Monica Lewinsky revisits 'humiliation' of Clinton affair in interview

NEW YORK Tue Jul 1, 2014 2:07pm EDT

A man reads the latest edition of Vanity Fair with an article on Monica Lewinsky on a news stand in New York May 8, 2014. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

A man reads the latest edition of Vanity Fair with an article on Monica Lewinsky on a news stand in New York May 8, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Eduardo Munoz

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Monica Lewinsky, the one-time White House intern whose affair with Bill Clinton in the 1990s nearly brought down his presidency, said she ended up feeling like "the most humiliated woman in the world."

In her first television interview in a decade, Lewinsky, who became a constant punch line for late-night comedians, is part of a National Geographic documentary, "The ’90s: The Last Great Decade?" that airs on Sunday.

"I was the most humiliated woman in the world," she said, according to a preview of the interview that appeared on NBC's "Today" show on Tuesday. "To be called stupid and a slut and a bimbo, and ditzy and to be taken out of context, it was excruciating."

The affair led to Clinton being impeached by the House of Representatives in 1999. The Senate acquitted him and Clinton completed his second term in 2001.

In the National Geographic interview, she recalled the day in 1998 when special prosecutor Kenneth Starr issued a report on the scandal, including vivid details about her affair with Clinton, has one of the worst in her life.

"I was a virgin to humiliation of that level, until that day," Lewinsky said. "I mean it was just violation after violation."

Lewinsky largely dropped from sight after the scandal died out but her name resurfaced in U.S. political discourse in February, when former first lady and Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton was quoted as calling her "a narcissistic looney-tune" in an article based on the papers of a Clinton friend.

Lewinsky broke her long silence last month in an article for Vanity Fair magazine, in which she said she deeply regretted what had happened and was "determined to have a different ending" to her story.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, a likely Republican presidential contender, accused Democrats of "hypocrisy" for claiming to back women's rights while giving Bill Clinton a pass for his "predatory" behavior towards Lewinsky.

(Reporting By Edith Honan)

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