon

    Timing is suspect as Hillary is about to make a run at White House. She was politically influenced to come out now.

    May 6, 2014 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  17. sonny chapman

    An interesting WHAT IF-What If Monica & Bill hadn't ....; Al Gore would have been POTUS. No REAL 9-11 Attack, no Afghanistan, no Iraq, no Wall Street Rape Job, No Great Recession, less Rambo Politics & Governing.

    May 6, 2014 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  18. mike

    Feel like I am in a time warp.

    This was the start of tabloid journalism.

    May 6, 2014 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  19. The REAL Truth...

    @joe – Obama is not for the Dems what Reagan was for the GOP.
    He sure isn't. He hasn't raided surplus SS funds, hasn't raised taxes 18 times, hasn't doubled the National Debt, hasn't had a Nat'l ATC strike, hasn't invaded another country, hasn't got caught covertly selling arms to finance covert ops, and has increased NEW spending the least of any POTUS in the last 60 yrs.. it's an inconvenient truth for the GOP.

    May 6, 2014 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  20. Frenetik

    In other words "Lewinsky refills bank account through interview".

    May 6, 2014 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  21. Pike Juan

    Sad saga and a total disgrace for Clinton.

    May 6, 2014 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  22. jim

    She must need money!

    May 6, 2014 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  23. MMoore

    My problem with this is that Ms Lewinsky affirms the releationship to have been "consensual". Then how in the world could she and the media "rape" Mr. Clinton for taking advantage of her? This is something thatshould have been left for the Clintons to decide. Their is still a private life in public office. Someone should investigate how sensationalism cost this man his presidency. Then steps should be taken to exhonerate him of any wrongdoing.

    May 6, 2014 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  24. Jason

    Why is this headlines? How is this BREAKING NEWS? Seriously, why am I getting this as a notification on my phone? Who cares about this? This is not even a story worth reading and shame on you for breathing air into this long dead tale. This is nothing but tabloid journalism/a smear campaign. She has not been relevant, nor is she now, for well over two decades. Showing this story as the BREAKING NEWS is a disgrace.

    May 6, 2014 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  25. Spooky mom

    Her timing is predictable. Her story is old. As a registered R, I think it's time to move on. We have more important issues to concern ourselves with, as Americans.

    May 6, 2014 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
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