The notorious White House aide who had an affair that led to Bill Clinton’s impeachment is finally speaking out in a very public way. Instead of an interview, Monica Lewinsky will share her side in a new expose on the subject called, “The Clinton Affair.”
But you don’t have to wait until then to get the scoop. We dug deep for the revealing details about just how scandalous 42 really was, and just how far he went with the women surrounding him at the time. In a recent essay with Vanity Magazine, Lewinsky talks about her role in the new docudrama and paints a picture of a president who may have been darker and more riddled with perversion than any of us could ever have realized.
From sexually harassing aides to actively lying to the press and the law, this is what she had to say about the disgraced Clinton, who may have flagrantly abused his power.
• Lewinsky says she was motivated to take part in the documentary after a friend pointed out that most of the books on the subject are written by men. “History literally being written by men,” she writes. “In contrast, the docuseries not only includes more women’s voices, but embodies a woman’s gaze: Two of the three main editors and four of the five executive producers are women.”
• She also wrote of feeling intense grief – not only for Clinton’s transgressions against her, but for her role in the event. “Grief for the pain I caused others. Grief for the broken young woman I had been before and during my time in D.C., and the shame I still felt around that. Grief for having been betrayed first by someone I thought was my friend, and then by a man I thought had cared for me.”
• The former aide, who has been labeled every name under the sun for her involvement, seemed to many to be a social climber rising to the top via any means possible. But reading her writing, it’s difficult to know if that’s really true; at points, the information she shares seems to paint a much uglier picture of a vulnerable and naive young woman taken advantage of by a manipulative criminalistic authority figure.
• “Forty-five-year-old me sees that footage very differently,” she writes. “I see a sports coach signposting the playbook for the big game. Instead of backing down amid the swirling scandal and telling the truth, Bill instead threw down the gauntlet that day in the Oval Office: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.” With that, the demonization of Monica Lewinsky began.”
• Lewinsky apologized to Mrs. Clinton years ago, but she has never received a formal apology from Bill. At 45, she’s now almost as old as Clinton was at the time he sexually harassed her, and it’s clear she is much less naive about who he really is and was. “What feels more important to me than whether I am owed or deserving of a personal apology is my belief that Bill Clinton should want to apologize.”
• But it’s blindingly clear that, even now, Clinton sees no fault in what he did. In an interview in June of 2018, an NBC correspondent asked him whether he felt he had to apologize to Lewinsky or if he felt any fault in the situation. His answer? Only a single, solitary “no,” tinged with anger and annoyance.
• His reaction is not unusual. Lewinsky’s essay also touches on another startling example of the Clinton patriarch’s complete lack of understanding of his fault in the scandal. She describes an interview with Dan Rather in 2004, in which Rather asked why he had engaged in sexual relations with her. “Because I could,” was his only reply.
• Overall, it isn’t surprising to receive these kind of responses from the Clintons. Their time in the political eye is riddled with transgressions, scandals, and refusals to take responsibility for their actions. Regardless of whether Lewinsky is responsible for her own part in the event, Bill doesn’t appear to regret his actions, or how they negatively affected the United States.
Will you be catching the show?