Monica Lewinsky concedes in a new documentary that she harbored a “crush” on President Bill Clinton throughout her early days at the White House, and frequently flirted with him — even intentionally leaving her underwear exposed on one occasion to get his attention.
At a 1995 birthday party for a White House staffer attended by the president, Lewinsky realized that her underwear was protruding from the rear of her pants, she recalled in “The Clinton Affair,” a new A&E documentary series.
“Instead of pulling my trousers up, like I would in any other instance, I didn’t,” said Lewinsky. “It was unnoticeable to everybody else in the room, but [Clinton] noticed.”
“As I passed George Stephanopoulos’s office, I kind of looked into the open doorway,” she said. “And Bill happened to be standing there. And he motioned me in — I don’t think my heart had ever beat that fast.
“Unbeknownst to me, I was on the precipice of the rabbit hole.”
Lewinsky and Clinton carried on a years-long relationship into his second term in office, which came undone and ignited a national firestorm under the weight of the Ken Starr probe.
“There were always narratives of secrecy in this relationship,” Lewinsky said. “We were both cautious, but not cautious enough.”
“I was completely at his mercy,” added Lewinsky, who in recent years has penned essays re-examining the affair and authority Clinton wielded in the light of the #MeToo movement.
At the time, though, Lewinsky said, the fling with the leader of the free world “just felt like connecting.”
“It’s not as if it didn’t register with me that he was the president,” Lewinsky said. “Obviously it did. But … the truth is, I think it meant more to me that someone who other people desired, desired me. However wrong it was … for who I was in that very moment, at 22 years old, that was how it felt.”
The six-part series, produced by Alex Gibney and directed by Blair Foster, premieres on A&E at 9 p.m. Sunday.