Former President Bill Clinton said in an upcoming Hulu documentary that he had his sexual affair with then-White House intern Monica Lewinsky to “manage” his “anxieties.”
The four-part series “Hillary,” about Clinton’s wife, will debut Friday, according to the Daily Mail which has reviewed the film.
Clinton said the pressure of the presidency was like a “15-round prize fight that was extended to 30 rounds” and he viewed his dalliances with the then 22-year-old Lewinsky as something that could take his “mind off it for a while.”
“Because there, whatever life – not just me. Everybody’s life has pressures and disappointments, terrors, fears of whatever,” the former Arkansas governor said.
“Things I did to manage my anxieties for years. I’m a different, totally different person than I was, a lot of that stuff 20 years ago.”
The scandal that erupted following the revelation of the affair helped fuel Clinton’s impeachment by the House of Representatives in 1998 on perjury and obstruction of justice charges. Although he was acquitted by the Senate, he was held in contempt of court by federal Judge Susan Webber Wright for giving misleading testimony about the nature of his relationship with Lewinsky in a civil suit brought by former Arkansas state employee Paula Jones.
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He also was fined $90,000 and his license to practice law was suspended in Arkansas for five years.
Hillary Clinton is also interviewed in the documentary.
The former secretary of state revealed that the couple underwent “painful” marriage counseling in the wake of the scandal.
“I was just devastated. I could not believe it,” she said. “I was so personally just hurt and I can’t believe this, I can’t believe you lied.”
Bill Clinton said he told his wife after reports emerged which contradicted his version of events.
During a White House press conference with Hillary at his side, Clinton infamously said: “I want you to listen to me. I’m going to say this again. I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.”
“Maybe it’s just getting older but I hope it was also going through a lot of this,” Bill Clinton said in the documentary. “But whatever, what I did was bad, but it wasn’t like — how can I think about the most stupid thing I could and do it.
“It’s not a defense, it’s an explanation. I feel awful.”
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The documentary comes at a time when Bill Clinton’s legacy is under renewed scrutiny following the “#MeToo” movement.
Journalist Joshua Kendall, writing in the Los Angeles Times last year, noted the change in perception of the former president.
“He faces several credible allegations of sexual assault,” Kendall wrote.
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