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. Gurgyl

    No one is caring this bs.

    May 6, 2014 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  2. CaCoast

    Must be a really slow news day. Who cares.

    May 6, 2014 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  3. P Michael Merana

    She was having a cream filled do nut when it hit her, the dress, I need to call the media to remind them that I will bury the blue with white streak dress, for good. Now that should remind Bill too if he was watching the news.

    May 6, 2014 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  4. yeahright

    Yes, the Repubs have their own problems, but in
    60 years I have never seen such Hubris from one party.

    Ceswho, apparently you slept through most of the 2000's.

    May 6, 2014 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  5. rose

    why dig this up now. is it because mrs. Clinton is now on the news, and may run for president. sounds like sour grapes to me. I don't know if I would call what she had as an affair. she thought bill would fall for her and ditch his wife. silly little twit.

    May 6, 2014 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  6. Silence DoGood

    Why is anyone paying this woman and putting her back in the spotlight....forget her better still.
    Follow the money! I bet there is a Koch signature on some check.
    And yes this is a total baseless guess on my part.

    May 6, 2014 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  7. Sam

    Publicity stunt for the magazine. She needs to make money too.

    May 6, 2014 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  8. brownbuttonglutton

    Except for the 4 dead Americans.

    May 6, 2014 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  9. Zina Ciceklic

    Women always morally loaded, compared to men who no matter how banal and outrageous as in this case, is not burdened by contrast is even macho

    May 6, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  10. Sam

    She looks great, Now president Clinton can give her a call without worrying about impeachment.

    May 6, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  11. Denise

    Bill's only crime was his taste in women. At least Jack and Bobby went up the food chain with Marilyn Monroe. Dave Chapelle was hilarious back in his stand up days when he talked about this. At the dinner table when Monica was a little girl, her parents had no idea when they told her to 'now get out there and be somebody.' Think about it, she was the most famous ____ ______ of all time!

    May 6, 2014 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  12. Stefen

    Although it was consensual, it was still boorish for Clinton to take advantage of an impressionable intern and ruin her reputation for his own pleasure. She is right to revisit her past, bury it in full public visibility, and use it as a launchpad into the future. People thought of her as yet another bimbo (like Marilyn Monroe) and tend to take Clinton's moral transgression lightly (because he's powerful?). She has proved she's no bimbo by obtaining a masters degree in social psychology at the London School of Economics.

    May 6, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  13. Rick Dunn

    As a president we all wish he was back! As a human being, well he has a weakness for women, how many women while married did have? Sad that was part of his legacy but it was his choice. As for Monica timing will make her a few bucks but remember He was the govenouer and President and in bad judgement hillary has choose power over morals

    May 6, 2014 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  14. JLW

    I was so expecting to see "this msg was approved by the Republican National Convention 2016" disclaimer at the end of the article. Really the timming and true motive of this non-story couldnt be more obvious if it wore a sandwich board with a picture of Hillary with a circle and line drawn through it.

    May 6, 2014 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  15. Gurgyl

    -GOP is pretty much gone to dogs for fifty years or so, tricks of this type fail.

    May 6, 2014 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  16. Name Emeka

    A gold digger

    May 6, 2014 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  17. 2_indy1600

    Funny how dems want people to forget the past, but won't lay down their bags and bags of blame for anything Republican. I was seriously considering voting dem again, but if you run the Clinton tag-team it's a big no. You have to be over 40 to even begin to understand what these two did to the country. Both are meglamaniacal, but you can't find that out on the internet anymore, because they've been busy scrubbing it. Stand by your bad grandpa.

    May 6, 2014 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  18. Anonymous


    May 6, 2014 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  19. Bill from GA

    If the number of comments on this article are any indication, there is MUCH interest in Monica, and her book will sell like Iced Tea in a Georgia Summer.

    And so many comments are, essentially: "Who Cares?". Is Monica the new palinator? The one we have to tell all how much we want to ignore?

    May 6, 2014 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  20. Bill from GA

    So, I'm wondering, will The Dress make it to the Smithsonian? And, will it be cleaned first?
    History, you know.

    May 6, 2014 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  21. JoJoDurango

    A much simpler time.. Republicans expended all their energy attacking the president.. Oh wait, nothing much has changed!

    May 6, 2014 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  22. Bill from GA

    This Lewinski story ties in to the Climate Change story.

    if Wild Bill hadn't ... Lewinski, Al Gore would probably have won the Presidency on a Mandate of Climate Change, and we would likely be well on the way to reducing Carbon Emissions, or at least growth of Carbon Emissions. So when the world goes belly-up as a place fit for human habitation, blame Monica. And Bill.

    May 6, 2014 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  23. Stefen

    Lewinsky wrote, "I find her impulse to blame the Woman – not only me, but herself – troubling.” Great insight from a social psychology graduate. It is normal, but unfortunate, for the very rich to regard the common person as expendable, which is why Hilary blamed Lewinsky more than her husband. But the fact that Hilary also blamed herself is surprising considering that even if she neglected him because political activity took away their time together, it was no excuse for Bill to cavort with various women. Perhaps Hilary was the loony one.

    May 6, 2014 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  24. just saying

    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.

    by democrats and obama's own standards she was a child eligible to be kept on her parents healthcare plan.

    May 6, 2014 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  25. CryBabies

    "The Koch brothers are falling, The Koch brothers are falling." Those nasty boys are behind this!!!!

    May 6, 2014 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
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