Monica Lewinsky has opened up about her infamous presidential affair to reveal that she turned down offers for $10million because she “didn’t feel like the right thing to do”.
Lewinsky, now 40, has written a tell-all essay for Vanity Fair and said, “It’s time to burn the beret and bury the blue dress”.
Lewinsky and former President Bill Clinton had an affair that led to his impeachment, but she is wanting to clear the air about her regrets after keeping quiet for over 15 years.
Lewinsky writes, “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.
“Recently I’ve found myself gun-shy yet again, fearful of “becoming an issue” should she decide to ramp up her campaign. But should I put my life on hold for another 8 to 10 years?”
In another part of her essay, she went off on Beyonce for turning her name into a verb in her song “Partition”, stating, “Thanks, Beyoncé, but if we’re verbing, I think you meant ‘Bill Clinton’d all on my gown,’ not ‘Monica Lewinsky’d'”.
The speculation about Hillary Clinton’s expected run for the presidency in 2016 has brought out the old skeletons, which included a note from the then-First Lady to her close friend Diane Blair where Hillary referred to Lewinsky as a “narcissistic loony toon”.
Lewinsky writes, “My first thought, 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).”’
Lewinsky was an intern at the White House when she began having a sexual relationship with then-President Bill Clinton in 1996 before being transferred to the Pentagon when her superiors began getting nervous about the affair.
She began confiding in her new colleague, Linda Tripp, who in turn started recording her conversations with Lewinsky wherein she detailed her trysts with the President.
Tripp turned over the recordings to special prosecutor Kenneth Starr and they were used as one of the largest pieces of evidence in the grand jury investigation.
The story broke in January 1998 and though Newsweek had enough information to run the story, it was initially reported by the Drudge Report who used Newsweek’s reticence to run the story as the angle on his own coverage.
Lewinsky was given transactional immunity in order to testify. The case against them comprised largely of the Tripp recordings, her blue dress that was stained with his semen and his admittance that he ‘did have a relationship with Miss Lewinsky that was not appropriate’.
In the Vanity Fair piece, Lewinsky claimed she remained quiet other than her interview with Barbara Walters.
Monica said she remained, “So silent, in fact, 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. I turned down offers that would have earned me more than $10 million, because they didn’t feel like the right thing to do.”
Lewinsky admitted in the essay she had “suicidal temptations” during the media firestorm surrounding the affair. Her mother stayed by her bed, fearing she would take her life.
Monica Lewinsky said she is speaking out now to “clear the air”, saying, “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.”
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