Monica Lewinsky is speaking up ahead of the airing of a new documentary on Bill Clinton’s impeachment, explaining her decision to revisit her experience and expressing renewed hope that the former president apologize — not for her sake, but for the country’s.
In an essay published Tuesday in Vanity Fair, Lewinsky writes that she agreed to participate in A&E’s upcoming “The Clinton Affair” in part because she spent a lot of time listening to other people tell her story without stepping in to tell it herself.
“Yes, the process of filming has been exceedingly painful,” she wrote. “But 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 said she participated in more than 20 hours of interviews with filmmakers for the project, which premieres Sunday.
Central to Clinton’s impeachment in December 1998 were charges of lying under oath when he was asked about his involvement with Lewinsky.
In June in a separate Vanity Fair essay, Lewinsky reflected on the lingering trauma of her experience and how the #MeToo movement had changed her view of what happened 20 years ago.
She wrote that she was particularly fond of the docuseries’s title and bid goodbye to “Lewinsky scandal,” a name she suggested had been around long enough.
“I think 20 years is enough time to carry that mantle,” she said of the label many have used to describe her affair with the president and its fallout.
As far as Clinton goes, Lewinsky wrote in Tuesday’s piece, a lot could be accomplished by a sincere apology.
“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,” she declared. “I’m less disappointed by him, and more disappointed for him. He would be a better man for it.”