May 6th, 2014
11:38 AM ET
4 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. faboge

    why should be reminded that Monica gave the president a piece?

    May 6, 2014 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  2. Tommy G

    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.
    --

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Except NOBODY wants Obama coming near their campaigns. That's what 6 years of failure will get you. It is amazing somebody can be as delusional as you are. It explains how a miserable failure and liar of a president can get re-elected and drag this country down for 8 years.

    May 6, 2014 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  3. noaseo

    Sounds lik she is broke.

    May 6, 2014 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  4. wysogrimm

    Bill Clinton, the last GREAT AMERICAN PRESIDENT!!! This man rocked!

    May 6, 2014 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  5. Common Sense

    Should care, she let her husband have an affair and get away with it. I'm all about forgiveness, but don't forget about your own self respect. If Hillary can't respect herself how are we suppose to respect her as a President.

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

    Interesting that the author thought it important to say that Clinton was indicted by the Republican controlled House but forgot to mention he was acquitted by Democrats along party lines in the Senate.

    May 6, 2014 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  7. NewandPress

    Is this the twilight zone?

    May 6, 2014 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  8. xplain_plz

    Quick! Get Darrel Issa to subpoena her and hold a hearing on her new book!

    May 6, 2014 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  9. ?!?wut?!?

    ". . . 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.)”

    The national fellator must be broke! . . I'm quite sure all the MONEY and notoriety she will receive from the sales of her book have absolutely nothing to do with her dredging up a 20-year-old, stale, nobody-cares-anymore affair.. If you believe she's in it for anything other than MONEY, you're brain dead. Lewinsky knows how to play the game to get what she wants. She'll be making all the talk TV shows rounds as well. It's all about profit with this broad. she's a publicity whore.

    "Since the Lewinsky scandal, she became somewhat of a celebrity, appearing on Saturday Night Live, The Tom Green show, as well as countless interviews concerning the affair. Monica was paid $1 million endorse Jenny Craig in TV commercials. Lewinsky teamed with author Andrew Morton to publish the book Monica's Story in 1999. Her book advance reportedly $500,000."

    Great work if you can find it! At least she had a "job".

    May 6, 2014 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  10. cured hog

    Makes me feel like smoking a cigar.

    May 6, 2014 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  11. Average Joe

    The impeachment was for perjury not for preying on a WH intern

    May 6, 2014 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  12. It is fair game

    If Hillary is going to run, she has to expect everything in her past to come out. It is no different for any Presidential candidate ( look what the Dems did to try to destroy Mitt Romney). This episode, along with Benghazi and other issues are all fair game. If Hillary cannot take the heat, she should definitely not run. And so far, Nobody on the GOP is associated with any of this –but that will not stop the Dems from spinning it that way

    May 6, 2014 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  13. lurch61

    Hillary doesn't need anything to not get elected! she will do that all by herself, based on her past showings that she is just plain NOT QUALIFIED to be President!

    May 6, 2014 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Monica who ? She had her chance to fade away into the history books and she seems to want to "re-kindle" whats been the highlight of her life.

    May 6, 2014 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  15. Kit76kat

    It is just time to move forward. Yes, Bill should be someone to blame for the scandal more than Monica. But it is a decade ago and he has apologized for many many times. Bill still remains the one of the best Presidents in US history. Do not buy this? Just watch Mitt Romney and Ryan Paul's comment last year to understand what he did to the US economy. What he did to this country was excellent; however, what he did to his family was disgusting. The issue should be between Bill and Hillary. Conservatives are having hallucination in thinking that public some how do not see the affairs of their conservative heroes such as John McCain, Newt Gingrich, and even Rush Limbaugh. Monica should be person blamed least. She was young that time and has been fascinated with the power. Give her a break and move on people!

    May 6, 2014 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  16. yomomma

    This is soooo funny! I just like the fact that you cannot run or hide from the truth. I remember all the lies when the entire thing was breaking open. Politicians need to stop lying and start gaining back some integrity. Hilary may have made a lousy wife but she is the most honest and the most successful Secretary of State in US history. Right – hahahahahaahahah!

    May 6, 2014 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  17. jrhodeisland

    Presidential campaigning will begin again. Dirty laundry will be shaken out and hung on the clothesline for regurgitation. It's American Politics. Monica will nip it in the bud. Good for her. On to other laundry. All the candidates will have some explanations to prepare.

    May 6, 2014 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  18. joe

    Obama is not for the Dems what Reagan was for the GOP. He is what Herbert Hoover was for the GOP.

    May 6, 2014 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  19. Robert Stuart

    So since this is "over 20-years ago and no longer matters" can we use the same yardstick for Watergate? Thought not. Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush SHOULD NOT be in the WH. What part of that don't you smarter-than-smart folks not understand?

    May 6, 2014 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    Married is married. You shouldn't have done what you did, regardless. You're an idiot and so is any man or woman that starts even flirt. Flirting is cheating's ugly cousin. It's where it all starts. You both disrespected Hillary, especially you Monica. You knew he was married.

    May 6, 2014 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  21. lex

    why is it when it comes to bill clinton's affair it's the women's fault? when it comes to other political affairs, it's the men's fault. well, i guessed that's why the clinton was labeled "teflon".

    May 6, 2014 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  22. kenman14

    Yes, you women libs, how do you feel about the females' lives ruined by Bubba, that you STILL seems to adore? Liberalism is surely a disease, if it can make you behave so indifferently to THIS guy's abuse of women, and allow him more regard and leniency than you would ever allow your own husbands or fathers!

    Brush it off, though you will, and we will hear NOTHING from the "woman's" group NOW, because they have no common interest with the average American woman!

    May 6, 2014 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  23. Thor

    What difference, at this point, does it make?

    May 6, 2014 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  24. Chris

    Breaking news!!! sometimes things that are not news is breaking...

    May 6, 2014 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  25. Pat Croft

    how convenient she comes out with that now-how much did the republicans pay her? poor taste-that is a choice she made also-

    May 6, 2014 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
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