Monica Lewinsky Explains Why She Took Part in New 'Clinton Affair' Documentary

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Posted: Nov 15, 2018 8:30 PM
Monica Lewinsky Explains Why She Took Part in New 'Clinton Affair' Documentary

"The Clinton Affair," premiering this weekend on A&E, is, well, pretty self explanatory. The series will take another look at former President Bill Clinton's White House affair with his 22-year-old intern Monica Lewinsky in the 1990s. The documentarians interviewed over 50 people for the project, including Lewinsky.

A&E shared a preview for the three-part series on "the scandal that almost took down a president."

Viewers may be surprised to hear from Lewinsky. But, in an exclusive piece for Vanity Fair, the now 45-year-old TV personality explains how she can't move forward until she confronts the past.

Do I wish I could erase my years in D.C. from memory, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind–style? Well, is the sky blue? But I can’t. And 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. 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. (Vanity Fair)

It wasn't easy. While filming the documentary, Lewinsky says she questioned both her participation and her sanity. The interviews also led her back to painful episodes of Grief, which she capitalizes in the Vanity Fair piece.

Lewinsky also suggested she felt a kind of justice watching former President Clinton finally have to answer questions about the affair. It only took 20 years. Before then, Lewinsky observed he had been "safe" and "smug" knowing the media would never dare approach the topic. In particular, Lewinsky responded to Clinton's telling NBC's Craig Melvin that he doesn't owe her an apology.

So, what 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. I’m less disappointed by him, and more disappointed for him. He would be a better man for it . . . and we, in turn, a better society.

Former First Lady Hillary Clinton was also asked about the affair in recent weeks. She defended her husband, noting that both he and Lewinsky were adults. He "absolutely" should not have resigned.

Lewinsky says she was ready to tell her side of the story.

"The Clinton Affair," directed by Emmy winner Blair Foster, premieres Sunday at 9 p.m. on A&E.