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. BIg Whop De Do

    Wow.. big breaking news..

    Tell us something we didn't know?

    So a new book out for the 49 year old? Lifetime movie? Ad ult Film?

    Maybe she is going to do an anti smo king commercial on the potentials of getting canc er in your yoo-hoo for putting Ci gars?

    May 6, 2014 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  2. Rob

    Gee she is writing a book. I think she is definitely using the whole terrible issue for her own benefit.

    May 6, 2014 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  3. lastingfriend

    Would Fox use this to try and drive away women voters from Hillary when she runs? Or would they bring back Clinton-Lewinski scandal back to forefront in their coverage, to try and drive voters away from Hillary? Or would they keep quiet and not let this become a reason for sympathy vote for Hillary. But I bet Limbaugh and Beck and others not connected with Fox may have their own strategy to leverage this.

    May 6, 2014 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  4. James

    Does it really matter any more? Is she that desperate for attention? Let's focus on current events as news.

    May 6, 2014 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Just wait and watch how rich he (Obama) will become once he leaves office
    Oh John we most certainly hope so.
    We hope he rolls, and rolls in it, he deserves it.
    History will judge President Obama quite kindly and objectively so long as the history books are not revised by foul Republicans.
    He will indeed be remembered as one of the best if the not the best President this country has ever seen, and credited with everything he's done to put our nation, his nation, back to rights domestically and internationally, including but not limited to Obamacare, after the reign of terror of one of the worst if not the worst President next to Reagan this country has ever had to suffer.
    Have a nice day.

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

    This is the same old story down through the ages. Rich powerful man seduces a young woman, and when found out makes a joke before his public of his little romp with a person below his status. I just wish this young woman and others like her would use their heads, and walk away before they can be used.

    May 6, 2014 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  7. Eagle6421

    Hillary blames the woman. What say the feminists? Chirp, chirp, chirp!

    May 6, 2014 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  8. Seriously

    Getting any potential dirt from under the Clinton Rug now, before Hillary announces her Presidential Bid

    May 6, 2014 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  9. Keith

    I would rather listen to Lewinsky than Palin

    May 6, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  10. queeniee

    Go back into the hole where you came from..this is old crap..nobody cares, but the Republicans. How dare you address Mrs. Clinton! She had every right to say what she thought she needed to say. fat cow

    May 6, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  11. JD

    uh, I heard nothing here I hadn't heard before. Interesting timing to cash in Monica...

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

    We need a special committee to investigate this. Pronto, someone call John Boehner.

    May 6, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |

    Cold coffee – Monica should have cashed in when it was hot.

    May 6, 2014 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |

    If she is wanting to bury the incident, why did she put it back on the front page? This is as political as it can get.

    May 6, 2014 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  15. realnewsdog7

    This whole story should end. It's not news, and there probably are less sensational and more newsworthy activities to report on.

    May 6, 2014 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  16. Super Tex

    To sum it all up in one word........................icky !!!!!!

    May 6, 2014 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  17. Harry

    The first thing that popped into my head was "Why now?". Then it be came clear that the Republicans must be behind this to tarnish Hillary Clinton's reputation that would make some think twice about her as President. I wonder how much Monica Lewinsky is getting to bring this up again. I'm not talking about anything that she may receive from Vanity Fair. Why did they feel it was important to mention that she attended an economics university for a degree in psychology?

    May 6, 2014 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  18. KS

    Honesty, I don't think this woman is in her right mind and frankly, she is just seeking attention. So what, President Clinton had an affair. Many people do. He apologized. He moved on. I still like him and think he did a great job at presidency. And I think he handled the situation very well. I just don't like this woman at all and wonder what her motives are.

    May 6, 2014 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  19. Liza

    Nobody cares about you Monica. Nobody feels bad for you. You had an affire with the President of the United States and nobody feels bad for the fallout you experienced.

    May 6, 2014 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  20. Uthor

    It's an interesting but inconsequential footnote to history. Clinton's impeachment for his extramarital affair with Lewinsky will remain more interesting for the political motives involved, rather than for the affair itself. Impeachment is intended to punish "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors," none of which would seem to cover Clinton's activities, however immoral or unethical they might be considered.

    However, in the current "Obama-hating" climate, it's easy to forget that the GOP was also on constant lookout during those days for any way possible to derail Bill Clinton. Rather than bring criticism of real consequence, and rather than offering viable alternatives and solutions to practical problems, the Republican party relies only on character assassination, and weak ad hominem arguments.

    And that is why many educated people have great disdain for the GOP. It's also why we laugh heartily each time one of the false moral-high-ground, holier-than-thou, stuffed-shirt Republicans is revealed to be unethical, immoral, and often, even worse in character. It happens again and again.

    Republicans will gladly forgive the sins of their own. Witness Mark Sanford. It's highly amusing to watch.

    May 6, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  21. Tiger82

    Armed with a Master's, Lewinsky mistakenly thought writing for Vanity Fair was the same as defending her doctoral thesis.

    May 6, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  22. Old_Hippie

    Why is anyone paying this woman and putting her back in the spotlight....forget her better still.

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

    Sure, Monica is looking for a little publicity and maybe a lucrative book deal (we all are working for the Benjamins), and Clinton was a schmuck for being so weak as to seduce this less-than-potential girl, but remember one thing 'pubs:

    No one died when Clinton lied.

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

    Monica thinks she was the scapegoat in this whole thing? Oh, brother. No, Monica, you were one of two people who used incredibly bad judgment in a professional setting. My issue with you is that you are the one who tried to profit from it. You couldn't keep your clandestine affair private, you wanted the lime light, you tried to launch a line of handbags using your media attention. Here we are again, you hogging the spotlight for being a dingbat. I wonder just how many millions of taxpayer dollars your indiscretion cost, not to mention grinding our government to a halt while the Republicans tried to torpedo another Democratic president. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    May 6, 2014 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  25. PushingBack

    I care not if you are republican or a democrat, what happened between them was their business, along with Hillary's of course. I hold her just as accountable as Clinton – she knew he was married!

    May 6, 2014 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
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