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. Winston Guy

    CNN, you may not know this, or even believe what I will say, however you must know the truth. It is this story, the Monica Lewinsky story that has destroyed CNN's credibility. You insatiable appetite to delve into this stink hole of a story. It is not news it is porn, you will lose me as a viewer and a listener if you go back to this trap. CNN needs to focus on what made CNN great, it was live breaking news, up front and in your face TV, the live action, the blood, the slaughter of innocence, the interviews with the perpetrators, the predator, the powerful and the powerless. Leave this dunk, it will destroy you.

    May 6, 2014 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  2. mommeyh

    Who cares. Monica made it clear to her college roomies that her plans included cozying up to the President. She did that, she planned it, she saved the evidence by giving it to her mother, and shamed herself. She should be ashamed of herself now by bringing this up again and being used by opponents to Hillary by trying to keep this unimportant, however unfortunate, story in the limelight. I wouldn't be surprised if somewhere she is receiving a little support from one of the wealthy Republican supporters. I know that this is one copy of Vanity Fair that I won't be purchasing.

    May 6, 2014 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  3. Name Lois m Winstead

    I'm much more concerned about the horrors of Nigeria than the tawdy events of the past. CNN and the media would do the world a favor by ignoring "her" remarks, and focus on those poor children. can you imagine such absolute terror!

    May 6, 2014 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  4. Coots

    U cant tell me she wasn't setting the D pres. Clinton up for slander. Why save her clothes.

    May 6, 2014 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  5. crabman1

    l o l breaking her silence --– she opened her mouth again

    May 6, 2014 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  6. unbeliveable

    is she running low on funds?

    May 6, 2014 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  7. Cody

    Why buy an expensive humidor for your cigars and waste a poor tree, when you can use Monica to keep the cigars good an moist. (probably the same thing JFK did with Marilyn) I admire the Dems trying to keep the forest alive by using women instead of trees.

    May 6, 2014 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  8. dddog

    Our country needs a MAJOR change in leadership. The President, Senators and House of Representatives need to go. Term limits need to be in place for Senate and House, maybe then progress can be made. Big government is not the solution to the problem, big government is the problem. I could care less about Monica Lewinsky and the Clintons. I wish they would go away.

    May 6, 2014 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  9. Kat

    Follow her money straight to the koch brothers. Its laughable to think that they think people are so stupid as to care about this at all.

    May 6, 2014 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  10. Frankly

    Only a woman can understand another woman- and they hate each other.

    May 6, 2014 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  11. Scott

    Bill and Hilary can't be trusted. To add insult to injury she demonized a victimized young woman just to save her and her husbands positions. SCUM

    May 6, 2014 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  12. David

    WGAS... this was 20 years ago.

    May 6, 2014 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  13. Robert

    She needs money ! Shut-up and loose you in time...

    May 6, 2014 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  14. Republicans Anonymous

    Yesterday's news trying to influence tomorrows. Is Monica Lewinsky, the new Sarah Palin.

    May 6, 2014 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  15. Runtime Al

    Seems someone has trouble moving on. Another payday for someone who has nothing else going on for herself after all these years. Too bad, so sad. Nobody has any respect for her, and the longer she drags this out , the sadder it gets.
    Monica, you were nothing more than just another bimbo eruption. Just another pimple on Bill's butt. Live with that.

    May 6, 2014 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  16. The REAL Truth...

    @Ceswho – 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.
    Being asleep is a common problem for those on the right. As an independent, I FULLY research before I vote. To believe the hubris from the Dems is worse than taking the country down the tubes using divisive, juvenile vitriolic finger-pointing at the POTUS. Attempting to repeal their own health plan 55 times ('cus the POTUS implemented it), causing the debt rating down grade, costing us $24+ BILLION during the Govt shutdown they caused, and loading up EVERY piece of legislation with anti-abortion, defense spending increase, ACA-repealing and entitlement gutting riders so Reid will table it, simply brings to light another brainwashed GOP_lemming!

    May 6, 2014 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  17. ex-sarge

    Really? Gee, I can't think of any reason why this might be of any interest at this time, can you? I was laughing out loud way back when Hilliary said there was a right wing conspiracy... Then I read, "Blinded by the Right". then I started noticing how the same stories, phrases, and buzz-words are on Fox, ABC, NBC, CBS.. Don't get your ideas about MSNBC from Fox and don't get your ideas about Fox from MSNBC. Ask questions of public figures, email & call your Congressman. Find out waht the corporate media (and that includes you CNN) doesn't want you to know.

    May 6, 2014 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  18. Really

    Good for you, Monica Lewinsky, "reclaim your narrative" and "stick your head over the parapet." Now, moving on to more important things for the nation and the world, GO HILLARY 2016!

    May 6, 2014 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  19. J

    Bill was a "Liar Of The Year".

    May 6, 2014 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  20. Dean

    Nobody cares about Bill. We want to know what you and Hillary did together.

    May 6, 2014 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  21. democedes

    Bill said the vows, not Monica. Why get mad at her?

    May 6, 2014 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  22. DP1

    Why's it on the FRONT PAGE? Media is always hungy for news, they don't have any better idea just yet because people have the nose for this kind of stinkiness and to be able to stay on top, CNN (and other media companies) have to satisfy those. This is the same reason celebrities like Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus, etc. are taking advantage of the free advertisement doesn't matter how stink it would be.

    May 6, 2014 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  23. jeff


    CNN, please DO NOT give this low life a platform to get more moeny being an the circuit again.

    I am about to change my home page from CNN.

    May 6, 2014 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  24. Gloria in NW

    Interesting timing. One can't help but wonder how much other junk will be dredged up in the RNC effort to derail Hillary's run. I thought Hillary might make a competent president, but not sure her time isn't past. In any case, this is more "bread and circuses" designed to appeal to our salacious interests and distract us from the important and dangerous things going on the the world – you know, climate change, economic inequality, wars, genocide, little things like that. Just keep us in a little ignorant bubble, where it somehow matters what Monica Lewinsky says. I do not loath her, as some people here seem to. I just think she's irrelevant when you consider the mess we are in.

    May 6, 2014 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  25. Kaythryn

    Honestly, no one cares. No one.

    May 6, 2014 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
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