Monday, November 19, 2018

Amidst New Revelations, Vivid Memories Of My Lunch With Monica

In an emotional interview as part of a new documentary (The Clinton Affair) on the A&E network, Monica Lewinsky reveals that she had a crush on Bill Clinton and that the crush turned into a full-fledged love affair.

Monica describes how, as an impressionable twenty-something White House intern, she went out of her way to attract Bill Clinton's attention and then fell in love with him. She talks about how terrified she was when the affair became public, what a dire psychological state she was in, how she feared being in trouble with the law and how she even contemplated suicide.

None of this is news to me now -- nor was it news to me when I met Monica Lewinsky and had lunch with her during the height of the scandal.
Monica Lewinsky in Philadelphia
on the day of our lunch, April 6, 1998.

My lunch with Monica occurred on April 6, 1998 when she was in Philadelphia with her then-lawyer William H. Ginsburg. Ginsburg came to town to address the Philadelphia Bar Association and he brought his famous client with him.

At the time I was Director of Communication for the bar association and thus responsible for media relations. Can you even begin to imagine the media frenzy that accompanied Monica's arrival in town? It was a circus!
And I was on tenterhooks trying to keep everything under control. Ponder how absurd it was to think that we actually could keep things under control.

Anyway, there I was right alongside Monica Lewinsky as she faced scads of TV and still cameras everywhere she went. 

Yes, we had a chance to chat. And yes, we talked about the scandal, sort of. During that time, it became very clear to me that Monica was still in love with the president, that she would rush to his side if need be, that she still harbored thoughts that she might be with him. How could she believe this? How could she still be loyal to him? Well, it was also clear that she was emotionally and psychologically fragile - very fragile. 

Actually, prior to 2014, I'd never told this story publicly. But then I shared the details with my friend Kevin Riordan of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Click here to read the full story.

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