Jewish Telegraph Agency
Monica Lewinsky, an anti-bullying advocate who gained fame for her affair with Bill Clinton while serving as a White House intern, cut short a live interview in Jerusalem after the first question was about the former president Bill Clinton.
Lewinsky appeared at a conference in the Israeli capital organized by the Israel Television News Company, where she delivered a speech and then sat on stage for a live interview with Israel Channel 2 news anchor Yonit Levi.
Levi asked Lewinsky if she was still expecting a personal apology from Clinton over the inappropriate relationship, for which Clinton was impeached, Channel 2 reported.
“I’m so sorry, I’m not going to be able to do this,” Lewinsky said as she walked off stage following the question, according to reports.
Lewinsky said later in a tweet that she and Levi had discussed prior to the staged event what questions were fair game and what were off limits.
“The exact question the interviewer asked first, she had put to me when we met the day prior. I said that was off limits,” Lewinsky said in the tweet. “When she asked me it on stage, with blatant disregard for our agreement, it became clear to me that I had been misled. I left because it is more important than ever for women to stand up for themselves and not allow others to control their narrative.”
Lewinsky also apologized to the audience “that this talk had to end this way.”
She did not publicly discuss her relationship with Clinton until 2014. In February, Lewinsky wrote a personal essay for Vanity Fair on the 20th anniversary of the investigation into the affair, in which she admitted that she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder over the fallout from the investigation and publicity, and that the #MeToo movement had changed her perspective on the affair and its aftermath.
“I don’t think I would have felt so isolated if what happened in 1998 happened in 2018,” she told her Jerusalem audience. “By and large I had been alone. Publicly alone. Abandoned most by the main figure in this crisis, who knew me well and intimately.”
Lewinsky also told the audience that after the news broke of her affair with Clinton, “I was shunned from almost every community which I belonged to, including my religious community. That led to some very dark times for me.”
Clinton said in an interview in June with NBC’s “Today” show correspondent Craig Melvin that he felt his public apologies for the relationship were enough.
Former President Bill Clinton said his public apology for his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky was enough.
NBC’s “Today” show correspondent Craig Melvin asked Clinton in an interview if he had ever apologized to Lewinsky, who was 22 and Clinton’s subordinate when they began an affair more than two decades ago.
“I apologized to everybody in the world,” Clinton said of his public apology.
Melvin followed up by asking Clinton if he had ever apologized privately.
“I have never talked to her. But I did say publicly on more than one occasion that I was sorry. That’s very different. The apology was public,” he said.
Clinton made his public apology in 1998 during the National Prayer Breakfast.
“I don’t think there is a fancy way to say that I have sinned,” he said there. “It is important to me that everybody who has been hurt know that the sorrow I feel is genuine — first and most important, my family, also my friends, my staff, my Cabinet, Monica Lewinsky and her family, and the American people.”
Clinton told Melvin that at the time the affair became public, “I felt terrible then and I came to grips with it.” He said later in the interview: “I dealt with it 20 years ago plus … I’ve tried to do a good job since then with my life and my work.”
Clinton also said that he did not regret his decision to fight impeachment, and noted that he left the White House $16 million in debt from his defense.
Clinton and author James Patterson appeared on “Today” to promote their jointly authored novel “The President is Missing.”