Monica Lewinsky breaks her silence

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Monica Lewinsky meets with President Clinton

A photograph showing former White House intern Monica Lewinsky meeting President Bill Clinton at a White House function submitted as evidence in documents by the Starr investigation and released by the House Judicary committee September 21, 1998.

NEW YORK — 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 friendDiane 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.

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  • Ted

    She didn’t go ‘into hiding’. her 15 minutes of fame was up. Now, with Clinton in the spotlight, let’s release a book when it will do the most harm and make the most money. You conservatives don’t have the market cornered when it comes to being rotton.

  • Joe

    Why did she wait til now to say Bill Clinton Exploited her, why didn't she say it when it was relevant during his impeachment for lying to congress?

  • getoveryourself

    She is only out to ruin people lives she purposely had Clinton get into trouble and she wants to lash out at the wife? I myself thought He was a great president who cares what he did that was between him and his wife if she could forgive him why can't we?

    • Joe

      We can't forgive him because of his "War on women", exploiting them for his own personal sexual gratification and personal pleasure of his organ..

  • marzipan

    Clinton did a decent job as president, which is more than I can say for Bush. Yes, we as a country have forgiven Pres. Clinton. Monica's life is still ruined. Even before this book, she was still hounded by paparazzi. She can't get a job because of who she is. This is her only choice to support herself. I was young once, and I was hit on multiple times by older married men of position and means, and I can see how someone with less self esteem could easily get caught up in that especially with the US President! It is time for her to stand up and tell the world that she has survived what would have made most change their looks and name. I think she is teaching the next generation of young, attractive women a valuable lesson, and teaching all youth that you can get over anything and improve your life.

  • Joe

    Clinton should do what Nanci Pelosi did during the health care ram down vote, tell her to sit down and shut up because elections have consequences…