Monica Lewinsky Is Forever Defined by People's View of Bill Clinton

Monica Lewinsky Is Forever Defined by People's View of Bill Clinton
(AP Photo/APTV)

Kudos to Monica Lewinsky for not only redefining her life as an anti-bullying activist and public speaker, but for serving as a producer of Impeachment: American Crime Story, where the 1998 scandal of her affair with President Bill Clinton gets a fresh treatment through her lens.

Vanity Fair did an exclusive with Lewinsky in 2019, and talked about how the partnership with Director-Producer Ryan Murphy (Glee, Hollywood) came about:

Last year Murphy recalled running into Lewinsky at a Hollywood party and telling her: “Nobody should tell your story but you, and it’s kind of gross if they do. If you want to produce it with me, I would love that; but you should be the producer, and you should make all the goddamn money.” As Lewinsky wrote to Vanity Fair:

I was hesitant, and truthfully more than a little scared to sign on. But after a lengthy dinner meeting with Ryan, I came to understand even more clearly how dedicated he is to giving a voice to the marginalized in all of his brilliant work. I’m privileged to work with him and the other talented people on the team, and I’m privileged to have this opportunity.

Lewinsky recently told the U.K. Sun:

Lewinsky reportedly pushed Impeachment’s makers to include even her more scandalous actions in the new show, including a scene in which she flashed her thong to Clinton during a social event to get his attention.

“Listen, I would’ve loved to have been really selfish and said, ‘That’s great that you guys think we don’t have to show that, fantastic,’ but I’m incredibly experienced in understanding how people see this story,” she said.

“So, ultimately, I felt two things: One was that I shouldn’t get a pass because I’m a producer; and two, that it was unfair to the team and to the project because it would leave everybody vulnerable.”

The 10-part docudrama promises to be as portentous as The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. Both of these dramas have captured the imagination of the world, as well as defined, and redefined, an age of criminal justice and politics.

Before Impeachment: American Crime Story, Lewinsky participated in a 2018 documentary, The Clinton Affair.

In a personal essay for Vanity Fair she wrote about why she has been so selective about the projects in which she will involve herself:

But sadly, as much as Lewinsky has made strides to tell her side of the story and recapture a narrative, she will always be defined by Bill Clinton and people’s regard (or lack of) for the 42nd president.

There are even those who feel Hillary Clinton was the victim in all this, and that the scandal helped to tank her chances at the presidency.

This shows the power and sway that the Clintons still hold over people’s imaginations in general, and politics specifically. The whole Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, Man from Hope schlock lingers, despite all the revelations of flights to Epstein Island and Clinton Foundation corruption.

In an interview with NBC’s TODAY Show to promote Impeachment: American Crime Story, Lewinsky was asked whether she still expected an apology from Bill Clinton:

Monica Lewinsky is past the point of needing an apology from former President Bill Clinton.

However, “he should want to apologize in the same way I want to apologize any chance I get to people my actions have hurt,” she said Tuesday, hours before “Impeachment: American Crime Story,” a limited TV series about the sex scandal that nearly ended Clinton’s presidency, is set to premiere on FX.

Because Lewinsky will never escape it, she may as well capitalize off it, as so many people have already done for the past 25 years.

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