May 6th, 2014
11:38 AM ET
6 months 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. Yes It's Not

    She's just lucky that Bill didn't have a "friend" pay her a visit like Kennedy did with Monroe. I wonder if Bill regrets that decision?

    May 6, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  2. ELSIE GANZON

    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 |
    = = =

    G A R F I E L D isn't available.

    May 6, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  3. ChrisM

    Republicans, do you really think this will work this time when it Did Not work 20 years ago. Monica was considered a tramp then and she still is.

    May 6, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  4. Smiley

    Who Cares. It was 16 years ago. You must be desperate for a something to write about. If you stop giving her
    press maybe she will finally go away. I did not read nor do I want to read the story. Give it up CNN . There are more important things to write about than someone who could have said no but didn't.

    May 6, 2014 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  5. ELSIE GANZON

    Yes It's Not

    She's just lucky that Bill didn't have a "friend" pay her a visit like Kennedy did with Monroe. I wonder if Bill regrets that decision?
    May 6, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |

    = = =

    OR VINCENT FOSTER

    May 6, 2014 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  6. Pat

    Gee, she was only 24 years old when it happened and the most powerful man on earth was giving her lots of attention. How many women would have done the same thing? However, look what it's done to her life. She still can't get a job and how many guys are going to run home with the good news "Mom, I'm engaged to Monica Lewinsky. Remember her?"

    May 6, 2014 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  7. Grumpster

    Madam Tussaud's should have her in wax with that blue dress on her knees in the oval office.

    May 6, 2014 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  8. cynthia harris

    Here we go again. She haven't buried the blue dress yet! It been 10 YEARS. She said the affair was between two consenting adults, so why is she acting like a victim ? Does she miss the spotlight ? Move on already!

    May 6, 2014 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  9. Glenn

    Looking at all the hateful posts against Monica it makes you wonder who is waging the war on women.

    May 6, 2014 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  10. Glenn

    Looking at all the h8ful posts against Monica it makes you wonder who is waging the war on women.

    May 6, 2014 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  11. Andres A

    It was wrong and is old news, but I can't get over the fact that people side with Lewisnky. she was 24 years old, not 18. She knew where she was and what she was doing unless she has some sort of mental illness or disorder. A respectful young woman would not do what she did and that labels her as promiscuous. It does not matter if it was Clinton, the pope, or some all powerful overlord. It was consensual aka she wanted to do it and knew he was the president, as well as married men. STOP defending her like she is some innocent flower that was misled by the big bad wolf or feared for her life. This is America – you can get someone convicted for rape that never occurred if you feel it and are unethical.

    Wake up America.

    May 6, 2014 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  12. Jim

    "In a typical example of liberal logic, many comments here blaming Fox News"

    No they're not you worthless tea bag. Put your straw man back in the shed.

    May 6, 2014 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  13. kamarasune

    Sorry but all the washing in the world is not going to clean up the Clinton's folks

    May 6, 2014 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  14. RachaelA

    Hillary deserves no pity. She stayed with the man because of her objectives in politics. Bill deserves no pity – he cheated on his wife and it wasn't the first time either. Monica deserves not pity as she knew Bill was married and went for it anyway. So this isn't political. it's just sad. But it happened so she has a right to speak out on it. And this should remind all that Bill Clinton AND Hillary did lie to the public to keep power and that was the bottom line of why people cared. Nixon lied and paid a big price. But the Clintons are celebrities so they got a pass. Reminds me of another (our current) president who will lie to us to keep power....it's a nasty cycle!

    May 6, 2014 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  15. Christine

    The relationship between Monica and Bill Clinton was private and should have stayed that way. I never blamed Monica between she's not the one who exposed the relationship. it was another woman who did that. Perhaps it's good that this comes out again now because there are 2 1/2 years until the next Presidential election.

    May 6, 2014 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  16. DP1

    Alright people, Let the medias know that we are not in for this king of news; these are worthless news.

    May 6, 2014 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  17. Bee Southern

    She is obviously really down on her luck and is looking for some cash. She should have published this book before...too late now to be of much interest.

    May 6, 2014 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  18. me and my shadow

    Who do we think is paying her off to come back into light now? She is definitely making money off this one. What a shame people think they must go to win an election. Shame on you.............

    May 6, 2014 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  19. J

    With Hilary likely to run for president, this old " buried" issue is going to be back in media and Lewinsky is just getting her story out now ahead of everyone else. Sounds brilliant to me.

    May 6, 2014 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  20. Does that come in epub format?

    I guess her ghost writer is almost finished the book.

    May 6, 2014 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  21. Batman

    She's just looking for a payday.

    May 6, 2014 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  22. Willie Nailer

    "You have no idea how little I care" about Bill and Monica.

    May 6, 2014 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  23. rad666

    Book be out in time for 2016 election?

    May 6, 2014 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  24. shelly

    I'd like to add that the sky is blue.

    May 6, 2014 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  25. myuntidydesk

    No one is talking about it anymore, Monica... only you. Shut up already.

    May 6, 2014 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
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