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

    go back in the closet

    May 6, 2014 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  2. Eardley Ham Woodbury, MN

    I wonder how much the RNC is paying Monica. Add this to the Benghazi mess and Ms. Clinton's desire to inhabit the White House may be derailed.

    Of course it was consensual, Bill and Hillary both approved of the relationship.

    May 6, 2014 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  3. scranton

    I thought this had just been a right wing conspiracy.

    May 6, 2014 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  4. Jim Jimson

    It's time for Monica to dry clean the blue dress and move on with her miserable life already.

    The rest of the country moved on 20 years ago.


    May 6, 2014 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    She slept with a married man, she got what she deserved. And Hilary is a spineless b1tch, the blamed the other women instead of her husband.

    May 6, 2014 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  6. Tim Center

    It takes two to tango,and they both were equally at fault.Yes,its time to move on .Hooray for Ms.Lewinsky.Hooray for Bill Clinton....That's why they call it the past...Enjoy life,its fun.

    May 6, 2014 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  7. Ceswho

    Oh no, the truth is being told again! No wonder the libs are hammering Monica on this blog. They can't stand for the truth to come to light. Just look at Fast and Furious, IRS targeting, Benghazi, Obamacare. I would be embarrassed to be a middle of the road Democrat, knowing I was represented by this bunch. Yes, the Repubs have their own problems, but in
    60 years I have never seen such Hubris from one party.

    May 6, 2014 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  8. Farms

    Terry – do you delude yourself about everything? I'm just curious. Liberals are "up in arms" over what?

    May 6, 2014 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  9. liz7up

    .......just one question....if it was not a "set up" why did she keep the stained dress?

    May 6, 2014 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  10. Andrew

    I'm sympathetic to Ms. Lewinsky. I think telling her story is brave and interesting.

    I voted for Bill Clinton and would vote for HIllary Clinton if she makes a run for the White House. (And I hope she does.)

    I'm lukewarm toward Barack Obama.

    I don't think CNN is wrong to report on this story.

    I vote so far left, I think Europeans and Canadians are right-wing.

    May 6, 2014 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  11. Steve Miller

    That is all Bill had to say. It was the lying, obstruction of justice and coverup that got him impeached.

    May 6, 2014 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  12. Jenny Hurley

    I believe that Monica said that She was GOING TO D C to catch her a big one. I don't know where to find that quote though.
    She knew it was wrong – if not – then she doesn't have any sense of decency.

    May 6, 2014 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  13. bill

    Really this is newsworthy. CNN you are way off the mark.

    May 6, 2014 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  14. jimmyva18

    Bill Cl*nton is a sleazy womanizer who LIED, like a typlical Democrat does, to the American People. His wife, Hillary, "Stood By Her Man", like a good Tammy Wynette type, because she did not want to forgo sucking up all the tax payer $$, and the fame. Disgusting people, the Cl*nton's. Hillary should just slink away.

    America does not want any more to do with these Morally Corrupt Cl*nton's.

    May 6, 2014 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  15. fhc1983reunion

    Voting for Hillary Clinton, after she was the reason four of our own were killed in Benghazi and stating,"Who cares. It is over and done with.\", is extremely disturbing. YOu need to have your head checked and should not be voting at all. I am not a republican either. I find it morally wrong that anyone would vote for her!

    May 6, 2014 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Any ‘abuse’ came in the aftermath, when I was made a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful position," Lewinsky writes.
    So I guess Benghazi! Benghazi! is the Republican's trump card as they are playing the Monica card way too early in the game in my estimation.
    Republicans are lousy card players, and they suck (oops wrong word for this story! wink) as elected officials also and as well in addition to too (my "tribute" to Sarah Palin).

    May 6, 2014 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  17. Charles Owen

    Yawn. Next?

    May 6, 2014 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  18. Steve

    Monica wasn't too bright back in the day when she became Bill's humidor and girl next door. Rehashing the relationship now is not only timely, but purely political. Oh sure, her book will be a best seller due to the fact the Hillary will be running for the office of President, or so it seems.

    You can bet Republicans will push this book to #1 on the best sellers list until after the election. Once that's done she will have served her purpose, once again, and be forgotten.

    May 6, 2014 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  19. GDRFB

    The real purpose of this story is to sell issues of Vanity Fair

    May 6, 2014 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  20. Dick Cheny

    Who cares?

    May 6, 2014 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  21. Gary search of money, I see.

    May 6, 2014 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  22. karate-man

    and this is relevant to anything in what way? sorry monica you already had your 15 minutes of fame 18 – 20 years ago or however long ago it disappear back to wherever you came from.........please

    May 6, 2014 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  23. Nikki

    So now that she has a degree in social psychology and can now master the English language, she comes back to tell her side. I have no illusions, it takes two to tango, but she was narcissistic (loony? don't know). She tried her hand at handbags and doing interviews on entertainment television, and Jenny Craig (could've have cared less if she lost weight or not). She tried to use you few minutes of infamy to make something out of herself. I hope her schooling has helped her find what she needs to make her happy. Personally, I don't care to know her motivations of the past or her future. I find that you are still only thinking of yourself, and not caring about what will happen by opening up her sordid past once again. Go back under the rock you were hiding under if you can't do something worthwhile in this world.

    May 6, 2014 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  24. Earl

    What difference, at this point, does it make?????????

    May 6, 2014 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  25. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    The poor girl had to leave the country....tsk, tsk, tsk.

    May 6, 2014 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21