It’s been more than 20 years since her infamous affair with Bill Clinton, but Monica Lewinsky is still haunted by the scandal two decades on.
While the former White House intern has tried to put her past behind her, she’s regularly asked about her affair and opinion on her former lover. Now, it has ended in a tense showdown as the 45-year-old appeared in Israel for a speech about cyberbullying at the Jerusalem Convention Centre.
After her speech, Lewinsky agreed to sit down for an interview with Yonit Levi, a well-known news anchor in Israel. She believed talk would be about her anti-bullying efforts, but the interviewer had Clinton on her mind.
“Recently in an interview on NBC News, former President Clinton was rather irate when he was asked if he’d apologised to you personally and he said, ‘I apologised publicly’. Do you still expect that apology? A personal apology?” Levi asked Lewinsky.
In video footage that has since gone viral online, Lewinsky paused for a moment before swiftly ending the interview and storming off stage.
“I’m so sorry,” she told the interviewer. “I’m not going to be able to do this.”
.@MonicaLewinsky walking out abruptly on @LeviYonit (chief anchor at @NewsChannelIL ) few seconds into her on stage live Interview after being asked: do you still expect a personal apology from Pres. Clinton. “Sorry, i cant do this”. pic.twitter.com/ZN3BiGViwF
— Tal Schneider טל שניידר تال شنايدر (@talschneider) September 3, 2018
Her reaction was met with confusion, with some audience members applauding her. As she made her way off stage, Levi followed her.
Hours later, Lewinsky took to her Twitter page to give her side of the story and to explain to her followers what really happened.
“After a talk today on the perils and positives of the internet, there was to be a 15-minue conversation to follow up on the subject of my speech (not a news interview),” she wrote. “There were clear parameters about what we would be discussing and what we would not.”
Lewinsky claimed the question asked on stage was initially put to her a day earlier, to which she said it was completely off limits.
“When she asked me it on stage, with blatant disregard for our agreement, it became clear to me I had been misled,” Lewinsky continued. “I left because it is more important than ever for women to stand up for themselves and not allow others to control their narrative.”
She also apologised to those in the audience for the way she ended the talk.
Clinton has previously insisted that he didn’t think he owed Lewinsky a personal apology for their affair, which saw her face the brunt of her relationship with the former president.
In an embarrassing blunder earlier this year, lifestyle magazine Town and Country invited Lewinsky to one of its events, only to uninvite her when they realised they’d also invited Clinton. At the time, Lewinsky blasted the magazine for their decision.
“Dear world: please don’t invite me to an event (esp one about social change) and –then after i’ve accepted– uninvite me because bill clinton then decided to attend/was invited. it’s 2018 [sic],” she wrote “P.s. …and definitely, please don’t try to ameliorate the situation by insulting me with an offer of an article in your mag.”
please don't invite me to an event (esp one about social change) and –then after i've accepted– uninvite me because bill clinton then decided to attend/was invited.
emily post would def not approve.
— Monica Lewinsky (@MonicaLewinsky) May 9, 2018
Clinton still attended the event.