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. kenman14

    Hey liberal women, just wondered if you're not offended by CNN's coverage, like by Ashleigh whatever, that it was entirely the media, and certainly not her own, that is responsible for Monica's "global disgrace" and supposed suicidal thoughts!?

    Have YOU EVER blamed what happened to YOU on everyone BUT THE MAN INVOLVED!? AND, do you still adore Bubba, that user of women and reckless behavior while in the WHITE HOUSE!?

    Would you give your own husband, or father, so much leniency!?

    May 6, 2014 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  2. Steve Miller

    It was the lying, obstruction, and cover-up that got Bill impeached. Should have just admitted it.

    May 6, 2014 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  3. Government Waste Rules

    Just in time for Hillary's run.

    May 6, 2014 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  4. Jon

    I cannot beliueve this made the front page of CNN...what is happening with CNN?

    May 6, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  5. Nick

    One more reason Hillary shouldn't be in the Oval Office. The war on women? She and her husband are shining examples of the war on women being perpetrated by the left. If you're not with them, you're a "loony".

    May 6, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. Ginny

    . Who knows anyone of these media scum would pay any one to say anything this days for a 4 second headlight in social media. We should all go back to reading newspapers and in-depth reports not these 5 minute stories that jump into the spotlight from Twitter creating a nation of sheep following any story true or not. my very favorite is the crap story about the 20 million dollar a day trip to India last year that all the right wing nuts kept printing bigger and larger lies about and man so many people bought into that baloney it is a very sad commentary on this country.

    May 6, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  7. james

    Who cares: we dont need this now. All at an atempt to derail Hilary in 2016. GOP, SMH

    May 6, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  8. Dallas

    OMG can't we let sleeping dogs lie! Monica must need $$$$. This was debated and debated to death 16-17 years ago. It's done, it's over, everyone has moved on – Monica should too!

    May 6, 2014 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  9. Bill

    Surely, the GOP has nothing to do with the timing of this.

    May 6, 2014 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  10. JC

    money makes the world go round, of this I am sure.

    May 6, 2014 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  11. SmilingBluuEyes

    ONLY 24?? I have a 23 year old daughter who knows right from wrong and would be offended if you blamed a bad mistake on her age. She, and Monica at the time, is old enough to vote, drink alcohol, buy a gun and everything an"adult" should do. Was Monica this deprived kid that didn't know any better...HECK no. So, let her get paid by Vanity Fair so the they can sell some magazines and listen to the Republicans try and pin this on want to see women voters get mad?? The conservatives would feel the wrath!!

    May 6, 2014 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  12. JOHN

    Funny how those who posted that no one cares actually cared enough to post. Regarding the Clintons, they too are old news. President Obama is the star of the Democratic party, and future candidate will not need Bill to stump for them anymore. President Obama will become to Progressives what President Reagan is to Conservatives; the measuring stick by which all future candidates are measured.

    I would think you would campion someone else President Obama has been one of the worst presidents of all time. Obama Bush JR. and Carter were all terrible, maybe Obama can pull a rabbit out of his hat and do something good for the common man but i don't see that happening. Obama as the measuring stick for progressives is laughable, he is phoney liar in the pocket of bankers. Just wait and watch how rich he will become once he leaves office.

    May 6, 2014 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  13. matey

    Monica is really old news.. The activities with Big Bill were a little unusual, but in today' s changes in sexual behaviors, it is no longer a Big Deal. I heard a news report on CNN radio, and the biggest surprise reported was that Monica turned down a 10 Million dollar job. She has her regrets about all her negative publicity when she was 24 years and she spent too much time under the desk. That is all past and she has risen above the average person in obtaining an educations and is probably doing well with her life now. Maybe she will write a book and make another couple of million. Good for her and I hope she succeeds. She still is attractive and probably will hook up with somebody special who will appreciate her skills.

    May 6, 2014 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  14. Karen

    He is not the first President to do this or get caught he won't be the last and it is no ones business unless it interferes with his job as president Let it die already. She is gross an had the forethought to keep the dress. She is more guilty than him for keeping the dress for later use.

    May 6, 2014 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  15. Mott

    GOP – playing it by the book..

    May 6, 2014 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  16. floyd from illinois

    What a surprise – Lewinski 'breaks silence' right about the tie that Hillry Clinton is "rumored to be considering" a run for the White House

    Why not a decade ago? Why EVER push Lewnski's sordid behavior back intothe public arena?

    Answer – somebody shoved a lot of cash into Lewinski's wallet to embarrass Hillary, now.

    May 6, 2014 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  17. Denise

    What's next, Vince Foster? lol

    May 6, 2014 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  18. Tony

    Why don't we have a national "disturb your marriage month"? That way, every kook who feels the need to vocalize the dirt in anyone else's closets can just come out and fulfill their need to basque in the limelight of another kook for the same reason, but each kook will somehow show "better" as tabloid fodder.

    May 6, 2014 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  19. Dems in PA

    Is Monica Lewinsky broke, out of money? Or is this a Republican conspiracy to make Hillary Clinton look event worse than she already does on her own before the 2016 election. Let the conspiracy theory's fly; Hillary Clinton couldn't take care of one person what makes Hillary think she can take care of a country.

    May 6, 2014 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  20. Stephanie

    This feels like some sort of shady House of Cards move so Hillary looks good for her run in 2016. Things look suspicious.

    May 6, 2014 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  21. Fed Up with Our Leadership

    The real purpose is to get all this out of the way before the next election where Hillary hopes to run for President. I'm sure a lot of people would like it to be an issue at that time.

    May 6, 2014 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  22. Laura

    Why talk about this now? Yes, you had an affair with a married man. Yes, the man was at fault as much as you. Yes, he was the President, and he had (has?) a major character flaw (as did you). We already knew it was consensual. Why is Vanity Fair even talking with Monica Lewinsky? Why is she granting the interview?

    May 6, 2014 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  23. jdalco

    Guess the money ran out and now she needs to pay off the school bills. . . Old news that no one cares about unless it can be used to stop Hillary. . .

    May 6, 2014 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  24. JacobV

    Monica is a dumb golddigger....Anyone who sleeps with their bosses takes the bar down for every other employee.

    May 6, 2014 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  25. DP1

    Did Monica already spent all the money made from the last book published? She's definitely stick her neck out for more. This time, she's not ashame to admit that it was consensua.

    May 6, 2014 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
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