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. thomas

    People are always curious about something, but they always put their profits on the top priority.

    May 6, 2014 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  2. Stefon

    Either the mondey or the non-disclosure agreement ran out.

    May 6, 2014 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  3. Bill

    I know another way she can earn some cash, ha....

    May 6, 2014 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  4. DH

    Very broke and of course if Hillary runs more repub bs.

    May 6, 2014 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  5. TM

    Maybe this will help Faux News take a break from Benghazi.

    May 6, 2014 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  6. Michael Means

    Ah yes, the Republican inquiry and chase of Bill Clinton. Oddly enough, the "liberal media" never really pushed the fact that Gingrich was seeking impeachment and acting above reproach while doing the exact same thing...and went on to do even worse. The good ole days

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

    ...and the vast right-wing conspiracy continues.

    May 6, 2014 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  8. Jo

    How funny to let Clinton off the hook and blame the women. If not for that blue dress she might have ended up like Ron Brown. Scorched earth is the Clinton way.

    May 6, 2014 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  9. Denise

    She kept the blue dress with semen on it. Why would she do that if not to keep evidence?

    May 6, 2014 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  10. Bill from GA

    " Any ‘abuse’ came in the aftermath, when I was made a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful position "

    Actually, you were used as a scapegoat to DESTROY his powerful position. By the repubs.

    May 6, 2014 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  11. Jodina

    Someone blamed the GOP for Lewinsky doing this, but for some reason – I think Lewinsky is doing this to get back at Hillary for calling her narcissistic and loony. Not everything is political.

    May 6, 2014 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  12. John James

    I agree 100% that time has came and gone. The new generation don't even know Monica Lewinsky, and nobody cares, its over!!!

    May 6, 2014 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  13. Alan

    I wonder how much the Koch Brothers, or other wealthy Republicans have paid her to pop up now during a time when Republicans have already tried to use this as dirt on Hillary "just in case" she runs for President. It's really scraping the bottom of the barrel since Hillary has been nothing but loyal to Bill and gracious since the whole episode happened, way, way, way back in "history".

    May 6, 2014 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  14. Lawrence Marks

    She is obviously nostalgic about her fellatory past and secretly yearns to repeat it.

    May 6, 2014 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  15. whoCares?

    No one cares any more until she is also doing the current president.... Obama.

    May 6, 2014 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  16. ss

    I need money. I write book at opportune time.

    May 6, 2014 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  17. Adam

    What Republican funded this smear campaign? I'll give you a hint.. it rhymes with "smush".

    May 6, 2014 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  18. Richie

    I can't blame bill. What would any man would want to be with that evil hag we call Hilary"

    May 6, 2014 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  19. BrianGeorge

    Zzzzzzz.....Did someone slam the back door? No one cares -

    May 6, 2014 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  20. Illinois

    She must be broke. She spent all the money she got back then and now she wants more. Please go to work, who cares what happened so many years ago. Move on!! Be creative. Find other ways to make money

    May 6, 2014 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  21. Chris Salzmann

    What she's writing about happened over 15 years ago. I would rather have a President that got a B J every morning from interns but who's policies helped this country to full employment with well paying jobs and keeps us out of wars we can't win or don't care about. Give me that and I won't care if the President sleeps with a 100 interns before the end of his first year.

    May 6, 2014 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  22. Anonymous

    if you don't care, then why are you here?

    May 6, 2014 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  23. No suprise

    Translation: It's time for momma to cash in.

    May 6, 2014 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  24. BrianGeorge

    Old material – Did someone slam the back door? Find that no one cares

    May 6, 2014 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  25. Under Your Skin

    I hope this props Hillary up and seals her spot as the Dem candidate for president. She will be so easy to beat in an election. The GOP is hoping and praying she gets the nod for this very reason. Funny for Hillary (the pot) to call someone else (the kettle) a narcissist.

    May 6, 2014 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
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