Nearly 20 years later, Lewinsky scandal has become fodder for Hillary Clinton's political foes
Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has invoked Lewinsky and Bill Clinton's affair
Lewinsky has remained out of the spotlight since 2005
Bill and Hillary Clinton’s seemingly never-ending political careers have had a tremendous impact on at least one person: Monica Lewinsky.
The former White House intern, whose sexual relationship with the 42nd President led to his impeachment, will never be able to escape the spotlight – as long as the Clintons are still in it.
As Hillary Clinton mulls another presidential run in 2016, her husband’s relationship with Lewinsky has become fodder for her political foes.
Possible Republican 2016 presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has invoked Lewinsky and Clinton’s affair twice in as many months.
“If (Democrats) want to take a position on women’s rights, by all means do. But you can’t do it and take it from a guy who was using his position of authority to take advantage of young women in the workplace,” Paul said this past weekend on C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” program.
And on NBC’s “Meet the Press” last month, Paul brought up Clinton’s “predatory behavior.”
Asked if Bill Clinton’s past should be a consideration in a potential second presidential bid by his wife, Paul said he’s “not saying that,” but “sometimes it’s hard to separate one from the other.” When it comes to judging Bill Clinton’s legacy, however, Paul said the affair should certainly be considered a factor.
The conservative Washington Free Beacon first reported on public documents stored at the University of Arkansas library that detail some of Hillary Clinton’s discussions with a close friend, Diane Blair, at the time. Clinton told Blair that Lewinsky was a “narcissistic loony toon.”
Blair, who died in 2000, wrote that “(Hillary) is not trying to excuse (Bill Clinton); it was a huge personal lapse. And she is not taking responsibility for it.”
CNN has confirmed the documents are authentic and has reached out to a spokesman for Hillary Clinton, who has not responded.
Lewinsky will continue to be part of the Clintons’ story.
Which leads us to ask – where is she now?
Immediately after Clinton’s impeachment, she remained in the spotlight. She worked with author Andrew Morton on a book about her, called “Monica’s Story,” which was published in March of 1999.
She was a spokesperson for Jenny Craig in 1999, according to IMDb, and worked as an American culture reporter for British Channel 5.
She launched a handbag design line and then hosted a reality television program in 2003 called “Mr. Personality.”
In the years following her White House internship, she made herself available for media interviews, including with Time magazine and Barbara Walters.
But in 2005, she switched gears completely. She moved to London, where she attended the London School of Economics and graduated with a master’s degree in social psychology. Her thesis was titled “In Search of the Impartial Juror: An exploration of the third person effect and pretrial publicity.”
Her publicist at the time, Barbara Hutson, said that “the audience of students and parents erupted in spontaneous applause. … It was a very emotional moment for her.”
But since 2006, Lewinsky has kept an extremely low profile. She stayed in London for a while job searching, and she was seen in New York with friends in 2009.
Hutson, who no longer represents Lewinsky, told CNN that she’s “trying to lead a private live,” but she promised that she would forward our request for comment.
In 2012, however, reports surfaced of a $12 million book deal. If they’re true, Lewinsky’s life in the shadows might come to an end.
According to the New York Post, she was shopping a juicy, tell-all book proposal around to publishers.
If such a book were released soon, before 2016, it could be the second time Lewinsky has a major political impact on the Clintons.