An emotional Monica Lewinsky revealed that she contemplated suicide after her affair with President Bill Clinton was first uncovered.
“I remember looking out the window and thinking the only way to fix this was to kill myself, to jump out the window,” Lewinsky says in an upcoming A&E special.
The former White House intern is featured in a new six-part docuseries for the network called “The Clinton Affair,” which debuts Sunday.
In the interview, she described the moment when she first caught Clinton’s eye.
“As I passed George Stephanopoulos’ office, I kind of looked into the open doorway,” she says. “And Bill happened to be standing there. And he motioned me in — I don’t think my heart had ever beat as fast. Unbeknownst to me, I was on the precipice of the rabbit hole.”
She was 22 at the time and Clinton was 49.
“It's not as if it didn't register with me that he was the president, obviously it did,” she said. “It meant more to me that a man other people desired, desired me. However wrong it was, however misguided, for who I was in that very moment, at that time, at 22 years old, that was how it felt,” she says.
When news of the affair broke, Lewinsky was still in love with the president, she admits.
“I felt terrible, I was scared,” Lewinsky says in the series. “I was mortified, afraid what this was gonna do to my family. I still was in love with Bill at the time, so, I felt really responsible.”
News of the scandal first broke in January 1998, during the president’s second term in office.
At first, the president staunchly denied the affair, telling reporters: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky."
“Indeed, I did have a relationship with Miss Lewinsky that was not appropriate. In fact, it was wrong. It constituted a critical lapse in judgment and a personal failure on my part for which I am solely and completely responsible,” he said.
Clinton was subsequently brought up on perjury charges for lying about the affair under oath.
The House of Representatives voted to impeach the president, but in December 1998, following a 21-day trial in the Senate, Clinton was acquitted of all charges and allowed to remain in office.