Monica Lewinsky (L), one-time White House intern, with former US president Bill Clinton in 1995. (Reuters photo)
Monica Lewinsky, one-time White House intern, is back, with her side of the story about her affair with then US president Bill Clinton that nearly got him thrown out of office.
Lewinsky, now 40, writes in an article in the coming issue of Vanity Fair magazine, “I, myself, deeply regret what happened between me and President Clinton. Let me say it again: I. Myself. Deeply. Regret. What. Happened.”
She decided to break her silence now because it was time to stop “tiptoeing” around her past. “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.”
Political pundits, however, suggested it could have something to do with the fact that Clinton’s wife, Hillary Clinton, may be running for the White House in 2016. And bringing back the scandal could muddy her chances.
The magazine, however, gave no other clue to why Lewinsky has resurfaced and let her speak for herself, breaking her silence in an article titled: “Shame and survival”.
Shortly after the scandal broke in 1998, Lewinsky, then 24, dropped out of public gaze and dealt with the uproar watched over closely by her mother — she had felt suicidal, she writes, but never attempted to kill herself.
She went on to study social psychology at the London School of Economics. But getting a job after that wasn’t easy — her “history” kept coming in the way.
Though it was a relationship between two consenting adults, Lewsinky writes, she bafflingly, blamed the former president for it. “Sure, my boss took advantage of me, but I will always remain firm on this point: it was a consensual relationship.”
And then the aftermath, which changed her life. “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.”