Monica Lewinsky breaks years-long silence about Clinton affair, aftermath

acarlson@ledger-enquirer.comMay 6, 2014 

Monica Lewinsky is breaking her silence.

The woman who became famous more than 15 years ago when, as a White House intern, she had a sexual relationship with President Bill Clinton, has written an exclusive account of that experience (and the years since) for Vanity Fair.

In a piece online (slugged "monica-lewinsky-speaks"), Lewinsky attacks her years of silence directly — "So silent, in fact,” she writes, “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.”

Now 40, Lewinsky said, "I, myself, deeply regret what happened between me and President Clinton. Let me say it again: I. Myself. Deeply. Regret. What. Happened.”

Since the mid-'00s, Lewinsky has stepped almost wholly out of the spotlight. She earned her master's degree in social psychology from the London School of Economics — her thesis was subtitled "An exploration of the third person effect and pretrial publicity" — and is "trying to lead a private live," a former rep told CNN earlier this year.

Read the online piece here. The full account is available in Vanity Fair's latest issue.

More highlights:

• “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."

• “I turned down offers (after the relationship became public) that would have earned me more than $10 million, because they didn’t feel like the right thing to do.”

• Following the widespread coverage of the suicide of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi in 2010, after Clementi learned he'd been secretly recorded with another man, Lewinsky confronted her own previous suicidal tendencies — and what came after. "My own suffering took on a different meaning. Perhaps by sharing my story, I reasoned, I might be able to help others in their darkest moments of humiliation. The question became: How do I find and give a purpose to my past?”

The next question is: What about Hillary? (The Monica Lewinsky scandal has always been a triangle.) As the former Secretary of State does or does not prepare a run for president, her every move gains greater prominence. Even pregnancies adjacent to her are scrutinized.

Meanwhile, two-year-old rumors of a tell-all book now have new life. 2016 approaches.

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