Monica Lewinsky: I was mortified and afraid

Monica Lewinsky said that she decided to participate in a new documentary series on A&E about her infamous affair with then-President Bill Clinton.

Posted: Nov 15, 2018 12:20 AM
Updated: Nov 15, 2018 12:29 AM

Monica Lewinsky said Monday that she decided to participate in a new documentary series about her infamous 1990s affair with then-President Bill Clinton so that she could ensure that her experience "never happens to another young person in our country again."

In a Vanity Fair essay published early Monday, Lewinsky outlined her decision to participate in the three-night series, "The Clinton Affair," which will premiere Sunday, November 18 on A&E. The series, according to the network, "weaves together never-before-seen archival footage with exclusive new interviews to examine the biggest political scandal of a generation and its lasting influence and reverberations on our country."

"I hope that by participating, by telling the truth about a time in my life—a time in our history—I can help ensure that what happened to me never happens to another young person in our country again," Lewinsky wrote.

Lewinsky also said she decided to participate in the series because "throughout history, women have been traduced and silenced."

"Now, it's our time to tell our own stories in our own words," she wrote.

In the essay, Lewinsky suggested that the name of the documentary served as a way to rewrite the narrative around her relationship with Clinton, writing, "Bye-bye, Lewinsky scandal...I think 20 years is enough time to carry that mantle."

By agreeing to be interviewed for the series, she said, she was allowing herself to "heal."

"An important part of moving forward is excavating, often painfully, what has gone before...That's exactly where we need to start to heal—with the past. But it's not easy," she wrote.

Lewinsky, whose struggle to maintain a private life following the affair has been marred by questions about the scandal, recently declined to publicly address it.

In September, she cut a live interview in Israel short after being questioned about it.

"I'm so sorry, I'm not going to be able to do this," Lewinsky said before walking off stage after Israeli TV news anchor Yonit Levi began the interview by asking Lewinsky whether she still expected a personal, private apology from Clinton regarding their affair.

But on Monday, she addressed the question straight on, writing that Clinton "would be a better man" if he apologized.

"[W]hat feels more important to me than whether I am owed or deserving of a personal apology is my belief that Bill Clinton should want to apologize," she wrote. "I'm less disappointed by him, and more disappointed for him."

Asked in June if he owed Lewinsky an apology, Clinton told NBC's Craig Melvin, "No, I do not -- I have never talked to her. But I did say publicly on more than one occasion that I was sorry. That's very different. The apology was public."

Lewinsky also wrote that if she were to see Clinton's wife, Hillary, in person today, she would offer up an apology to the former first lady.

"I know that I would summon up whatever force I needed to again acknowledge to her—sincerely—how very sorry I am," Lewinsky wrote.

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