Monica Lewinsky is back, giving her side of the story, 20 years after her name became known worldwide thanks to an extramarital affair she carried on with former US President Bill Clinton, when he was head of state and she was a White House intern.
Lewinsky stated that between November 1995 and March 1997, she had nine sexual encounters in the Oval Office with then-President Bill Clinton. According to her testimony, these involved fellatio and other sexual acts, but not sexual intercourse.
Clinton first denied the allegations, categorically stating “I did not have sexual relations with that woman,” before recanting and admitting to the affair. The then-President was subsequently impeached.
In the new A&E documentary series, “The Clinton Affair,” Lewinsky tells all about the presidential affair that shook the nation. In an article explaining why she took part in the series, Lewinsky wrote that the perennial debate is whether she is victim or vixen:
“That’s a question as old as time immemorial: Madonna or Whore? Predator or Prey? Dressed scantily or appropriately? Is she telling the truth or lying? (Who will believe thee, Isabel?) And it’s a question that is still debated about women in general. And about me.”
Lewinsky was just a few years older than Clinton’s daughter Chelsea at the time, being 22 when the affair began.
Although she has publicly indicated recently that Clinton abused his power and engaged in the affair with her, she has conceded in the documentary that she played a role in how the affair began.
According to the Post, Lewinsky revealed that she had a “crush” on Clinton and even went so far as to “intentionally leaving her underwear exposed on one occasion to get his attention,” in her attempts to flirt with him:
“At a 1995 birthday party for a White House staffer attended by the president, Lewinsky realized that her underwear was protruding from the rear of her pants, she recalled in “The Clinton Affair,” a new A&E documentary series.
““Instead of pulling my trousers up, like I would in any other instance, I didn’t,” said Lewinsky. “It was unnoticeable to everybody else in the room, but [Clinton] noticed.”
““As I passed George Stephanopoulos’s office, I kind of looked into the open doorway,” she said. “And Bill happened to be standing there. And he motioned me in — I don’t think my heart had ever beat that fast.
““Unbeknownst to me, I was on the precipice of the rabbit hole.”
Lewinsky added that she was flattered when the then-49-year-old president reciprocated. She said:
“It’s not as if it didn’t register with me that he was the president. Obviously it did. But…the truth is, I think it meant more to me that someone who other people desired, desired me. However wrong it was…for who I was in that very moment, at 22 years old, that was how it felt.”