Monica Lewinsky says she doesn't need Bill Clinton's apology—even if he wants to make amends

Monica Lewinsky discussed her views on the former president as Impeachment: American Crime Story is released

Monica Lewinsky smiling at an awards ceremony, wearing a black dress
(Image credit: David Crotty / Contributor/Getty Images)

Monica Lewinsky might be associated with an unforgettable chapter in US history, she's taken back power of the narrative surrounding her affair with Bill Clinton. In an interview, she opened up about neither wanting nor needing an apology from the former president.

Undeniably, Monica Lewinsky's redemption story is a triumph for women all over the world. Her journey from vilification to redemption is long, complex, winding and a clear indication of how far we've come in the years since the sex scandal which made her a household name. 

Monica was discussing Impeachment: American Crime Story in an interview with NBC Today, ahead of the show's premiere. During the interview, she addressed how she felt in the wake of the now-infamous sex scandal with former president Bill.

"There was a long period, before my life changed in the last six or seven years, where I felt a lot in terms of there not being this resolution," she said. "I'm very grateful that I don't have that feeling anymore. I don't need it."

"He should want to apologize in the same way I want to apologize any chance I get to people my actions have hurt," she continued.

Monica Lewinsky with Bill Clinton, a photo that was submitted as evidence in the Starr investigation.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The show is an account of the scandal which involved then 49-year-old Bill and Monica who was 22-years-old and an intern. On seeing a show about yourself in your earlier years she said, "I do not recommend watching your early 20s be dramatized on TV."

Monica explained further, "Especially in this instance where the truth really was stranger than fiction. (There were) moments where I just thought, 'Don't smile back. Don't talk to her. Don't confess. Don't do this, don't do that. Don't make bad decisions.' I think that that was really hard to see."

Impeachment: American Crime Story is an especially important account of what happened, as Monica herself is co-producing it. This means that a lot of pressure was heaped on her shoulders.

"You realize as a producer that, particularly because I was involved, that the credibility of the show would have been significantly affected, and I didn't think that was fair to anyone else," she said. 

Monica understands that despite these challenges, this was the first time she could truly strip back the media coverage and political spin—to finally control the narrative. 

"I think truth and context were really missing in the beginning of 1998 throughout the process, and I hope those are all things that we brought to the show."

Although the show is a dramatization, the co-producer says, "There is an enormous amount of emotional truth, and I think that's what was really important. I think a lot of people know about this story, but people are going to be very surprised when they watch it, at things they didn't know happened."

Aoife Hanna
Junior News Editor

Aoife is an Irish journalist and writer with a background in creative writing, comedy, and TV production.

Formerly woman&home's junior news editor and a contributing writer at Bustle, her words can be found in the Metro, Huffpost, Delicious, Imperica and EVOKE.

Her poetry features in the Queer Life, Queer Love anthology.

Outside of work you might bump into her at a garden center, charity shop, yoga studio, lifting heavy weights, or (most likely) supping/eating some sort of delicious drink/meal.