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. MarkM

    At a perfect point to come out with this, and hilary possibly running in the near future...a low blow gets lower. This is bordering nematode status.

    May 6, 2014 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  2. James W. Luke

    So let me get this right, if you are an adult you can be a Slut and every thing is all right? I thought Hillary said it was a vast right wing conspiracy?

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

    Bill Clinton ...... what a low life degenerate and his wife by some measures is even worse. With the election of Hillary that will be the final proof that America has slid into the crapper.

    May 6, 2014 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  4. ed

    Yeah yeah yeah. "Regrets" but I'm getting paid. Still a looney.

    May 6, 2014 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  5. LUc

    Why is this breaking news ???

    May 6, 2014 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  6. Gloria

    Breaks her silence?! What silence? Monica and CNN both need to preserve their dignity and not make news out of this again.

    May 6, 2014 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  7. morpheus1459

    Well it's nice to have a "she said" description of those, long ago, events... but we can't help wondering exactly how much these soul baring comments, cost someone.......

    May 6, 2014 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  8. agalag

    Wow! I cannot believe that she is 40 already! I'm glad she is speaking up on the whole affair. Maybe now, folks will see what white trash the Clintons really are. Monica is correct–it's pretty sad that Hillary blames "women" for the affair. How about her low-life husband?

    May 6, 2014 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  9. Dex

    Does even Obamacare?

    May 6, 2014 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  10. James W. Luke

    No lost plane news today?

    May 6, 2014 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  11. susan sarel

    I think after all this time Monica would have grown up with some dignity. To say you screwed the President is nothing less than shameful, (for him too) but the fallout goes to Monica who IMO deserves it. What did she expect? Him to divorce Stupid, stupid stupid. I hope she doesnt make a dime on this book.

    May 6, 2014 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  12. Simon

    Watch the liberals and the democrats slander Monica Lewinsky. The same liberals who lambasted Palin and humiliated Condoleezza Rice will now downplay the abuse of power by former President Bill Clinton. The fact is, Bill Clinton – their hero – is a predator. But since such a characterization of Bill Clinton makes them uncomfortable, they now go after the victims. Victim bashing is one reason why one must never vote for the democrats. Now that their war against women is becoming evident, voters should firmly reject a democratic candidate. Their lust and abuse of power is setting a dangerous trend and this must be curbed. "Absolute power corrupts absolutely" – reject the lies of the democratic party and think for yourself in 2016.

    May 6, 2014 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  13. KidKid

    Yeah, I know she didn't felt "taken advantage of" when she was nibbling Bills' big ego.

    May 6, 2014 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  14. GettoWork

    Waste of Internet bandwidth right here...

    May 6, 2014 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  15. Leona

    I am happy to hear that Monica is maturing. Many people do things they regret; but not everyone accomplishes the difficult tasks it takes, to take back her/his narrative and give a purpose to their past. Good for you, Monica! I am proud of you!

    May 6, 2014 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  16. DW

    The Koch brothers must be handing out spare change.

    May 6, 2014 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  17. jiim

    Just another democratic scandal they tried to sweep under the rug. Similar to Benghazi. Yawn. Nothing new from the left.

    May 6, 2014 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  18. Calven

    "I, myself, deeply regret what happened between me and President Clinton. Let me say it again: I. Myself. Deeply..."

    "I, myself" is a redundancy; someone needs an editor.

    May 6, 2014 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  19. flygril

    get over billy his had more tail than a field of peanuts. probably doesn't even remember that much about monica

    May 6, 2014 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  20. Anthony Coggins

    When did CNN start running "flashback" articles? Didn't we see this show circa '98-'99?

    May 6, 2014 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  21. Jeepers

    Never cared. Question: WHY do so many females SAY, " I, MYSELF, ...."?? Who ELSE would it be? " I, YOURSELF..."???

    Also, people say, "I am married to my... HUSBAND..." Really ? Aren't you married to HER husband ? Or, married to your cell phone device? WHO ELSE as a female is MARRIED to other than a HUSBAND unless it is a LGBT choice?

    May 6, 2014 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  22. The Honey Child

    This was already played out in an episode of "Scandal" last year. Monica will be bound, gagged, injected with a lethal drug and dumped in the river. Her corpse will sink to the river bottom until a recovery dive team dredges it up and transport it to the medical examiner's office, where the determination of the cause of death will prompt an investigation leading to the arrest, trial and conviction of the patsy who was hired for the job by Hillary Clinton.

    May 6, 2014 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  23. sue

    The Clintons have written plenty of books. Give the girl a break. The public will decide whether to read her story or not!

    May 6, 2014 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  24. Tootie

    Crawl back under your rock. You're not relevant any more. Really, you never were. We're used to these kinds of stories coming near election time. Nothing new about it. You had an affair with a married man. Yes I do blame you and him equally, but you should have just said no. Then you kept a dress that had his DNA on it. You're sick! Looks to me like you wanted to relive some fantasy by keeping it. If that's not loony, I don't know what is.

    May 6, 2014 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  25. Barbara

    She ruined one of the greatest presidents this nation has know or ever will know(Unless Hillary can be elected) Like someone said,BROKE?? and wants her name out there just as Hillary may start to campaign.

    May 6, 2014 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
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