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. Martha Samantha

    she just dig back out what is already buried. She's still thinking of him.

    May 6, 2014 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  2. Fred Freep

    In a typical example of liberal logic, many comments here blaming Fox News (for a worthless story they aren't even covering) for a story only being carried by CNN. Yeah, somehow those nefarious conservatives at Fox have figured out a way to plant an anti-Clinton story on cnn's front page, with screaming headlines no less. Those sneaks!

    May 6, 2014 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  3. Scott

    The Clinton's can't be trusted. They both lied about this and then covered it up. To add insult to injury, Hilary demonized a young victim all to save her and her husbands position. Please no more Clinton's (or Bushes).

    May 6, 2014 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  4. Really

    Now to more important matters to the nation and the free world: GO HILLARY 2016!

    May 6, 2014 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  5. polhack

    gimme a break...find a different way to sell handbags.

    May 6, 2014 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  6. Darren

    Monica resurfaced; Benghazi reinvestigated. GOP needs new scandal to generate a lot of noise for Hillary to not even think to run.

    May 6, 2014 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  7. Mel Stricker

    Obviously Monica needs another payday. Why else would she be coming out again. Does anyone actually care?

    May 6, 2014 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  8. Seattle Sue

    If I remember correctly, it was because Monica opened her mouth in the first place that got her in this mess.

    May 6, 2014 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  9. quidestveritas

    who ever said it wasn't consensual?

    May 6, 2014 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  10. bob

    WOW GOP looking really desperate – this was not a good strategy in the 1990's – he won reelection and it make Hillary more likable as well

    May 6, 2014 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  11. 54

    Ok we get it... the GOP paid you to start some sh*t cuz of Hilary in 2016... We dont care.. just go back to disappearing please... thanks...

    May 6, 2014 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  12. MB

    Breaking silence?????? She testified for days 20 years ago -now she is just bragging because in 20 years she has done nothing else she takes note of-this slease should not hurt Hillary -who kept her family together knowing little slease lgirls come out of the wood work to lure the rich and powerful

    May 6, 2014 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  13. peterbanks

    Last resort of scoundrels reps to push next nomination down in next presidential bid.

    May 6, 2014 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  14. HenryMason

    Time to cash in before its to late.

    May 6, 2014 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  15. Cass

    CNN–shame on you for making this trash your headline and not focusing on the kidnappings in Nigeria. At some point your integrity as journalists needs to outweigh your need for profits and click through rates.

    May 6, 2014 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  16. Please curb your liberal dogs

    Why all the dumping on Monica? She was the VICTIM in this. Oh wait, it tarnishes Bill's legacy and opens up old wounds. Well isn't that just too bad?! Maybe Bill should have thought about that before he got himself into this life long mess. It is known as your reputation.

    May 6, 2014 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  17. Diane Selmi

    No one cares that Clinton had an affair. The lying did him in as it did Martha Stewart. That is what people should be concerned about.

    May 6, 2014 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  18. ChrisM

    Sorry Monica, you were considered a slut then and you are still considered that. You just want the money now!!

    May 6, 2014 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  19. Lardoggy

    Hot topic of the day from CNN, Monica,that's the best you can come up with????????????Back to fox and msn.

    May 6, 2014 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  20. no mas

    DANGIT!!! I was hoping to get an update on the plane!

    May 6, 2014 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  21. Lynda/Minnesota

    This is news?

    Well, no.

    THIS is CNN.

    May 6, 2014 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  22. Jez

    She's broke and is hoping to emulate the Kardashian's success. Too bad she missed the reality show train.

    May 6, 2014 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Who cares, Lewinsky needs to crawl back under her rock.

    May 6, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  24. bob

    This is just the same as the GOP yelling "squirrel" or "Benghazi" to their lap dogs –

    May 6, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  25. Dave

    To use Hillary's own words – "What difference does it make now". This was never news, but Bengazi is.

    May 6, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
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