Though 25 years have passed since the scandalous affair between former US President Bill Clinton and White House intern Monica Lewinsky in 1995-97, Clinton continues to attract public ire for his conduct at the time.
A clip from a four-part documentary on the Clinton family, Hillary, which began streaming on Hulu today, shows the former president blame his decision to have the affair on anxieties he sustained as president.
“We all bring our baggage to life and sometimes we do things we shouldn’t do,” Clinton says. “It was awful what I did.”
In response to a question by director Nanette Burstein as to why he had the affair with Lewsinky, who was a 22-year-old intern at the White House when Clinton, 49, was a married president of the United States, the former president said that it was “something to take his mind off” the pressures of being president.
“Everybody’s life has pressures and disappointments and terrors, fears of whatever, things I did to manage my anxieties for years,” he says.
The documentary features interviews with both Bill and Hillary. In one clip, Hillary describes how Clinton woke her up to hint that he was having an affair, just before news of the same was about to break.
“He said, ‘There’s nothing to it. It’s not true. I may have been too nice to her, I may have paid her too much attention…but there was nothing,’” the former secretary of state and two-time presidential hopeful recalled.
In the documentary, Bill later apologies to Lewinsky for what he did. “I feel terrible about the fact that Monica Lewinsky’s life was defined by it, unfairly I think, over the years I’ve watched her try to get a normal life again,” he says.
In 2018,Lewinsk had written in Vanity Fair that the affair was a “gross abuse of power”, saying that “he was my boss. He was the most powerful man on the planet.”
The series has been a source of several explosive political statements already. In one clip, Hillary is seen lambasting Vermont senator and presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders as a ‘career politician’ who got nothing done and who nobody likes.
The documentary attempts to cover Hillary’s life, from her time in the White House to her presidential campaign, through interviews with former colleagues as well as with the former president and first lady. From the anguish she felt when the affair broke to the moment when Donald Trump blamed her for the affair two decades later when she ran for president, Hillary promises to tell the story of the lady who could have been America’s first female president.
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