Monica Lewinsky says she would apologize to the Clintons - even if they won't apologize to her
- Lewinsky says that she would apologize again to Hillary Clinton if she saw them in person over her role in the 1998 scandal with Bill Clinton.
- She wrote in Vanity Fair that she believes Bill Clinton should want to apologize to her, even as he refuses to do so.
- Monica Lewinsky said that for years Clinton has "smugly" avoided questioning about his affair while "the demonization of Monica Lewinsky" continued.
- She said he was able to do interviews for decades "without ever worrying whether he will be asked the questions he doesn't want to answer" - but that is changing in 2018.
- Lewinsky said she is participating in a new docu-series about the affair to help ensure that what happened to her doesn't happen to others.
Monica Lewinsky says that, given the chance, she would apologize to Hillary Clinton for her role in the 1998 scandal that for a time ruined her life and nearly brought down the president - even as the Clintons "smugly" refuse to apologize to her.
Lewinsky, who has become an activist for women's rights and part of the #MeToo movement, wrote a personal essay for Vanity Fair on Tuesday, 15 years after it was publicly revealed that Bill Clinton had a series of sexual encounters with her in the 1990s when she was a 22-year-old White House intern and he was the president of the US.
In the essay, Lewinsky acknowledged a public apology made by Bill Clinton in 1998 but noted that he has since said he does not believe he owes Lewinsky an apology.She wrote that she believes Clinton should want to apologize to her.
"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."
She also wrote that she would apologize again to Hillary over the scandal if she saw them in person.
Her first public words after the scandal were an apology to the Hillary and her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, Lewinsky wrote.
"And if I were to see Hillary Clinton in person today, I know that I would summon up whatever force I needed to again acknowledge to her - sincerely - how very sorry I am," Lewinsky said.
"I believe that when we are trapped by our inability to evolve, by our inability to empathize humbly and painfully with others, then we remain victims ourselves."
Hillary and Lewinsky have continued to publicly disagree about the affair, with Hillary denying Lewinsky's characterization of the affair as "a gross abuse of power" in October.
Lewinsky wrote that Clinton had avoided questioning about the affair for decades, while "the demonization of Monica Lewinsky" continued. But she said that changed in 2018.
"For the first time in more than 15 years, Bill Clinton was being asked directly about what transpired. If you want to know what power looks like, watch a man safely, even smugly, do interviews for decades, without ever worrying whether he will be asked the questions he doesn't want to answer.
"But in June of this year, during an interview on NBC, Craig Melvin asked Bill Clinton those questions. Was I owed a direct apology from him? Bill's indignant answer: 'No.'"
In that interview, Clinton said he had "never talked to" Lewinsky. "But I did say publicly on more than one occasion that I was sorry. That's very different. The apology was public."
Lewinsky was writing ahead of her appearance in a new docu-series, "The Clinton Affair," which she said she participated in as part of an effort to "heal" and to "help ensure that what happened to me never happens to another young person in our country again.""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."
She said that the agonizing over whether to take part in the documentary "paled in comparison to the agony" of being publicly interviewed about the affair.
Lewinsky also welcomed the name of the series, which renames the incident using Clinton, not Lewinsky's name. "Bye-bye, Lewinsky scandal . . . I think 20 years is enough time to carry that mantle," she wrote.