July 1st, 2014
09:54 AM ET
5 years ago

Monica Lewinsky: ‘I was a virgin to humiliation of that level’

(CNN) - After a self-imposed exile from the public eye, former White House intern Monica Lewinsky appeared on Tuesday in her first interview in a decade.

In a National Geographic documentary on the 1990s, Lewinsky, “the most humiliated woman in the world,” described the public shaming as former President Bill Clinton’s mistress as “alarming … frightening … confusing … and excruciating.”

“I was a virgin to humiliation of that level,” Lewinsky said in the documentary that was previewed on NBC's “Today Show.”

She described the day special prosecutor Kenneth Starr released his nearly 500-page report on Clinton as “one of the worst days of my life.”

Lewinsky’s interview is another step in her re-emergence and attempt to write her own narrative after humiliation by critics, comedy writers, paparazzi and the Clintons. In recently found documents from the Clinton White House, then-first lady Hillary Clinton described her as a “narcissistic looney toon.”

Lewinsky’s gradual re-entrance into the public eye was launched in May with a Vanity Fair biographic essay where she wrote, “It’s time to burn the beret and bury the blue dress. And move forward.”

In political extramarital affairs, the mistress rarely emerges unscathed

She wrote that she could no longer put her life on hold for another decade as Hillary Clinton contemplates a presidential bid.

“I turned 40 last year, and it is time to stop tiptoeing around my past—and other people’s futures,” she wrote.

In addition to her media appearances, her social life is becoming more public as well. She was also seen at a high-profile event in London on Monday evening, according to the Daily Mail.

Hillary Clinton mostly dismisses questions about Lewinsky. During a media rollout of her new book, “Hard Choices,” where she was asked about Lewinsky, Hillary Clinton said she had “moved on” and would “wish her well.”


Filed under: Bill Clinton • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (183 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    She should be more upset that the administration's hatchet-men in the media at first labeled her on national TV as "some kind of stalker".

    July 1, 2014 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  2. Jack

    And not one single peep from all the left wing loons about Bill Clinton's responsibility in this whole fiasco.They'd rather speculate about some "right-wing conspiracy" nonsense because she's talking now. Why not remember the scum-bag in chief who sexually harassed a subordinate, humiliated his wife and child, disrespected the entire nation and office of the Presidency, and lied under oath. Nah, let's crucify the woman who was a naive intern instead. Take off the blinders of left wing ideology and try to see Bill Clinton for what he truly is. A lying, cheating, womanizing scumbag fast talking lawyer.

    July 1, 2014 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  3. Ty

    GO AWAY Lewinsky....

    July 1, 2014 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  4. Petoulet

    Lewinsky should hound Hillary for the next two years or longer, if necessary.
    Just for spite.

    July 1, 2014 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  5. Bruce

    I feel sorry for her. Look, he kept his job as President, he was 50 or so, she was a kid. Yes, she screwed up, didn't you screw up at 20? I'm pretty sure you did. He knew what he was doing. He life was RUINED. No employer would take her seriously, except maybe short porn gigs. It's a tragedy for her. That's America... a PURITANICAL place where we can vilify the 20 year old and hold almost harmless our great white president. It's sick how we treated her.

    July 1, 2014 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  6. Antman

    This reminds me of a joke:
    So one day Monica Lewinsky was buying a condoms from a pharmacy. So the Pharmacist goes "Maam, would you like me to put it on the bill?" and she says "No, I will do that." LMAO still funny after all these years. 😀

    July 1, 2014 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  7. David

    Didn't Monica say to her friends, she was going to Washington with a pair of knee pads?

    July 1, 2014 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  8. EldRick

    No-one cares.

    July 1, 2014 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  9. Paul

    Here's my take on Bill and Monica. He's a pig and a horn dog, and she's got the exact same morals. He doesn't care about his marriage vows, and she doesn't care that she chose to sleep with a married man. He slept with women all during his marriage -and I'm sure she's had a few more affairs with married men. They are both scum. They were both publicly humiliated, as should be expected Now if they would just both shut up about it and crawl back into the primordial slime from which they came.

    July 1, 2014 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  10. vikingwoman

    This whole episode is just so American! So many presidents & politicians have had 'dalliances', but it's ok as long as it stays a secret! If it's exposed it's an 'impeachable' offense! In Europe affairs don't have the same shock value! Remember when Prince Charles was 'carrying on' with Camilla? Princess Diana knew & even the stuffiest of Brits turned a 'blind' eye! Why should Monica Lewinsky not be allowed to move on with her life? Why should she have to continue to carry the shame & burden of an incident that happened 17 yrs ago! Bill sure isn't! It's positively puritanical, like the scarlet letter! Let her move on & we should do the same! But people love to point fingers so they can feel 'righteously' indignant & superior! To that I say, better make sure no skeletons tumble out of y'all's closets!!

    July 1, 2014 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  11. Mike

    Monica Lewinsky, Jennifer Flowers and all of Bill's other mistresses were naive to the point of stupidity. They believed Bill would leave Hillary for them and support them for the rest of their lives. They're not alone. Why do women believe men like this?

    July 1, 2014 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  12. Steve

    Monica did you have sexual relations with the president ! Did she sell that dress at an auction worth more clean or unclean ? who cares about Monica, she's a freaky little Kato Kaelin type of character she new what she was doing. As a tax payer and a American I want the entire oval office scrubbed, sterilized and disinfected!

    July 1, 2014 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  13. Mark

    Sorry Monica. You weren't just an innocent victim.

    Your troubles really began when you despicably saved as semen stained dress.

    With that move, you played with fire. And you got burned. Real bad.

    That's on you.

    July 1, 2014 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  14. Barking at Moon

    weird choice of words there

    July 1, 2014 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  15. King Crimson

    Shame on both Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky for doing what they knew was wrong. But, even more shame on Bill Clinton because he was old enough and smart enough to know better than to get involved with a young, starry-eyed girl that hand not been "around the block" yet. No matter what Monica said in the past or what people say about her, and no matter if she was a virgin or not, she was simply not experienced in the ways of the world enough to know the consequences of their actions, but Bill Clinton would have known enough to know better. I have no sympathy for Bill, even though I think that he is mostly a nice guy. But, he let the power go to his head and he got corrupted. "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

    July 1, 2014 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  16. ja

    Monica should stick her head back in the sand, who cares about her plight twenty years later

    July 1, 2014 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  17. Vence

    Poor girl, but well deserved!

    July 1, 2014 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  18. Greg

    My grandfather was a old school Republican until the day he died. I know he's rolling over in his grave at the way the Republican party is today. Their behavior is totally anti-American. They have lost the meaning of what being a American is all about. Both parties are consumed by power, greed and money. When you put your party's agenda ahead of the good of the people, you have chaos. What you see is what you get. A dysfunctional two party system that serves no one but themselves. We the people are paying for there way of life not ours.

    July 1, 2014 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  19. Yo

    You got to admire the GOP spin-doctors! This is simply brilliant: hiring Lewinsky to get back in the spotlights after all these years. I do not know how much these spin-doctors get paid by Koch, but whoever came up with the line 'I was a virgin to humiliation of that level’ deserves a 50,000$ bonus!

    Here is a woman who kept a semen-strained dress and she claims OTHERS to humiliate her! You got to admire the beauty of the lie, lol.

    July 2, 2014 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  20. JG

    You made your bed, now sleep in it. Your a big girl.

    July 2, 2014 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  21. Steve

    Unreal! If the tables were turned, all you die-hard Dems would go crazy if some Republican't did this to an intern and said intern was labeled a "money grubbing dork'...or better yet, you Dad's at there...just imagine if Monica was YOUR daughter?! That's right, your kid gets a job in OUR White House, is thrown under the bus 20 years ago, and still is thrown under it today...by of ALL PEEPS, the Dems themselves. Again, UNREAL!

    July 2, 2014 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  22. k.k.

    she was only 21 and made a mistake should we hold her as the guilty party forever, she has to move on? Former president has moved on and there seems to be no problem.

    July 2, 2014 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  23. Doug

    I'm astounded at the nastiness still leveled at Ms. Lewinski, while the President gets a pass, and I voted for him twice. Why does the intern take the heat when a man who should know better, who is supposed to be our leader is barely ever mentioned? Why is it only the wife and mistress who are on the butt end of all this? It still disgusts me, the way the media portrayed her, the way they gave the president a pass, its so despicable, and yet still everyone attacks her. Sad.

    July 2, 2014 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  24. Steve

    How do the Dems get away with saying the GOP is the party of women haters, and then they boast Bill Clinton as their champion?! This woman's life was utterly changed in a negative way, due to, of all people, a Democrat! And the GOP wars against women? Really?!

    July 2, 2014 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  25. trish

    As a child she was devastated when Tori Spelling didn't invite her to her birthday party. Well, Monica' certainly got the last laugh. Monica is far more famous than Tori will ever be. Using a loaded word like virgin and humiliation is no accident by this clever woman with a Masters degree. It got exactly the response and attention she wanted. Despite her protests, she likes being that wronged woman Monica Lewinsky and enjoys all of its perks like hanging out with royalty and the A list crowd. Moving on is not in her vocabulary.

    July 2, 2014 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
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