Monica Lewinsky: Relationship with Bill Clinton ‘littered with inappropriate abuse of authority’

February 26, 2018

Monica Lewinsky said her relationship with former President Bill Clinton was “littered with inappropriate abuse of authority, station, and privilege,” in a new essay in Vanity Fair out Monday.

Ms. Lewinsky said the #MeToo movement has given her a new perspective on the power dynamics of her affair with Mr. Clinton during his presidency in the 1990s, and said she’s received support and apologies for how she was treated back then.

“My hope, given the two decades that have passed, is that we are now at a stage where we can untangle the complexities and context (maybe even with a little compassion), which might help lead to an eventual healingand a systemic transformation,” she writes.

As a 20-something White House intern, Ms. Lewinsky began a sexual relationship with Mr. Clinton, which led to an investigation and impeachment by the House. Although the ruling was not upheld by the Senate, the scandal was largely seen as a very public marital affair and not an issue of harassment since Ms. Lewinsky acknowledged her consent.

The national #MeToo movement in the wake of mega Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s scandal last year have yielded new questions about consent, particularly in the workplace, when the power dynamic is unbalanced. Questions have also begun to crop up about how both Mr. Clinton and his wife, Hillary Clinton, treated Ms. Lewinsky.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, New York Democrat and close friend of the Clintons, has become a political face of the new movement against workplace harassment, and took a lead role in ousting Sen. Al Franken, Minnesota Democrat, from the Senate.

She has faced numerous questions about her closeness with the Clintons and how she reconciles the former president’s actions with her role as a proponent of women.