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It's Payback Time For Monica Lewinsky In New Drama About Bill Clinton's Impeachment

Photo: Everett Collection / mark reinstein / Shutterstock / YouTube / FX
Monica Lewinsky Bill Clinton Impeachment: American Crime Story

"I apologized to everybody in the world," Bill Clinton told NBC’s Craig Melvin in 2018 in the midst of a roaring #MeToo Movement. 

"But you didn't apologize to her," Melvin said — her, in this case, being the formidable Monica Lewinsky. 

"I have not talked to her," Clinton said.

"Do you feel like you owe her an apology?" Melvin asked.

"No, I do — I do not,” Clinton replied. 

Now, three years post-MeToo and over two decades after the affair and subsequent fallout, Lewinsky is getting her apology — with or without Clinton. 

Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton’s affair will be retold in “Impeachment: American Crime Story.” 

Lewinsky’s story will be retold in “Impeachment: American Crime Story” which explores her affair with Clinton that eventually led to his impeachment. 

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She will be played by Beanie Feldstein, Clive Owen will take on Clinton and a contemporary telling of the affair will be kinder to Lewinsky than the 90s media — at least we hope so.

Lewinsky even served as a producer of the drama, lending her input to a story so-often written without her. 

Monica Lewinsky was vilified by 90s media & feminists.

Lewinsky was body-shamed over her weight, slut-shamed over her sex life, and gaslit over just about everything long before we had the vocabulary to know what any of those terms mean.

Republicans were out for Clinton’s blood and Lewinsky became the sacrificial lamb to take him down. 

In response, Democrats turned on Lewinsky casting blame on a 22-year-old White House intern instead of taking a look at their 49-year-old President. 

Perhaps the most painful response, retrospectively, was how so-called feminists of the 90s abandoned Lewinsky and fed her to the wolves. 

For Betty Friedman, Lewinsky was “some little twerp” part of a wider plot as she claimed that “enemies are attempting to bring him down through allegations about some dalliance with an intern... Whether it’s a fantasy, a set-up, or true, I simply don’t care.”

Gloria Steinham declared, “He’s married to a woman who’s at least his equal, whom he clearly likes and respects,” as a defence of a man who cheated on his wife. 

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After the #MeToo Movement, Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton’s affair has been redefined. 

The power imbalance and manipulation seems all too clear now in a world where powerful figures like Harvey Weinstein are convicted sex offenders and Bill Cosby, Prince Andrew and others probably should be. 

We understand now — or at least should — that the lines of consent between a President and an intern are so skewed that Lewinsky obliging Clinton offers only a marginal justification for his actions. 

Lewinsky has been somewhat vindicated in recent years and has been given the voice to address what she now recognizes as an abuse of power. 

“Now, at 44, I’m beginning — just beginning — to consider the implications of the power differentials that were so vast between a president and a White House intern,” she wrote in 2018. “I’m beginning to entertain the notion that in such a circumstance the idea of consent might well be rendered moot.”

But “Impeachment: American Crime Story” offers a chance at redemption on a broader platform that will likely be watched by a generation more willing to hold powerful men accountable for their abuses. 

Clinton may not think Lewinsky deserves an apology but, for once, his voice does not matter. Monica Lewinsky is talking now. 

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Alice Kelly is a senior news and entertainment editor for YourTango. Based out of Brooklyn, New York, her work covers all things social justice, pop culture, and human interest. Keep up with her Twitter for more.