May 6th, 2014
11:38 AM ET
5 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. Jack Frost

    I wonder how much the Republicans paid her to come out the woodwork...

    May 6, 2014 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  2. sofork

    I bet old Benghazi Hillary will say "what difference does it matter at this point" that her husband had the affair. Bill is probably on the prowl again anyway.

    May 6, 2014 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    Oh,oh! You can definitely tell that the Election is coming because Monica has surfaced again after her pocketbook has been stuffed with $$$$ from the Koch Brothers to fight Hillary in 2016. The Problem now is why is CNN fronting this ridiculously dead Story and wasting our time. Monica Lewinsky is broke and needs money so this is the right time for the story to resurface. This time We are not buying into the Distraction.

    May 6, 2014 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  4. jb

    Hey, is she can make a dollar off of the Clinton name, then go for it; that the name of the game – politics, publicity, and profit

    May 6, 2014 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  5. it must be said

    All I can say is I hope Monica has very good round the clock security. Hillary has shown how far she is willing to go to protect herself and her man. Heck, she even lies to the families of 4 dead Americans to save herself. There is no limit to how low she will go.

    May 6, 2014 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  6. jamie

    Breaking news!!! She finally breaks her silence!! Sorry folks, but this happened 20 years ago, and every few months since then she has broken her silence about it, so nothing to see here, run along.

    May 6, 2014 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  7. cynic

    old feelings??

    May 6, 2014 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  8. Scott

    Well, it must be news of some kind....you read it...and even feel compelled to comment on it.

    May 6, 2014 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  9. How big a problem was it, really?

    The Clinton-Lewinsky scandal looks like peanuts compared to the last 16 years......war crimes, invisible WMDs, torture, over 4400 dead soldiers, wall street scandals, depression, excessive welfare to big business, and the poor growing poorer every day so the 1% can grow richer.

    May 6, 2014 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  10. I AM

    Wonder how much the Koch brothers paid her to bring this up now ?

    May 6, 2014 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  11. ChrisM

    Monica still looking for that big pay out like 20 years ago. Sorry, repuks, it did not work then and it wont work now

    May 6, 2014 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  12. Miriam

    Oh brother.... I guess she needs money! that master's degree not working for her?

    May 6, 2014 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  13. Anastasia Beaverhausen

    This is all about Hillary. Wonder how much Monica was paid for this.

    May 6, 2014 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  14. Wichita

    It takes two, but her "boss didn't take advantage" of her. If memory serves, the affair began shortly after she showed him her thong underwear.

    May 6, 2014 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  15. chrisminich

    There were no scruples then and obviously none have been gained since. UGH

    May 6, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  16. BRB

    She has always had the "crazy" look.

    May 6, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  17. Bren

    She dug it back up to make a quick buck. I hope no one buys the book, what a waste of money. And I don't believe he "took advantage" of her. She knew what she was doing and encouraged it.

    May 6, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  18. 2_indy1600

    If you started now, you would still not have Clinton's dirty laundry cleaned up in time for Hillary 2016. Amazing how low dems are willing to go to protect the Queen Bee. Someone needs to tell her to hire protection so she doesn't end up dead like some of the others, like Suzanne Coleman. Bad grandpa is bad news, and shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the Oval. The fact that the Mrs. persued politics of personal destruction on all these victims is just another reason not to elect her.

    May 6, 2014 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  19. joe

    not even going to read this. I am just assuming her publicist paid CNN to get her on the front page to prep for a book or some other products.

    May 6, 2014 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  20. ELSIE GANZON

    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 |

    = = =
    in error you misspelled that its GO GARFIELD GO 2016

    May 6, 2014 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  21. Gunderson

    Good Lord, Just when you think this sucker is buried !!!

    May 6, 2014 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  22. Englewood Eagle 67

    After all this time, she decides to speak - give us a break !!! She didn't have any shame or remorse when she was doing it, and obviously none now. This break in silence is an attempt to sell a magazine & book; & to serve as a distraction if Hillary decides to run for President. I hope the Clinton's, especially Hillary, do not let themselves become drawn into a useless dialogue that serves no practical purpose. It's best to forgive and forget.

    May 6, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  23. Crocker

    Wondered when she would surface again..... guess money is running low...

    May 6, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  24. jacknyd

    All this and Hillary never divorced him. What people will do for money.

    May 6, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  25. Paul

    Who is kidding who? This jilted lover is out for one thing only, – to profit off a big mistake they both made. Maybe Bill should write a book about what a lousy lover she was and how his cigars smelled like fish, when they were done.

    May 6, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
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