It's been a busy week for former First Ladies, and for current First Lady Melania Trump. It has also been busy for one woman who, twenty-odd years ago, while working at the White House for then-President at the age of 21, shot to fame in the most embarrassing way possible.
Monica Lewinsky has released "The Clinton Affair," a docuseries that premieres this weekend on A&E, a six-part series examining those cringe-inducing days and months surrounding her affair with Bill Clinton.
In an article for Vanity Fair early this year, she wrote:
Some closest to me asked why would I want to revisit the most painful and traumatic parts of my life — again. Publicly. On-camera. With no control of how it would be used. A bit of a head-scratcher, as my brother is fond of saying. Do I wish I could erase my years in D.C. from memory, 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' style? Well, is the sky blue? But I can't. And in order to move forward in the life I have, I must take risks — both professional and emotional…. An important part of moving forward is excavating, often painfully, what has gone before. When politicians are asked uncomfortable questions, they often duck and dodge by saying, 'That's old news. It's from the past.' Yes. That's exactly where we need to start to heal — with the past. But it's not easy.
Filming the documentary forced me to acknowledge to myself past behavior that I still regret and feel ashamed of," she explained. "There were many, many moments when I questioned not just the decision to participate, but my sanity itself. Despite all the ways I tried to protect my mental health, it was still challenging. During one therapy session, I told my therapist I was feeling especially depressed. She suggested that sometimes what we experience as depression is actually grief… Yes, it was grief. The process of this docuseries led me to new rooms of shame that I still needed to explore.
Meanwhile, Bill Clinton—a man who has been accused of all sorts of terrible things, a close friend of Harvey Weinstein—recently admitted that he didn't feel the need to apologize to Lewinsky. Lewinsky disagrees.
I'm less disappointed by him, and more disappointed for him. He would be a better man for it… and we, in turn, a better society.
The #MeToo movement has been a wrecking ball to so many men, yet Bill Clinton, perhaps the most prolific of them all, has escaped unscathed.