The former White House intern who is today known, rightly or wrongly, as the one who had the affair with former President Bill Clinton back in the 1990s reveals in an upcoming six-part A&E special that at one time she contemplated taking her own life — to dodge the pain and terror she was feeling after the affair became known.
“In order to cooperate and to avoid charges, I would have to make phone calls — monitored phone calls, which they would listen into and they would record — and I might have to wear a wire and actually go see people in person,” recalled Lewinsky, who in now 45, in one of the interviews she did for the series.
“The ground completely crumbled in that moment,” she said.
“I felt so much guilt, and I was terrified.”
“They imagined that I would have flipped really easily,” Lewinsky continued.
“They had no plan in place for what would happen if I said no. There was a point for me somewhere in the first several hours where I would be hysterically crying and then I would just shut down. In the shutdown period, I remember looking out the window and thinking the only way to fix this was to kill myself, was to jump out the window.”
Lewinsky has laid bare her soul with far more like that in hours and hours of interviews about her affair with Clinton for the A&E docu-series, “The Clinton Affair.”
The six-part series will air beginning on Sunday, November 18.
Aside from her perilous mental state as she described above, she also says that if she were to see Hillary Clinton today in person, “I know that I would summon up whatever force I needed to again acknowledge to her — sincerely — how very sorry I am.”
Many people feel quite differently — with many believing that the Clintons, both of them, should apologize directly to Lewinsky for all the pain and suffering they have put her through over the years.
Lewinsky wrote a long explainer for Vanity Fair about the interviews she did for the A&E series — and detailed her frustration with Clinton after the affair and also the way he was treated by the media, as The Daily Caller also noted.
The media almost never asked him about it, especially as he became a globetrotter after his presidency and gave numerous speeches and took on other work.
As she wrote in her Vanity Fair piece, “After occupying distant orbits for two decades, we finally reached the perigee. For the first time in more than 15 years, Bill Clinton was being asked directly about what transpired.”
“If you want to know what power looks like, watch a man safely, even smugly, do interviews for decades, without ever worrying whether he will be asked the questions he doesn’t want to answer. But in June of this year, during an interview on NBC, Craig Melvin asked Bill Clinton those questions. Was I owed a direct apology from him? Bill’s indignant answer: ‘No.’”
Lewinsky added, “He contended that he had apologized publicly in 1998. I did, as well.”
“My first public words after the scandal — uttered in an interview with Barbara Walters on March 3, 1999,” she went on to say, “were an apology directly to Chelsea and Mrs. Clinton. And if I were to see Hillary Clinton in person today, I know that I would summon up whatever force I needed to again acknowledge to her — sincerely — how very sorry I am.”
But that’s not something Bill Clinton has ever said to her directly.
The Vanity Fair essay is fascinating for what Lewinsky says — and doesn’t say.
“In order to move forward in the life I have, I must take risks — both professional and emotional. (It’s a combustible combination.) An important part of moving forward is excavating, often painfully, what has gone before,” she wrote.
“When politicians are asked uncomfortable questions, they often duck and dodge by saying, ‘That’s old news. It’s in the past.’ Yes. That’s exactly where we need to start to heal — with the past. But it’s not easy.”
The TV series begins airing this Sunday night on A&E.
And check out this video: