Monica Lewinsky Blasts Bill Clinton As A Predator In #MeToo Movement
One of the biggest scandals to ever come out of the White House was the affair that President Clinton had with his intern, 24-year-old Monica Lewinsky. When news of the affair in broke 1998, the president's reputation was tarnished to the point of impeachment.
While Lewinsky has spoken at length about the abuse she suffered online as a result of the affair, she always claimed that the relationship she had with the then president was consensual. Now, in the wake of the #MeToo movement, she has branded Clinton a "predator".
Clinton's removal from office meant he became the second president in history to be impeached, the first being Andrew Johnson in 1868. But while Clinton was able to continue his career as a politician, Lewinsky's life has remained blighted by the affair, which saw her become a household name overnight.
Within the past five months, so many people have come forward to admit that they have been the victims of gross misuses of power, such as Harvey Weinstein's victims, Lewinsky said that she has finally found the courage to see what happened between her and Clinton for what it was.
The 44-year-old made these revelations in an essay for Vanity Fair. While Lewinsky writes that she does not believe that she qualifies as a victim of sexual assault, she does believe that she was a victim of a sexual predator who abused his position as president.
According to the famed mistress, Hilary and Chelsea Clinton were portrayed as examples of "grit and grace" when the affair was exposed, but she had to be silent because of "legal quarantine" - worsened by lawyer Kenneth Starr forcing her own mother to testify against her.
In the Vanity Fair essay, Lewinsky reveals that at the time of the investigation, she never actually met Starr, but that finally happened two months ago when she was having dinner with her family - an encounter which has had a profound effect on her.
She described Clinton's former lawyer as being "creepy", writing that he touched her constantly something which made her "uncomfortable".
"Ken Starr asked me several times if I was 'doing O.K.," Lewinsky revealed, "A stranger might have surmised from his tone that he had actually worried about me over the years," but the 44-year-old said that she could not think like this after he made her life a "living hell".
"His demeanor, almost pastoral, was somewhere between avuncular and creepy," she continued. "He kept touching my arm and elbow, which made me uncomfortable."
Although she admits that she was "thrown" by Starr's behavior, Lewinsky said what she had been waiting 20 years to tell the 71-year-old: "Though I wish I had made different choices back then, I wish that you and your office had made different choices, too."
Starr reportedly said to Lewinsky that what happened was "unfortunate" and they parted company.
Lewinsky is not the only person whose opinion of her affair with Clinton has changed because of the #MeToo movement. She revealed that she has had a lot of people apologize for the way they treated her at the time and even received a letter which brought her to tears.
"Yes, I had received many letters of support in 1998. And, yes (thank God!), I had my family and friends to support me. But by and large, I had been alone," Lewinsky explained.
"Publicly Alone - abandoned most of all by the key figure in the crisis, who actually knew me well and intimately. That I had made mistakes, on that we can all agree. But swimming in that sea of aloneness was terrifying."
Despite gaining new support, however, Lewinsky maintains that not everyone will sympathize with her.
"There are even some people who feel my White House experiences don’t have a place in this movement, as what transpired between Bill Clinton and myself was not sexual assault, although we now recognize that it constituted a gross abuse of power," she said.
Lewinsk added that while she has a greater sense of perspective about what happened, she is still working on processing what happened to her psychologically, and therefore she isn't sure what her place in the #MeToo movement is.