The Shadows of the Past Still Haunt Monica Lewinsky
JERUSALEM – September 4, 2018
Even 20 years after the Clinton-Lewinsky sex-scandal that almost got President Clinton impeached and cost him his reputation, the main “actor” of the events, former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, is being stalked by the shadows of her youth.
Just to remind our readers, the sexual relationship between 42nd President of the US and 22-year-old intern Lewinsky took place between 1995 and 1997 and came to light in 1998. Following the scandal and wide public resonance, Clinton ended a televised speech with the statement that he "did not have sexual relations" with her. Further investigation led to charges of perjury and to the impeachment of President Clinton in 1998 by the U.S. House of Representatives. He was subsequently acquitted on all impeachment charges of perjury and obstruction of justice in a 21-day Senate trial. The wife of Bill Clinton, Hillary, later confessed she had really hard times overcoming this scandal, but the marriage survived.
So, what about Monica? After the scandal she wrote an autobiography, called “Monica’s Story”, appeared several times in TV commercials, and even hosted the reality television dating program “Mr. Personality” on FOX News back in 2003. She even managed to graduate with a Master of Science degree in social psychology from the London School of Economics in 2005. After that she almost disappeared from the public view for a decade, and re-emerged in May 2014, when she wrote an essay “Shame and Survival” for Vanity Fair magazine. Since that time she has been interviewed for many times by different media, took a stand against cyberbullying and participated in #MeToo social media campaign with several tweets in support of the movement.
Despite wide and various interests, the shadows of the past are not the ones you can easily get rid of, even if you negotiate not to talk about it with a particular person, for instance – news anchor, who has invited you to a TV talk-show.
That’s exactly what happened during Lewinsky’s appearance on Israeli TV in the program of Yonit Levi, which aired Tuesday, September 4, 2018.
Lewinsky called Yonit Levi's first question about her relationship with Clinton a "blatant disregard for our agreement." Levi, the main anchor of Israel's top-rated evening newscast, asked Lewinsky if she still expected a personal apology from Clinton over the fallout of the scandal of their affair 20 years ago. Lewinsky responded: "I'm so sorry. I'm not going to be able to do this." She then put down her microphone and walked offstage.
Levi reached out her hand and then anxiously followed Lewinsky offstage as some of the stunned audience awkwardly clapped. The confused hosts then rushed opposition lawmaker Yair Lapid onstage to keep the event moving along. A smiling Lapid, who plans to challenge Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the next Israeli elections, quipped: "Everything has happened to me but stepping in for Monica Lewinsky is a first. There is no way I'll be interesting enough in the next few minutes but we'll do our best."
Levi's employer, the Israeli News Company, said it did its utmost to abide by all agreements made with Lewinsky.
"The question asked was legitimate, worthy and respectful and in no way deviated from Ms. Lewinsky's requests," said company spokesman Alon Shani. "We thank Ms. Lewinsky for her fascinating speech to the conference, respect her sensitivity and wish her all the best."
Yet, Monica Lewinsky seems to either be too sensitive about her past or just wants more hype over it. Whatever this stunt was all about, she has achieved her goal, and now media all over the world are discussing her again, just like it was back in “good-old” days of 1998.