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Monica Lewinsky Doesn't Need Clinton To Apologize, But Says He Should Want To
The co-producer of "Impeachment: American Crime Story," which dramatizes the events of her own life, spoke about the man to whom she no longer speaks.
In response to questions during her publicity tour for "Impeachment: American Crime Story," Monica Lewinsky said she's glad she no longer needs a more clear resolution from the end of her relationship with President Bill Clinton.
Lewinsky who is a co-producer of the series, appeared on NBC News' "TODAY" with Savannah Guthrie and was asked if she wants an apology from Clinton for his part in their affair when he was the president of the United States and she was a young intern in his chief of staff's office.
Lewinsky, who acknowledged in 2014 and 2018 essays for Vanity Fair that the affair was consensual and desired on her part, also wrote in 2018 that, at age 44 — six years younger than Clinton was when they began their affair — was "beginning (just beginning) to consider the implications of the power differentials that were so vast between a president and a White House intern."
"There was a long period before my life changed — the last 6 or 7 years — where I felt a lot, in terms of there not being this resolution," to the relationship or the scandal, Lewinsky told Guthrie. (Clinton ended their relationship in May 1997, and the last time they spoke was reportedly on Jan. 5, 1998 — 12 days before Clinton was asked about his relationship with Lewinsky during a deposition in the Paula Jones case and 15 days before news of their affair was made public. They have apparently not spoken since.)
"I’m very grateful that I don’t have that feeling anymore, that I don’t need it," Lewinsky added. "He should want to apologize, in the same way that I want to apologize any chance I get to people that I’ve hurt and my actions have hurt."
Clinton has included Lewinsky in some of his general, public apologies for the incidents leading to his impeachment, including during his book tour with James Paterson in 2018, though at that time he was initially defensive about being asked and strongly suggested the situation had been worse for him than for her. But he has never spoken or apologized to her directly.
Lewinsky has said, including in her 2014 essay, that she deeply regrets their relationship, and reiterated in her "TODAY" interview that she found it difficult to see some of her own bad decisions dramatized on-screen in "Impeachment: American Crime Story."
"I do not recommend watching your early twenties be dramatized on TV," she told Guthrie. "[There were] moments where I just thought, 'Oh, gosh, don’t smile back! Don’t talk to her! Don’t confess! Don’t do this! Don’t do that! Don’t make bad decisions!'"
But, as co-producer, she even insisted on including a scene — infamously described in the Starr Report — in which she hiked up her blazer to display the top straps of her thong to the president as part of what she characterized as their flirtation in 1996.
"I shouldn’t get a pass," she explained to Guthrie.
"Truth and context were really missing at the beginning of 1998 — and throughout the [impeachment] process— and humanity," she added. "I hope that those are all things that we brought through the show."