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. kcmark

    Funny how those who posted that no one cares actually cared enough to post. Regarding the Clintons, they too are old news. President Obama is the star of the Democratic party, and future candidate will not need Bill to stump for them anymore. President Obama will become to Progressives what President Reagan is to Conservatives; the measuring stick by which all future candidates are measured.

    May 6, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  2. JayDee

    She has a Big mouth, she can't keep secrets and be respected, now she is considered a gold digger. Yikes run away from her fast!

    May 6, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  3. Bill

    Look, had Run Ross Run Perot not ran for President to get back at George Bush, Sr Wild Bill would have never been President and these two sleeze bags would never had a chance to tarnish the Oval Office. That's it in a nutshell and this is old boring news!

    May 6, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  4. DCBill

    I'm a major Hillary fan (and Bill, too), but good for ML. It is/was her life, too.

    She can speak out whenever she wants.

    No matter what her motives, she'll be questioned, so just say what you feel and get on with the rest of your life.

    May 6, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  5. Tim

    So hipocritical; all of the commenters here immediately slam her. She was 24 years old and was thoroughly destroyed by the Clintons. All the while, "nobody cares," and Bill Clinton has actually emerged as figurehead in the war on women nonsense. So ridiculous. It's insane, really.

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

    The Clintons got to her and have more than likely made it beneficial for Monica to talk a little now and then return to silent mode to allow Hillary a chance to get the woman vote. Hillary is trying to change her image as a woman that failed as a wife that is what caused Bill to take advantage of Monica as he was President.

    May 6, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  7. Martoon77

    This article speaks to character. The lack of character that caused Bill to cheat and the lack of character that caused Hillary to trade her self-respect for power. I realize that many people today don't understand this concept.

    May 6, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  8. Hellooooooooooooooooo!

    Hahaha.. This is stupid.. Its over.. caput.. in the past... So yet another man commits adultery.. Tell me something new.. My sister did the same thing.. It takes you NOWHERE!!

    May 6, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  9. Jeremy

    I found a talking peanut in my left sock after a vodka filled adventure. Maybe that's more news-worthy than this.

    May 6, 2014 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  10. Bootsy

    Why can't this little "lot lizzard"....oh, she wasn't whoring at the truck stop....but whoremonger go away? Who cares about this TRICK.

    May 6, 2014 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  11. John

    Even though this happened a while ago, you have to believe this reignites strife in Hillary and Bill's marriage.

    May 6, 2014 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    "Time to bury the blue dress"

    Indeed. Will she be burying the cigar too? If so, I have some suggestions as to where NOT to bury it. Maybe Benghazi?

    May 6, 2014 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  13. Zach De

    If it were me, I'd be more angry at Linda Tripp - the person who actually lied to me to forward a creepy agenda.

    May 6, 2014 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  14. usrealbirthday

    Usraelis at it again–making sure Mrs Clinton does not make it to the White House. The Israelis did their best to get rid of Clinton but failed now are trying again with Mrs Clinton over her condoning the Lewinsky affair.

    May 6, 2014 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  15. Ashamed!

    Monica is trying to ruin Hillary's campaign.. she is just a old wh0re that see's women get paid top dollar for stories now days. But as everyone has said: NOBODY CARES!!

    May 6, 2014 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    Interesting that she says she was a victim after the fact when there was evidence that she went to Washington with a goal of "bagging" a president in mind. Also, her behavior before she ever landed in DC was not that great either, having had dalliances with a college professor and forging a recommendation after having stolen letterhead. That the affair was consensual is about the only fact she seems to want to recall.

    May 6, 2014 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  17. Patriot

    she wants to come clean huh?

    May 6, 2014 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  18. Stubins

    "I can not wait to see and hear the GOP spin that this somehow disqualifies Hillary to run for president."

    The fact that she intends to pick up where Obama's insidiousness leaves off is more than enough to disqualify her.

    May 6, 2014 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    So part of Hilary's side of the story comes out in the Blair papers casting a negetive shadow on Monica, but she can't write an articale giving her side?! Really, it's got to be because she's broke, needs money, or the GOP!!! Hey trolls, ask yourself something, if negetive things were made public about you, would you not respond? Or are you going to just sit there and say, thank you for running my name in the mud again.

    May 6, 2014 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  20. Patty

    So, agreed that the timing is questionable? Pretty sure that the American people will get it!

    May 6, 2014 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  21. Professor Milburn Cleaver

    If this is all the GOP has apart from the Benghazi book of fairy tales, then they are pretty much soup in 2016.

    May 6, 2014 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  22. Cora

    Surprise, Monica come out when V. is in the news for the Sterling out. Listening to CNN this morning and she says she wanted to move on and have a normal life. Well, guess what we may not have forgotten you Monica, but we definitely didn't have you on our minds at the moment. I really think you should have just kept going with your little life. But, no your back in the news, writing a book, we really weren't interest when the blue dress surfaced and we aren't interested now. I think she resurfaces in lieu of the wonderful Hillary Clinton being prospective in the next presidential election. I find it reprehensible and really her to keep that blue dress and beret handy, she it's her legacy to her future generation of mini-me Lewinsky's. Girl get a real life, stop coming out with your simple self. Hillary is an eagle, soring past you now and forever!

    May 6, 2014 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  23. Tom Maldez

    I heard her new book's title will be "My Taste for Power".

    May 6, 2014 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  24. bob

    Lewinsky is what made Hillary MORE popular – and identifiable to women – the Clinton's became more "regular" and the GOP appeared to be foaming at the mouth and grasping at straws – so if the GOP fat cats are paying her to publish – grave mistake

    May 6, 2014 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    The American folks with a brain can see throught this smoke screen. No one cares about her decade ago affair with Bill Clinton. Heal and move on!!

    May 6, 2014 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
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