Monica Lewinsky affair was to ‘help manage anxieties’, office pressure-Bill Clinton
London, March 7, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Former President Bill Clinton says his affair with Monica Lewinsky was a way of managing his anxieties.
He made the remarks as part of a documentary series titled “Hillary” which looks at the public life of 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Mr Clinton was impeached in 1998 for lying to investigators about his relationship with Ms Lewinsky. He was acquitted at his Senate trial.
Ms Lewinsky was a 22-year-old White House intern at the time of the affair.
Mr Clinton told documentary makers Hulu: “What I did was bad but it wasn’t like I thought, let’s think about the most stupid thing I could possibly do and do it.”
According to the Former President of the United States, he cheated with Lewinsky because it helped to ‘manage his pressures and anxieties at the time in the White House.’
The former President added that he met Lewinsky at a point where the pressure of being the president is taking a toll on him and he told himself ‘Here’s something that will take your mind off it for a while.’
He described the extra-marital affair as something that he used to take his mind “off work for a while.”
The scandal at that time led to Clinton being impeached in 1998 by the Reps.
However, he survived the trial in the Senate and remained in office during his second term.
Clinton, however, apologised to Lewinsky, adding that he feels ‘terrible’ that the affair with him defined her life.
“You feel like you’re staggering around, you’ve been in a 15-round prize fight that was extended to 30 rounds and here’s something that will take your mind off it for a while, that’s what happens.
“Everybody’s life has pressures and disappointments, terrors, fears of whatever.
“Things I did to manage my anxieties for years. I’m a different, totally different person than I was, a lot of that stuff 20 years ago.
“I feel terrible about the fact that Monica Lewinsky’s life was defined by it, unfairly I think.
“I’ve watched her over the years trying to get a normal life back again but you’ve got to decide how to define normal,” Clinton added.
Ms Lewinsky has maintained that her relationship with the former president was consensual but she called it a “gross abuse of power”.
“Any ‘abuse’ came in the aftermath, when I was made a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful position…” she told Vanity Fair in 2014.
She said she had “limited understanding of the consequences” at the time and regrets the affair daily.