Monica Lewinsky back in spotlight with PBS’ two-part ‘Clinton’

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Monica Lewinsky has attempted to keep a low-profile after her role in President Bill Clinton’s impeachment scandal made her name the butt of many late-night jokes. But she’s likely to become a topic of discussion again when PBS airs its much anticipated two-part, four-hour documentary on the former president, titled ‘Clinton.’

The documentary, which premieres on PBS as part of its ‘American Experience’ series on Monday, will shed new light on Clinton’s Oval Office affair with his 23-year-old intern through interviews with some of Clinton’s closest advisors, some of whom are speaking publicly about the affair for the first time.


Among the former White House staffers appearing on camera are Secretary of Labor Robert Reich and Clinton’s former reelection campaign manager, Dick Morris.

In the doc, Morris reveals, ‘When the Lewinsky scandal broke the President paged me and I returned the call. And he said, ‘Ever since I got here to the White House I’ve had to shut my body down, sexually I mean, but I screwed up with this girl. I didn’t do what they said I did, but I may have done so much that I can’t prove my innocence.’ ‘

Though she plays a huge role in the story of Bill Clinton’s presidency, Lewinsky herself was not interviewed for the documentary. Producer Barak Goodman said at a Television Critics Assn. panel in January of the decision, “We felt it would tilt [the documentary] toward sensationalism.”

After the scandal, Lewinsky went through a period of alternately embracing and avoiding her celebrity. She attended the Oscars with Sir Ian McKellan, became a spokeswoman for Jenny Craig, hosted a reality show called ‘Mr. Personality,’ was a correspondent for a British news program and sold a line of handbags.

In 2005, she left the U.S. and moved to London, attending the London School of Economics and graduating with a masters in social psychology in 2006. Though she has given interviews on the subject of the Clinton affair, most notably in an HBO special titled ‘Monica in Black and White,’ she has kept an extremely low profile in recent years.

‘Clinton’ is the latest in a series of in-depth documentaries PBS has produced over the years focusing on the careers of U.S. presidents. For those who can’t wait, PBS has made the first part of the documentary available on its website.


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-- Patrick Kevin Day