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. Mike

    Interesting timing for Monica to "break her silence" and even more interesting that CNN would make it such a headline. Why to drum up the past to remind women voters how Hillary handled the entire mess. I guess this means they are not going to be endorsing Hillary '16.

    May 6, 2014 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  2. Carmen

    Monica is only doing this for the money from Vanity Fair. She's not employable so this is her only means at this point.

    May 6, 2014 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  3. ttorma

    And this is news, why?

    May 6, 2014 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  4. Dale

    99 percent of this type of behavior ends in divorce or separation. I find it not suprising that these three people are in the same category as all officials inside the beltway. Liar's. theives, taking the peoples tax dollars without doing a damn thing. And now she is thinking about the president of the US.

    May 6, 2014 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  5. ruthann jones

    Thank God! Now Fox News will have something else to chew on....what a transparent attempt by the GOP to derail a possible presidential run by Hillary!

    May 6, 2014 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  6. 2Sliqq

    Hmmm. Try to "re-get a life" I guess...

    May 6, 2014 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  7. SeattleReign

    Monica breaks her "silence?" When was she ever silent about it? All you have to do is read Ken Starr's salacious interrogation of her in the trial transcript, which most of us did in real time. This is SO yesterday, though it obviously was meant to stir things up in case Hillary runs, in the hopes that it will be a factor....WHICH IT WON't. Grow up, CNN. Get a life, Monica. You're yesterday's news.

    May 6, 2014 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  8. terry

    hilarious how all the liberals are up in arms over this story. Sure generated a lot of noise from the left for a non-story

    May 6, 2014 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  9. Norcalmojo

    A scandal Obama voters can understand.

    Benghazi and the IRS thing was just too cerebral to register.

    May 6, 2014 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  10. Frenky

    It happened about 20 years ago, who care ?

    May 6, 2014 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  11. TreeHuggingLiberal

    Looks like CNN is tying to regain its lost credibility searching for the Malaysian plane.

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

    Benghazi and Monica. Hate to disappoint the GOP, but it won't work. It actually empowers those of us who support Hillary.

    May 6, 2014 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  13. sonny chapman

    Joe-When all is said & done, Obama will go dowwn in History as a Mini-FDR. And his detractors will go down as what they are:HATERS.

    May 6, 2014 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  14. Jules

    This stopped being interesting 20 years ago!

    May 6, 2014 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  15. Rick McDaniel

    We are likely to get reminded of many truths about both of the Clintons........if Hillary formally announces.

    Why we should need to be reminded, of that disgraceful period, I do NOT know. I certainly recall it with full clarity, and I would NEVER support either of them for office.

    May 6, 2014 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  16. Kg401

    Monica should apologize to Hilary instead of analyzing her comments. That would be a better PR move. This makes her sound jealous and petty. Is she backed by the GOP now? The pre-election timing is impeccable.

    May 6, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  17. I care

    Perhaps the timing is of her own design. Revenge, as they say, is a dish best served cold and I don't begrudge her serving it up. The Clintons annihilated her; simple as that. It's payback time. Go get 'em Monica. I hope you make a fortune in the process.

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

    What amazed me the President was ever in the hot seat for impeachment from just an affair. Not that it isn't serious, it is but on a personal level not on a national level. Still, I felt horrible for Hillary during that time. It's even more amazing that she would negate some of the blame from Bill Clinton by saying she was neglectful. It takes some serious strength and love to do that. The entire scandal when I read about it, I thing always surprised me. Since when did Presidents become super gods and are expected to never make mistakes. We are all human and we all make mistakes. Although I think the thing that hurt he American public most wasn't the actual affair it was re lying. I think that's what Americans had an issue with. The affair would probably been forgive able. Not without some consequence but it was the lying that created the real damage.

    May 6, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  19. NeMo

    I have often wondered what became of Lewinsky. You can criticize her all you want, but the truth is she could have taken a much lower road than she took after the scandal. If it was about money, she could have written a tell-all and sold her story to Hollywood and made millions. So far, she hasn't done that.

    May 6, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  20. Big_D

    The investigators wanted her to wear a wire and set up the President. Remember these investigators? They were having their own affairs at the time. One was even having an affair on his wife who was on her death bed at the time. This seems to be where the GOP stopped caring about how they got power and decided that any gutter operation is fine. No longer was impeachment saved for felonies it was now any excuse they could manufacture.

    May 6, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  21. Bazooka Joe

    This is such OLD News !! Who really cares??

    May 6, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  22. donsor

    Just the mere presence of the President of the United States among young beautiful women is overpowering enough for naive females to succumb to temptations. The Monica case was scandalous but not unprecedented. Sexual interludes are happening right now throughout the capital. Washington DC is one humungous whorehouse. Very few get caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

    May 6, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  23. BB

    Years of Government time, effort and money to prove two consenting Adults had oral relations ..... Great job GOP.

    May 6, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  24. Tom Hartman

    Wow wonder how much the Republicans paid her to come out with all this now LOL

    May 6, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  25. Lardeau

    I thought this was buried a long time ago. Let it stay that way. As a Canadian .. " You Americans are funny people ". A Nation of Wannabee celebrity worshipers and wealth enviers !!!

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