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Monica fears 'next wave of paparazzi' if Hillary runs

By CNN Political Unit
updated 7:44 AM EDT, Thu May 8, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Lewinsky said she's been thinking about a Hillary Clinton run for president
  • There is more to her than just having a woman as president
  • She says she's wary of the media barrage that she fears would come with it
  • Lewinsky penned an article for Vanity Fair in which she talked about her affair with Bill Clinton

(CNN) -- Monica Lewinsky writes that she's concerned a second Hillary Clinton bid for the White House would thrust her back into the spotlight.

"When I hear of Hillary's prospective candidacy, I cannot help but fear the next wave of paparazzi," she said in the upcoming issue of Vanity Fair.

"Like many Americans, I've been thinking about Hillary Clinton. What might happen, I've wondered, if she does run in 2016. And what if she wins -- and then wins a second term?" she said.

"But when I think about these matters, there's a dimension at play for me other than just the fact that we might finally have a women in the White House," said Lewinsky.

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'Burn the beret...'

Her comments were taken from the full article that's due out on Thursday. It's the first time she's written about her affair with Bill Clinton, who was impeached over the resulting scandal. The Senate acquitted him of all charges.

In excerpts released on Tuesday, Lewinsky, now 40, said the sexual relationship with Clinton while working as an intern in the mid-1990s was consensual and it was time to move on.

"It's time to burn the beret and bury the blue dress," she wrote, noting that she "deeply" regretted what occurred.

"Sure, my boss took advantage of me, but I will always remain firm on this point: it was a consensual relationship. Any 'abuse' came in the aftermath, when I was made a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful position," Lewinsky wrote.

Wary of the next wave of stories

While Lewinsky remained in the public eye for a number of years after the controversy, she said little about the scandal over the past decade.

As the former first lady considers running for president, Lewinsky worries about how the potential campaign could affect her.

In addition to "paparazzi," Lewinsky also is wary of "the next wave of 'where is she now?' stories, the next reference to me in Fox News coverage of the primaries. I've begun to find it debilitating to plot out the cycle of my life based, to some degree, on the political calendar. For me, it's a scenario in which the personal and political are impossible to separate," Lewinsky wrote.

When Hillary Clinton ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, Lewinsky said that she "remained virtually reclusive, despite being inundated with press requests."

'Gun-shy yet again'

She writes that she also put off announcing several media projects in 2012 until after that year's presidential election.

"And recently I've found myself gun-shy yet again, fearful of 'becoming an issue' should she decide to ramp up her campaign. But should I put my life on hold for another 8 to 10 years?" Lewinsky asked.

But she added that it was time to stop "tiptoeing around my past -- and other people's futures. I am determined to have a different ending to my story. I've decided, finally, to stick my head above the parapet so that I can take back my narrative and give a purpose to my past. (What this will cost me, I will soon find out.)"

Lewinsky was constantly in the media during and shortly after the controversy.

Handbags and grad school

She sold a line of handbags in 1999 and the next year she appeared in commercials for diet company Jenny Craig. In 2002, she appeared in an HBO special on the affair, and the next year she hosted a reality dating program.

Lewinsky changed course in 2005, moving to Britain to obtain a master's degree in social psychology at the London School of Economics. She's stayed out of the spotlight since.

In the Vanity Fair article, Lewinsky responds to reports made public in February that Hillary Clinton, in correspondence with close friend Diane Blair during the 1990s, had characterized Lewinsky as a "narcissistic loony toon."

Lewinsky writes that her first thought was: "If that's the worst thing she said, I should be so lucky."

She continued, "Mrs. Clinton, I read, had supposedly confided to Blair that, in part, she blamed herself for her husband's affair (by being emotionally neglectful) and seemed to forgive him. Although she regarded Bill as having engaged in 'gross inappropriate behavior,' the affair was, nonetheless, 'consensual (was not a power relationship).'"

Blair's personal writings gave insight into the former first lady's views on the Lewinsky scandal, as well as a host of other issues. The papers were donated by Blair's family to the University of Arkansas.

Asked about those conversations between Hillary Clinton and Blair, Lewinsky writes: "Yes, I get it. Hillary Clinton wanted it on record that she was lashing out at her husband's mistress. She may have faulted her husband for being inappropriate, but I find her impulse to blame the Woman -- not only me, but herself -- troubling."

And she rejects the "narcissistic loony toon" label, saying that she refused to cooperate with interrogators offering the then-24-year-old immunity from the threat of jail time in return for wearing a wire to monitor staged conversations with two of Clinton's confidantes.

"Courageous or foolish, maybe," Lewinsky writes, "but narcissistic and loony?"

The full article will appear in the June issue of Vanity Fair, which will be available in New York and Los Angeles and on the iPhone, iPad, Nook, and Kindle -- on Thursday. The magazine will hit national newsstands on May 13.

Clintons' relationship with media still testy after all these years

In political extramarital affairs, the mistress rarely emerges unscathed

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this story

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