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. Ace

    Not loony, but who saves a stained dress?

    May 6, 2014 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  2. KC Yankee

    The only important phrase in this article is "other people's futures." If this material were going to be of any use at all, and I doubt that it would be, the Republicans should have saved it until closer to 2016 or at least until Hillary declares she's running. Oh my god, do we want our president to be a woman who let her husband get away with having an affair?

    May 6, 2014 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  3. Anonymous

    Where or how did Lewinsky come by enough money to go abroad and go to school for so long?

    May 6, 2014 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  4. EddyL

    ""I, myself, deeply regret what happened between me and President Clinton. "

    Too bad she didn't learn proper English.....

    May 6, 2014 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  5. WhatsamattaU

    The GOP must be paying her a ton to dish. Big gamble, though. Who actually cares what this silly cow has to say?

    May 6, 2014 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  6. Doug

    "Monica Lewinsky breaks silence on affair with former President Bill Clinton. "

    She breaks her silence again?

    May 6, 2014 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  7. Chris

    Someone must need money. Who gives a darn....

    May 6, 2014 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  8. Lori

    It's a shame that this woman's only claim to fame is that she had an affair with a married man; regardless of that man's status.

    May 6, 2014 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  9. it must be said

    Maybe she can team up with the 10-20 other Bill Clinton victims and they can go on a cross country speaking tour to speak out against the Democrat War on Woman?

    May 6, 2014 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  10. flojo

    What Monica is saying is that SHE has regrets...notice that we've never heard the sleeeze clinton say he was sorry...nope, better that he ride into the sunset as the hero and star of the democrat party. How appropriate! He leaves behind this sullied, shameful legacy whether he likes it or not. Now the clinton's expect us to put our morals aside and let bill turn the WH into his playpen again? I don't think so! For clinton and those who think this wasn't an awful thing, think about this...the current prez's kid is only 5 yrs younger than Monica was at the time...
    I think when bill clinton has a granddaughter is when what he did will finally hit him.....what if another president comes along and....well, you get it. Not so funny now, is it?

    May 6, 2014 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  11. nellibly

    "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."

    Must be out of money.

    May 6, 2014 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  12. Jim

    What difference, at this point, does it make?

    May 6, 2014 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  13. thomas

    This information is released because the Rep Party wants to destroy Mrs. Clinton for running the president election in 2016, but I don't think this will affect much to Mrs. Clinton's reputation or her voters.

    May 6, 2014 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  14. bob

    So she smoked a cigar? The real question is did she inhale?

    May 6, 2014 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  15. Stargazer Gyab

    It is hard to forge the good old days!! Just because the secret leaked I wonder how many more Clinton had???

    May 6, 2014 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  16. Veracity

    I wonder what stands out most in her memory about Bill...........................

    May 6, 2014 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  17. Who Cares

    This is so irrelevant and so pathetic on her part. Get a grip and move on like the rest of the world did, years ago.

    May 6, 2014 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  18. KS

    OK how many times is she going to "break the silence"??? Enough already, Monica. Move on. Get a life, sans Clinton.

    May 6, 2014 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  19. Brian from DC

    Breaking her silence?? When has she ever been silent?

    May 6, 2014 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  20. Bill from GA

    Maybe Monica should run for President. She got her fame by association with Bill Clinton, just like Hillary. Oh, first she needs to become Senator from a state where she didn't live. Again, association with Bill Clinton. Worked before.

    May 6, 2014 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  21. Alfred

    everyone says " no one cares " but each one of you clicked on the article LOL

    May 6, 2014 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  22. Sniffit

    "Funny timing on Monica's behalf, what GOP'er is behind this?"

    Well, let's go with what we do know: she loves Koch. So, ummm, yeah, there's that. Oh and Benghazi Benghazi Benghazi also too.

    May 6, 2014 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  23. Linnea

    CNN, why is this "Breaking News"? No one cares about this anymore. Some of us never did... whatever happened, it was between two consenting adults and never should have been the basis for impeachment proceedings!

    May 6, 2014 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  24. sunshine4848

    You don't have to be smarter then a 5th grader to know they would do or say ANYTHING to protect their POWER ..

    NO Matter who the Clinton's hurt they are about NO one but themselves !!!

    May 6, 2014 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  25. Anonymous

    What a joke she is!!!!!

    May 6, 2014 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21