Monica Lewinsky Writes About Her Affair With Bill Clinton, Harsh Media Treatment
Monica Lewinsky, the White House intern whose affair with Bill Clinton nearly brought down his administration, has decided to break a nearly 10-year period of silence and open up about what exactly happened between her and the president.
The full piece will be available at Vanity Fair's website on February 8 and on newsstands February 13, but the magazine released a few choice excerpts. For example, Lewinsky, now 40, writes, "It’s time to burn the beret and bury the blue dress. ... I, myself, deeply regret what happened between me and President Clinton."
She insists that the affair was consensual, rather than a form of abuse, and describes the public reaction to the affair as what really hurt her:
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. ... The Clinton administration, the special prosecutor’s minions, the political operatives on both sides of the aisle, and the media were able to brand me. And that brand stuck, in part because it was imbued with power.
Lewinsky says that one reason she chose to go public now is the suicide of Tyler Clementi, the freshman at Rutgers University who jumped off the George Washington Bridge in 2010 after he was secretly filmed kissing another man. She says she too became suicidal in the aftermath of the affair's exposure, though she never actually attempted to kill herself.
She hopes that by sharing her story of global embarrassment, she may "be able to help others in their darkest moments of humiliation."