Monica Lewinsky sits down with InStyle magazine to discuss her new role as a producer, being cancelled, the Clintons and the Epstein connection. As a producer of Impeachment: American Crime Story, she is more acutely than ever, weaving her pain into purpose.
On her story being made into television: “In a weird way, when it happened in ’98, it was already the beginning of the inflection point between politics and entertainment, right? It started with O.J. [Simpson in 1994]. We were careening toward that, and then with the Internet, all of those things started to come together.”
On Beanie wanting to make her proud: “I am. I’m very proud of the show. I mean, it’s all so complicated for me. There are things in it that I don’t like, but if I liked everything, then somebody didn’t do their job. For instance, initially the team didn’t feel like they had to include the thong scene. But the flashing of the thong was part of the flirtatious buildup that had been going on for months. [The moment became a touchstone in the popular narrative once the affair was made public.] It’s not the most humiliating aspect of [the story], but it’s kind of up there. I said, “As much as I hate the idea, I think we have to have this in. I cannot get a pass just because I’m a producer.” That was a tough decision for me.”
On Britney Spears and now seeing apology tours: “I think it’s long overdue and wonderful to see it happening for different women in different arenas and scenarios. I made a mistake. Britney didn’t. There were other young women this happened to, and there’s an enormous amount of collateral damage. So I think it’s not just an apology to a person; it’s an apology to how you’ve affected a culture. What is sexual agency? What does it mean? It’s not surprising that this de-objectifying of women is happening alongside the #MeToo movement. They braid together in a way that makes sense.”
On women being cancelled: “You can survive it. There were many times I almost didn’t, but I’m grateful that I was able to. You may feel like you’re drowning, like you don’t want to wake up tomorrow, that you wish you were someone else. But we all have wonderful qualities, even people who I disagree with vehemently politically. We’re all loved by someone, so that’s what would be the most important thing to me. The second thing is not suffering in silence. Not everybody has a smooth family life, but for me it has been. That’s the reflection of who you really are.”
On whether or not the Clintons will watch it: “I don’t know that they will. It’s very complicated — a really big history with other public people and everybody talking about it in different ways. There is a documentary [Hillary] that came out last year on Hillary [Clinton’s] life, and a chunk of it was about this time. It’s difficult to be part of someone else’s story. In the same way that it’s difficult for me, it’s difficult for others as well.”
On Ken Starr and Epstein: “It is extraordinary to me. I was emailing back and forth with Brad and Nina a couple of weeks ago when the story about Ken Starr and how he was connected to [alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey] Epstein was revealed. There is a whole doctoral dissertation to be done — what does it mean that these two powerful men from 1998 would then intersect? Bill’s name has been linked to Epstein, right? It would be really a fascinating treatise on understanding power, male power, and it would say…I don’t know what, but something very important about our society.”
The interview will be featured in InStyle’s October issue hitting newsstands on September 24th.
[Photo Credit: Amy Harrity/Apostrophe]
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