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. critical thinking

    This will be the first of many. Who amongst us think that Bill Clinton has been faithful since leaving office? I feel sorry for Hillary Clinton, he decision to stay with him will be what cost her a chance to be President and of course Benghazi as well. I wonder if there is an internet video she can blame for Bill's attacks on women?

    May 6, 2014 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  2. Barb Kapinsky

    Gwyneth Paltrow must be RIGHT about Vanity Fair and how their only goal is to take people down! At first, I wasn't sure about this but now I believe it. She may have a good point that no one should be interviewed by Vanity Fair because it fuels their plan to hurt people.

    May 6, 2014 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  3. Patricia Reid

    Let live in the present not the past,you need to get on with your life you were wrong u no he was married get a life.

    May 6, 2014 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  4. lex

    good for her for speaking out. she was the 24 year old and bill clinton was what 50'sh then? either way, bill clinton should know better. she was a 24 year old impressionable girl.

    May 6, 2014 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  5. Mario The Baker

    6.7% unemployed, 4 million jobs that cannot be filled because we are not preparing people for those positions, $17.5 trillion deficit and this is what we care about? No wonder we elect the people we elect and reality TV shows are the biggest money making programs on TV. Don't complain when we become a 3rd world country.

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

    I'm just curious..., when did Hillary Rodham Clinton suddenly become Hillary Clinton? It couldn't be that the liberal, discredited media is assisting her with her image could it? NAHHH!

    May 6, 2014 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  7. Ann

    Why did the anchor say Monica Lewinsky said she takes blame for what happened? Listen to her words, she said she was sorry for what happened. "Sorry" does not mean that she takes "blame". Then she goes on to say she was taken advantage of by her boss. Wow CNN get your facts straight before you anchor opens her mouth. This is terrible journalism. Maybe I should turn to FOX news!

    May 6, 2014 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  8. bobo

    I'm glad she did come out.... she has every right to.... but it means nothing cause Hillary will always be known for standing by her man (hanging onto coat tails) and lying about four dead Americans......

    May 6, 2014 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  9. JG

    I don't know how this would hurt Hillary Clinton...? If anything, it will probably rally the female vote for her.

    May 6, 2014 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  10. Daniel Kleiner

    What happens in the hart is not a crime...and nobody is "ruler" over the feelings i...For this reason : NO REGRET !!!!

    May 6, 2014 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  11. Sam

    Thank you Monica for expressing your thought.

    Still does not change my current views Bill and Hillary!

    May 6, 2014 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  12. TJH

    Obviously you are broke! Crawl back under the rock you just came out from.

    May 6, 2014 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  13. Ragnar

    @Bill....Hillary is disqualified to run for president because of all the mishaps she made as Secretary of State. The only reason you would vote for her is because she is a female. Just like you voted for the hapless person who is in office today....unqualified, social worker.

    May 6, 2014 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  14. sgtlights

    who cares this is very very old news nobody is concerned about this

    May 6, 2014 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  15. User-301

    Are we still talking about Monica Lewdwiskey? – Some15 years later. There is nothing she can say that anyone would want to hear. We have heard it all when it happened. Monica is not a factor anymore in anything. Let her stay wherever she is.

    May 6, 2014 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  16. ATPMSD

    Come on folks, we're still trying to figure out what happened to Amelia Earhart. For good or bad we are a curious species. I wonder how many of you who are complaining took the time to read the article. But this is old news and you have no interest, right?

    May 6, 2014 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  17. David

    The more you click on this article, the more it stays at the top of CNN. Don't give this woman any more attention.

    May 6, 2014 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  18. musings

    Not a power relationship? The victim of Clinton's supporters? Hardly. Had she buried the blue dress or even sent it to the dry-cleaners, nobody would ever know. She allowed herself to be used, and I am sure that continues, whether she knows it or not. She is stepping up to the plate in time for Hillary's run for the presidency (which would put Bill back into the White House too, as First Gentleman).

    She was a player all right, all the way through, and Luciane Goldberg (whose neocon son is touting more wars for US) ran her along with other operatives. The thing was, even when dangled before him, Bill did not seem to find Iraq behind Oklahoma City as they wanted him to. Sure, he got mixed up Yugoslavia (the situation was similar to today's Ukraine).

    Past is Prologue guys. Make of it what you will.

    May 6, 2014 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  19. cm

    What good timing for CNN to turn an article on a dead issue – Monica Lewinsky – into a nice little excerpt about how great Hillary is.

    May 6, 2014 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  20. Good for Her

    Good for her. She was young and made a mistake. It's such a shame that one mistake has made a young woman a scapegoat and laughing stock for the rest of her life. We should all feel lucky that this fate didn't befall us. It could easily have.

    May 6, 2014 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  21. Herman

    Master stroke by Clinton and his advisors to start bombing Kosovo and Serbia and then go after Milosovic during one of the many Balkan conflicts. How convenient to have a conflict halfway around the world that could divert everyone's attention away from his lies about Monica. It worked too. Nice and clean, no boots on the ground. Funny that we/he didn't care before when there were problems over there. Brilliant move by a career politician.

    May 6, 2014 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  22. B-Dog

    That is some interesting grammar there Monica.

    May 6, 2014 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  23. Bagocheese

    Do we really want to rehash the Clinton's.....I for one don't. Leave the's way past time.

    May 6, 2014 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  24. Di

    I think the mistress is worse that the husband. I say that because I expect women to be smarter than their actions and more caring than a man could ever be, but these mistresses prove me wrong every day. The insinuation that the wife is EVER at fault, is preposterous!!! She should NEVER blame herself for the actions caused by a selfish husband and a delusional mistress.

    May 6, 2014 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  25. jay

    Why is this still news? The man got a BJ in the oval office...other Presidents have done far worse I imagine.

    May 6, 2014 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
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