“I, myself, deeply regret what happened between me and President Clinton,” Lewinsky writes, according to excerpts released online by the magazine. “Let me say it again: I. Myself. Deeply. Regret. What. Happened.”
“Sure, my boss took advantage of me, but I will always remain firm on this point: it was a consensual relationship,” she writes. “Any ‘abuse’ came in the aftermath, when I was made a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful position.”
Lewinsky explains her long-kept silence as a way of putting the presidential affair behind her — some 15 years after the House impeached President Bill Clinton on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice in a federal investigation.
Clinton at first famously claimed that he did not have sex with “that woman.”
“I did have a relationship with Miss Lewinsky that was not appropriate,” Clinton finally said at the White House in August 1998 — having testified to a a federal grand jury for more than four hours that day. “In fact, it was wrong. It constituted a critical lapse in judgment and a personal failure on my part for which I am solely and completely responsible.”
Lewinsky also is stepping forward before the former first lady, Hillary Clinton, makes any announcement about running for president in 2016. She has written of first learning of the Lewinsky affair in her own memoirs.
“The buzz in some circles has been that the Clintons must have paid me off; why else would I have refrained from speaking out?” Lewinsky, now 40, writes. “I can assure you that nothing could be further from the truth”
“I’ve decided, finally, to stick my head above the parapet so that I can take back my narrative and give a purpose to my past. (What this will cost me, I will soon find out.)”
The full story will appear in the May 8 digital edition of Vanity Fair and on newsstands May 13.
Lewinsky, who has gotten a master’s degree in social psychology from the London School of Economics, says she has had a lot of trouble in job interviews “because of what potential employers so tactfully referred to as my ‘history.”’
“Thanks to the Drudge Report, I was also possibly the first person whose global humiliation was driven by the Internet,” she writes, explaining her current goal: “To get involved with efforts on behalf of victims of online humiliation and harassment and to start speaking on this topic in public forums.”