Monica Lewinsky opened up about being drawn to Bill Clinton’s charisma in a new People interview.
She said it was a combination of awe at the White House, the presidency, and Clinton’s attention.
“But he clearly didn’t care in the way I thought he did at the time,” Lewinsky added.
Monica Lewinsky said she was “enamored” by former president Bill Clinton’s “lethal charm” while she was in a romantic relationship with him.
Lewinsky opened up about the former couple’s 18-month-long affair in an interview with People magazine published on Wednesday, tied to the premiere of “Impeachment: American Crime Story.”
The third season of the Ryan Murphy-led anthology takes a closer look at the impeachment of former president Bill Clinton (played by Clive Owen) and the fallout from his affair with then 22-year-old White House intern Lewinsky (Beanie Feldstein).
“For me, at 22 there was this combination of the awe of being at the White House, the awe of the presidency and the awe of this man who had an amazing energy and charisma was paying attention to me,” Lewinsky told the magazine about Clinton.
The “Impeachment” producer explained that she was “enamored” and “intoxicated” by the high-level politician’s “lethal charm,” adding that many young people might possibly find themselves in a similar situation with an older individual.
“It might be a professor or a boss, your immediate supervisor at your first job,” she said. “We think we’re on his terra firma in our early twenties and yet we’re really on this quicksand. [You think], I’m an adult now. It didn’t matter that I couldn’t get a rental car without a parental signature.”
During her chat with People, Lewinsky also brought up past presidents who haven’t been involved in “sex scandals” like Clinton, arguing that they wouldn’t have created the kind of “energetic bubble” that led to the former couple forming a romantic relationship.
Even if they were at the receiving end of attention like Clinton, Lewinsky said, they would probably “smile to themselves and then they would have moved on.”
“They would not have encouraged a 22 year old. And certainly not kept things going for as long as they did,” Lewinsky said alluding to Clinton.
She added that at the time of her affair with Clinton, she only got to know a “sliver” of the politician, although back in the mid-’90s she thought that what she knew was “the whole of who he was.”
“That’s not to say this was transactional. But he clearly didn’t care in the way I thought he did at the time and the way some of his gestures would have conveyed,” she said.
At the same time, Lewinsky told the publication that she’s no longer looking for an apology from Clinton on how their relationship played out and the backlash she received for it afterward.
She said: “If I had been asked five years ago, there would have been a part of me that needed something — that still wanted something. Not any kind of relationship, but a sense of closure or maybe understanding and I feel incredibly grateful not to need any of that.”