May 6th, 2014
11:38 AM ET
5 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. John

    The GOP isn't behind this. This whole story really made Bill Clinton a legend. Monica is just broke. And yes, its a non-story these days

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

    truth be told the Clintons wish tobecome king and queen of America is well know from former research they should never be voted in to power

    May 6, 2014 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  3. MMM

    Well, while this is history, it does not change the fact that a sitting POTUS took advantage of a young intern and it distracted him from doing his job. Many US Embassy world bombings, WTC bombings, USS Cole bombing happened under Clinton's watch, but he was highly distracted by having his chicken choked.

    May 6, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  4. otontisch

    So, Monica:

    Until now, you were considered as a then immature young woman infatuated by a President. Now, you appear to be a GREEDY female, claiming payment for your sexual services. There is a name for such

    May 6, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  5. northerstar

    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 could have picked the last election when Hlilary was actually running for something to release a book. Few can blame her for responding to what came out in February about Hillary's comment. Of course it wasn't Bill's fault or Hillary's; it was some 24 year old intern who did it all to poor Bill. Hillary has been as enabler of Bill's affairs since he was Gov. For Hillary it is better for it to come out now rather than when she finally announces. All the air will have gone out of the balloon. The GOP should have paid Monica to delay her story.

    May 6, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  6. Anonymous

    It is called "Cheap shot".

    May 6, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  7. Ben Ghazi

    Nothing will stop my presidential run. BEN GHAZI 2016!!!!

    May 6, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  8. capnmike

    I doubt the Clintons Paid her off...more likely the RNC paid her off in the first place. Why would she have kept the dress for 2 years if it was not part of a scheme to discredit Clinton?

    May 6, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  9. Jim Jimson

    Lewensky's 15 minutes were up 10 years ago.

    Time for her to dry clean the blue dress already.

    May 6, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  10. john

    She finally comes clean, after the Senate initiated impeachment preceedings. Why did she not come forward then ? To protect someone ? But lying is bad, and the truth and justice was hurt. We all know what happened, and yet no one was willing to do the right thing, including Monica. She came out straight , but 16 years too late. Should have been honest in the beginning, and I would be more respectful of her.

    May 6, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  11. rosie

    Oh common MOnica................. You wanted an adventure and you got it. Now, just leave Bill Clinton and his wife alone. You are nothing but a flirting woman who wanted some headlines. But you went down to history as the infamous cheap trash that tried to ruin the President. I feel so sorry for you.

    May 6, 2014 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  12. iceload

    This woman was 24 years old with the weight of the press and white house about to fall on her. Amazing courage, she didn't take the easy way and blame everything on Bill. She also didn't let them blame her for everything.

    May 6, 2014 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  13. Gyrogearloose

    I thought at the time, and still do now, that Clinton got off easy. When the President has an affair with a young staffer, his position of power and authority becomes a big part of the relationship. This is sexual abuse. Period.

    May 6, 2014 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  14. Karaya

    Ran out of money?

    May 6, 2014 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  15. Tom Bukowski

    As Lewis Black said.....the people upset about this were the ones who didn't get one.

    May 6, 2014 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    It was 20 years ago. Get over it people!!!!!!

    May 6, 2014 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  17. jane steinhauer

    Vanity Fair wants to sell magazines....

    May 6, 2014 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  18. Lorelei

    although i am not a big fan, i would like to hear what she has to say before jumping to conclusions, eh?

    May 6, 2014 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  19. Monica L.

    Hello all.
    Now that 2016 elections are getting close, my book will be best seller, I know.
    Watch out, Mrs Clinton, here I come again.

    May 6, 2014 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  20. victoria

    All the liberals posters should be ashamed, talk about a war on women, she speaks for the first time, she basically saved his ahs by not telling, the man was/is a predator, she was 24 and he was what 60? Shameful. hellary was an enabler, the man had so many mistresses and then both Clintons went after them, trashed them, and he was even accused of rape. It's liberals war on women. You should all care, particularly if you have Daughters.

    May 6, 2014 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  21. Old news

    Wow. I had no idea that this happened. /sarcasm

    May 6, 2014 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  22. sabrina

    I didn't even read the article. I only came on here to say... "No one cares!"

    May 6, 2014 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  23. jeff

    She has certainly aged very well. I'll give her that which is all I consider.

    May 6, 2014 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  24. Really??

    This is not breaking news CNN! It's probably true that Lewinsky is broke and that the timing for the GOP is spot on! Get a real life girl!!

    May 6, 2014 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  25. barryinlasvegas

    I know, I know, the republicans gave her #1 million dollars to get this out so it would hurt Hilary's chances of getting the nomination.

    May 6, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
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