Wednesday 23 June 2021
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Clinton: Drew close to Monica to manage presidential anxiety

Former US President Bill Clinton spoke candidly for a documentary series titled Hillary, where he said it was awful confessing before Chelsea

Former US President Bill Clinton has admitted after 25 years that he had had an affair with Monica Lewinsky while living in the White House. This helped him relieve the tension of the presidency, he claimed.

Clinton has mentioned several intimate things in the documentary series Hillary released on Friday.

This is the first time Bill Clinton has spoken openly on the scandal. Asked why he took such a big risk with family, marriage and country, he said he did not think about all of them when the affair started. “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’,” he told the documentary series maker Hulu.

“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’ll take your mind off it for a while. Everybody has life’s pressures and disappointments and terrors, fears or whatever, things I did to manage my anxieties for years,” Clinton said

Clinton apologised to Monica and said that after this, her life was judged by this affair, for which he felt sorry.

Awful to confess before daughter: Bill Clinton

According to Bill Clinton, when he first met White House intern Monica Lewinsky, he was under immense pressure from work. He felt at that point that this was the person who could give relief to his mind and heart for a few moments. Monica helped him to cope with the pressure of the job of the president of the United States.

The most embarrassing moment was when he had to confess about the affair to his then 18-year-old daughter Chelsea. He was more hurt than accepting the truth in front of Hillary who said, “I was so personally just hurt.” She said she told her husband, “I can’t believe this, I can’t believe you lied.”

“It was horrible and I said if this is going to be public, you have to go tell Chelsea,” Hillary reportedly told Bill. She explained how she “didn’t want anything to do with him” after she learnt of the affair.

“I made the decision to stay with my husband. I think some people thought I made the right decision and some people thought I made the wrong decision,” Hillary said.

Bill Clinton told the filmmakers that telling Chelsea about the affair was “awful”.

Avoided impeachment, became president again

Hillary had made up her mind to face her husband’s impeachment procedure standing by her man. In 1998, Bill faced impeachment due to the scandal.

But Clinton survived and served a second term as US president. Bill had previously spoken out in 2018 about the relationship with Monica. At the time, he had refused to apologise to Lewinsky.

Hillary: Marriage was on verge of breakdown

Hillary admitted in the interview that she was completely devastated after the scandal. Their marriage was on the verge of a breakdown, she said.

The third episode of the documentary series deals with the Clintons’ comeback from the scandal that nearly stalled the family’s political careers and almost ended their marriage. Bill Clinton said seeing a marriage counsellor was “one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do”.

Hillary said she agreed to this documentary because she did not want to run away from anything. The family went on a holiday after the scandal was revealed.

Monica confused

Lewinsky, who is now 46, fails to define the affair with clarity. On the one hand, she says her relationship with the then president was “a gross abuse of power”, as Clinton was older than her by 27 years. However, she maintains it was “consensual”.

Monica told Vanity Fair in 2014, “Any ‘abuse’ came in the aftermath when I was made a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful position.”

Publishing partner: Uprising

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