Monica Lewinsky’s parents, Bernard Lewinsky and Marcia Lewis, gave a rare interview about their daughter’s affair with former President Bill Clinton for A&E’s new docuseries about the scandal.
“She said Monica was in trouble, did I know anything about her and the president? And I said, ‘What, no, I don’t know anything. What are you talking about?’” Bernard Lewinsky said in an interview for the six-part series called “The Clinton Affair,” recalling the moment he realized his daughter was in trouble.
Monica Lewinsky’s father, stepmother and brother met Clinton in the Oval Office and were given a tour of the White House a few months before learning about the affair. Both her father and stepmother described the meeting as odd and informal.
“He was very friendly,” Bernard Lewinsky said. “He was very familiar with us and that felt somewhat strange.”
Monica Lewinsky’s voice cracked as she described the moment the FBI threatened to prosecute her own mother. Later, her mom travelled to Washington, D.C., to be with her. Lewis said her daughter was terrified.
“We were both very, very frightened,” Lewis said. “Monica was distraught, she kept repeating ‘I just want to die. I just want to die.’”
Monica Lewinsky’s parents speak out in a rare interview, detailing how things unfolded between the former White House intern and former President Bill Clinton. pic.twitter.com/p385BVIaKE
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) November 20, 2018
The Lewinsky-Clinton affair began when she was a 22-year-old intern and the president was 49. It lasted from 1995 to 1997 and was publicly revealed in 1998. Although Lewinsky has said the relationship was consensual, she deemed it a “gross abuse of power” in a Vanity Fair essay published in March.
The episode of “The Clinton Affair” that aired Monday night largely revolved around Lewinsky’s confidante at the time, Linda Tripp, and independent investigator Kenneth Starr.
In it, the former White House intern also discussed what her relationship with Clinton was like when she began working at the Pentagon in 1996, a few months before the election.
“When I got banished to the Pentagon, there was this six- or seven-month period where the only time I saw him was if I went to an event,” she said. “There had also been this pattern of when he would see me he would call me. I heard from him quite regularly. I never knew when exactly that would be. I had no way to reach him. If he called me, I couldn’t call him back. I was completely at his mercy.”
Lewinsky said she didn’t hear from the president in the two weeks leading up to his re-election. At this point, she said, she began to worry.
“I had this nagging insecurity ― maybe he just did all of these things the last six months because he was trying to keep me quiet during the election. ‘How stupid am I, that I believed this that I bought this,’” she said. “I felt so deflated and so desperate.”