In a three-night A&E documentary series that details the events leading up to Bill Clinton’s 1998 impeachment, Monica Lewinsky is finally telling her side of the story. She had previously spoken with Barbara Walters, but she was far too young for pointed reflection. With fresh eyes and a firm memory, she walks us through the suicide-inducing horrors that included the threat of prison.
Lewinsky herself has wisely highlighted the series’ other voices, but there is no one more compelling than Lewinsky. For starters, she has a steel-trap memory. She not only remembers facts, she remembers emotions.
THE FBI SHOWDOWN
Lewinsky became emotional while recounting when she was first confronted by FBI agents and lawyers working for Kenneth W. Starr’s Office of Independent Counsel. They threatened her and her mother with criminal prosecution if she did not agree to wear a wire against President Bill Clinton. It was then that she contemplated suicide. She was still in love with the President, and wearing a wire was a horrifying proposition. Because she lied in her affidavit during the Paula Jones case to protect him, she was in deep trouble. She tried to warn President Clinton — but to no avail.
THE BLAME GAME
As far as I can tell, Lewinsky is not placing blame. She takes responsibility for her actions, and it’s up to the viewer to decide what to make of this moment in history. I can only speak for myself, but I feel personally appalled by my own sexism. The #metoo movement has re-aligned my line of thinking, and if I could personally apologize to Monica Lewinsky for my harsh judgment of her character, I would. She’s responsible for having an affair with a married man, but how long should she have to pay for it? And what about his poor choices?
For the life of me, I can’t ascertain why Bill Clinton gets so angry when asked about Lewinsky. The man can debate contentious political issues with the ease of a yoga instructor, but he’s a PR nightmare when it comes to his personal indiscretions. He is so defensive it’s almost confusing. Why not just say “I made a mistake. I regret it.” Why not actually apologize to Monica Lewinsky? By all accounts, President Clinton has an uncanny ability to make people feel seen and heard, so how hard is it to apologize? I’m guessing he felt completely betrayed, surmised that Lewinsky was not the woman he thought she was, and completely dismissed her. Plus, she kept the dress.
is monica lewinsky a victim?
An angry twitter user suggested that Monica Lewinsky is not a “victim” who is part of the #metoo movement. While she certainly played an active role in pursuing the President, there’s no question she’s a victim. She’s a victim of a useless, ridiculous investigation that revealed humiliating details about her sex life. She’s a victim of being recorded by a person she deemed a friend (Linda Tripp) without her consent. She’s a victim of the public’s decades-long judgment and of an affair that derailed her career and hurt her future.
For more information on the documentary, click HERE.