Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton’s Meetings on Impeachment: American Crime Story vs. Real Life


“The President placed the calls himself or, during working hours, had his secretary, Betty Currie, do so; Ms. Lewinsky could not telephone him directly, though she sometimes reached him through Ms. Currie,” determined the Starr report. Lewinsky said that their phone conversations spanned every subject “under the sun”—“just how we were doing. A lot of discussions about my job.”

Less romantic observations about the conversations from the Starr report:

On 10 to 15 occasions, she and the President had phone sex. After phone sex late one night, the President fell asleep mid-conversation. On four occasions, the President left very brief messages on Ms. Lewinsky’s answering machine, though he told her that he did not like doing so because (in her recollection) he “felt it was a little unsafe.” She saved his messages and played the tapes for several confidants, who said they believed that the voice was the President.

During one of Linda Tripp’s recorded conversations with Lewinsky, according to the Hartford Courant, “Lewinsky said that Clinton went to a Pentagon memorial service one day, and that night telephoned her for phone sex.”

Looking Back Now

In last year’s four-part Hulu docuseries Hillary, centering on his wife, Clinton reflected on his affair with Lewinsky—calling it a means to “to manage my anxieties.”

“It was awful what I did,” said Clinton. “We all bring our baggage to life and sometimes we do things we shouldn’t do…you feel like you’re staggering around—you’ve been in a 15-round prizefight that was extended to 30 rounds, and here’s something that’ll take your mind off it for a while. Everybody’s life has pressures and disappointments and terrors, fears of whatever, things I did to manage my anxieties for years.”

Six years earlier, Lewinsky decided to speak up about the affair in an essay for Vanity Fair.

“I am determined to have a different ending to my story,” Lewinsky wrote in the first of several essays for the magazine. “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.”

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