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. Kathy

    Monica give it a break. Are you angry that your name is almost forgotten? I said it back then and I'll say it again. You knew exactly what you were doing or why else would you have kept the dress. You give women a bad name.

    May 6, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  2. Tiger82

    So, hard up for money again, is she?

    May 6, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  3. DD

    Really, we are back to this? It matters, why? I would care, why? Is this the GOP trying something stupid...again...because they think Hillary is running in 2016? And, again, it matters, why? Monica, get a life. Don't remind us that you mess around with married men.

    May 6, 2014 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    I guess she must want her 15 minutes of fame again. Like we have not heard enough from this whatever.

    May 6, 2014 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  5. steve4arleen

    what a vicious, ugly woman........I don't care what she did to Bill; but I do care what she has done to Hillary. Monica: no heart, all c-.

    May 6, 2014 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  6. Gabbo

    Hillary Clinton's WAR ON WOMEN ???? ! Finally, some truth comes out here !

    May 6, 2014 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  7. Janice Carrol

    She is just trying to make some cash. This woman is a waste. I guess her masters degree didn't end up with employment.

    May 6, 2014 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  8. Bookldy209

    It was consensual and you both have regrets. In other news...

    May 6, 2014 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  9. More Democratic Liars

    Hillary is a ba11 buster – not suitable for anything other than castrating hogs in Kansas. I actually don't blame her, it looks like Bill thought she wasn't good for anything either.....

    May 6, 2014 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  10. guest

    Where's the part where "I gave him a handy" and "He carried me to the bedroom with a grip reserved for lovers and bowling balls"

    May 6, 2014 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  11. JasonKone

    I still think the most shocking part of this story 16 years later is the fact that the most powerful man in the world, charismatic by all accounts and relatively decent looking, in the most powerful position in the US and possibly the world (which we know is probably the #1 aphrodisiac out there to most women), and he has an affairs with human MEG GRIFFIN! I mean I know as a busy professional guy that sometimes when you're in need it's just about convenience and a willing partner but not only does Lewinsky look like Meg Griffin but she is absurdly obnoxious. They do say that women with Borderline Personality Disorder though are infatuated with male Sociopaths though and vice versa – something to think about here.

    May 6, 2014 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  12. davezs1

    "Sure, Clinton 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.Clinton the sleaze and Hillary his pimp

    May 6, 2014 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  13. pop

    Did you know Sally Hammings as Censored in American History Books?

    Not many Americans heard of Sally Hammings.

    May 6, 2014 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  14. Embarressed Republican

    She took it in the face, didn't she?

    May 6, 2014 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  15. steve4arleen

    what a vicious, ugly woman.....I don't care what she did with Bill; I care what she has done to Hillary...Monica: no heart; all c--.

    May 6, 2014 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  16. JakeF

    Just let it go. The overwhelming majority of us simply don't care. We didn't care then and we care even less now.

    May 6, 2014 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |

    – P E O P L E . . . . P L E A S E . . . on occasion let's do try to be POLITE she's just a damsel in distress Vying for Attention now the very least we could do is offer our sincerest condolences . . .

    May 6, 2014 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  18. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    What I find astounding is the people that referred to her as a young girl but many of those same people referred to TM, who was a 17 year old child, was considered a man.

    May 6, 2014 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  19. JenniferJustice

    She called herself courageous – which I'm sorry to inform, is something only a narcissist would say about themselves. Good grief!

    May 6, 2014 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  20. myway

    It seems Lewinsky's schooling in social psychology catapulted her past Hilary when it comes to cleaning residual effects on her thinking. She has a good grip on her own contribution to the affair and is unapologetic as she should be. Of course it was foolish of her getting involved with a married president at his residence, but she can't take that back, neither can the president. Given that, she's evolved very well.

    May 6, 2014 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  21. R Thomas Berner

    If it was between two consenting adults, why did she tell anyone? The real loony toon was that woman she confided in.

    May 6, 2014 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  22. dejayy

    Why is this the headline article? There must not be anything important going on in the world today...

    May 6, 2014 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  23. Dan

    This woman single handedly ruined this man's career and personal life. Bill Clinton is, and will always be one of America's finest presidents in my opinion. Sure, he made mistakes, no one man is perfect. But he held his ground, and did good for the common good of every U.S citizen. Jobs grew, the country grew, better I might add.

    Unfortunately I cannot say the same praise for his harpy of a wife.

    May 6, 2014 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  24. Alicia Leal

    Hahah who cares about her now, time to move on

    May 6, 2014 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |


    Not loony, but who saves a stained dress?
    May 6, 2014 11:52 am at 11:52 am |

    = = =

    clear as mud to me if you'll recall it was her The Weekly Standard

    May 6, 2014 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
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