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The Best of Interviews With the Lewinsky Family

Aired July 14, 2001 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight: as mystery shrouds the fate of a missing Washington intern and controversy engulfs her married congressional lover, we revisit the story of another young woman. What a dangerous political liaison. Monica Lewinsky next on LARRY KING WEEKEND.

Thanks for joining us.

The unresolved story of missing intern Chandra Levy has inevitably stirred up memories of the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

Monica's affair with Bill Clinton, which he long denied and finally admitted, put her in the center of a media storm. She talked with us in January of last year, her first live prime time interview. And I wanted to know how she was handling the attention.


KING: What has this been like? I mean, it's obvious we -- the story is known by the world. What's it like to be the subject of a story known by the world? What's day-to-day living like?

MONICA LEWINSKY: It's -- it can be somewhat embarrassing sometimes. But I think it's -- I'm really trying to -- getting on the track of a 26-year-old. So I'm trying to do the best I can at dating and doing -- going out with my friends. And I'm -- you know, I support myself. I'm still trying to take care of my legal bills. So I'm trying to do the things that someone my age would do.

KING: Do you feel a victim?

M. LEWINSKY: No. I don't.

KING: How do you feel? What do you -- what do you -- in this whole story, Monica Lewinsky is what?

M. LEWINSKY: I think she's a young woman who made some private mistakes, and who's very sorry for those mistakes, but was also part of some other forces that she certainly couldn't control and know about...

KING: And how do you -- how do you deal with -- I mean, you walk down the street. You know they know you. Right? Go on an airplane; they know you. Most -- indeed, we could say 99 and a half percent of all 26-year-olds -- unless they're major screen stars -- are not known.

What's it like when you know they know you?

M. LEWINSKY: Well, I guess it's -- sometimes, I just try and pretend that I don't notice that anybody notices me. And that works sometimes. But sometimes that doesn't work at all.

And I think I find that people have been incredibly warm to me. So that makes it easier to accept. But it's also -- it's a reminder of what's happened. But it's also a validation for sort of having survived something difficult.

KING: Do you look straight ahead when you walk down the street? Or are you the kind of person who nods and smiles?

M. LEWINSKY: Depends on my mood. Depends on the day. Depends on where I am, and what I'm doing.

KING: Have any people been rude to you?


KING: Jokes, snide remarks, nothing?

M. LEWINSKY: I -- maybe once or twice, but not anything that's even compares to how amazing people have been.

And not just in the way people came up -- have come up to me now, sort of that -- I'm actually able to go out in public, and sometimes without a hat.

But I think, too, with a lot of the letters that I received throughout the past two years, and continue to receive, it's just -- it's heartwarming. I mean, for complete strangers to sit down and share something personal with you -- it's touching.

KING: Do you ever feel that in -- you have your own business, right?


KING: You have your hat business. I understand that's sold out, right?



M. LEWINSKY: Hopefully, we'll do the same for spring and summer.

KING: You got your own line of products?


KING: So, you're making a living. You've got the Jenny Craig thing, and that's going to get a lot of attention. Do you ever believe -- ever think that you're taking advantage of a situation?

M. LEWINSKY: I hope not. I try to make very careful decisions about what I choose to do. And it's -- I know that unfortunately, one of the misperceptions about me, I think, is that I'm sort of a moth to the limelight. And that's not it at all. I think anybody who really knows me knows I'm not a media hound and knows that I'm really sort of trying to do the best I can with the situation that I found myself in.

KING: Even though you know your part of the fault for the situation.

M. LEWINSKY: Of course. And I'm not blameless for it. I completely recognize that I bear some responsibility in what happened. But I didn't -- certainly didn't choose to become a public figure.

KING: You also -- naturally -- do you equate with yourself that you're a part of history?


KING: No, you don't think...

M. LEWINSKY: I -- I...

KING: ... that you're going to be studied in textbooks?

M. LEWINSKY: I recognize that -- I mean, and I -- because I think that sort of not recognizing the overall grandness of it in terms of history is I guess a little immature, and so I do. But I try to not pay attention to it, because it's just -- it's too awesome, in a sense.

And I really hope that as time goes on, it will become a shorter and shorter footnote in the history books.




KING: Our guest is Monica Lewinsky. She is now the major spokesperson for Jenny Craig. Her television ads debuted this weekend. There'll be print ads too, huh, I guess?

M. LEWINSKY: I believe so.

KING: Yeah. It's a whole campaign around you.

Is there -- is -- by the way, the story's that you get a -- you get bonuses depending on weight loss; is that true? I mean, it's none of our business, but is it true?

M. LEWINSKY: I think you said it best, Larry. It's... KING: It's a good incentive.

M. LEWINSKY: It's a private contract.

KING: OK. But it's a good incentive. You know, people have had that in other -- football players get incentives; drop 10 pounds, we'll give you this.

M. LEWINSKY: I think the best incentive is being able to put my jeans on again.


Do you intimidate men, do you think? Like, guys ask you out. You go out on dates, right?


KING: What's that like?

M. LEWINSKY: Not too many. But...

KING: Not too many.


KING: You don't get asked a lot.

M. LEWINSKY: No. Not as much as I'd like to be. It's difficult. I think it's...

KING: For the -- for the man?

M. LEWINSKY: I think it's difficult for me and for the guy that's -- I've been lucky that I haven't gone out with a jerk yet.



KING: Out with no nerd.

M. LEWINSKY: But it's...

KING: No guy has said, "Well, what's your sign?"

M. LEWINSKY: Yeah. Well, they might have. But it was appropriate.


M. LEWINSKY: So -- it's just -- I think it's -- I think it might be that people still don't fully know me as a person. And people are still getting to know me. Because there was an entire year spent with the media sort of creating Monica Lewinsky, and that wasn't me.

So it takes time for people to see that I'm just a normal person.

KING: But a boy -- a boy -- a man knows when he asks you out -- you go to dinner, people are going to look at the table. People are going to look at him, what he orders. So you have a lot of obstacles into that first date, don't you?


Well, I think that the first sign is where do they take you, is it a well-lit restaurant, is it a dark restaurant. So it's usually a success if you can see that it's sort of not a showy restaurant, and you feel like someone wants to sit across the table and enjoy dinner with you.

KING: Is the best approach to talk about it, to say, you know, you had this thing with the President, and I read all about it, and -- but I'm here today -- I mean -- is that the best way, or to act as if it didn't happen?

M. LEWINSKY: I think probably the best way would be whatever makes someone comfortable. I mean, that's...

KING: Would that make you uncomfortable?

M. LEWINSKY: No. I think whatever -- what makes me uncomfortable is when someone else is uncomfortable. So -- because I'm a pretty open person, and I've really had to come to terms with everything that's happened, and deal with it.

So if it helps to talk about it, then I'll talk about it, if it's someone worthwhile. If not, get him out the door.

KING: Have you met someone you liked?

M. LEWINSKY: Sure. Yes.

KING: I mean, are there -- you want to be married, right?


KING: Is your goal the typical young, pretty girl's goal in America -- marriage, children...

M. LEWINSKY: Well, thanks.

KING: ... life?

M. LEWINSKY: Definitely -- I've always -- I've always really been a romantic at heart. And I have always wanted kids. And I think the idea of sharing your life with the right person is amazing, actually. I think it's great.

And my friends who are married are just blissfully happy. And...

KING: You envy them?

M. LEWINSKY: No, I'm happy for them. I mean -- I mean, I can't wait for my turn. But it's -- they're good examples.

KING: Are there parameters -- does someone have to -- I mean, look at the competitive -- and they look at the fact that you had a relationship with a president of the United States. Not many people could stand up to that.

Do you have standards that you want in a person? Do they have to be successful -- have to be financially successful? They have to be...

M. LEWINSKY: I think probably the qualities that I look for in a man are somewhat different than they were before I became a public person, but not that much different.

I think that sort of the element of trust is certainly much bigger for me. But the other things that -- the other qualities -- intelligence and kindness and sense of humor -- those things -- I mean...

KING: But they could be a schoolteacher, or a carpenter.

M. LEWINSKY: Sure. I mean I think it...

KING: They don't have to be the United -- senator, or they don't have to be a movie star.


KING: They don't...

M. LEWINSKY: I think it's -- there certainly -- as you said before -- there are a lot more complications now. So it's -- I think right now I'm still in a period of trying to find out what works. I mean, I have incidents still, unfortunately, where you get surprised by the paparazzi, and that...

KING: They still follow you?

M. LEWINSKY: Sometimes. And it's -- it makes for a good test, though. There are days...

KING: ... to the guy. You're not -- what was that like, by the way, during the hectic days, when you would go out in the street, and they would -- I'd drive by in Washington everyday your law offices. And it was when you switched lawyers...

M. LEWINSKY: No, my lawyers' law offices.

KING: Their offices...


KING: ... where the guys were hanging around there all day, running across the street for food, and come back and eat, and wait -- what was that like for you?

M. LEWINSKY: It was so...

KING: You couldn't go out, right?

M. LEWINSKY: Oh, no. And it was -- it seemed somewhat ludicrous to me. I mean, and it was -- it just -- it seemed unbelievable. And I didn't quite understand -- I looked the same every day.

KING: I mean, they had a picture from yesterday.

M. LEWINSKY: I mean, I had -- exactly. And here I am, walking out of my building, getting into a taxi, wearing a somewhat similar outfit from yesterday; my hair's not that much different, my makeup's not that much different. What's so new? And it -- and it just didn't make sense to me.

And so, I just pretended that they weren't there. And that worked pretty well for me.

KING: When that story first broke -- when you first saw your name mentioned -- you remember your first reaction? Where was it, by the way? Was it "Newsweek"? Was it...

M. LEWINSKY: No. It was the "Drudge Report."

KING: Oh, really?

M. LEWINSKY: And I was...

KING: And he -- someone reported about the "Drudge Report." Because how many people were paying attention to the "Drudge Report?" Right? It had to be someone reporting on the "Drudge Report."

M. LEWINSKY: I'm not -- I'm trying to think -- I'm not sure I can say how I found out.

I learned it on the "Drudge Report," and I didn't have my computer. So I was downstairs at this packing shipping place on their computer. And at this point, I was still a private citizen. So it was somewhat odd to me to be in this public environment, and...

KING: See an...

M. LEWINSKY: ... to read this. And...

KING: Did you know then, "Oh, boy."

M. LEWINSKY: Well, I think -- as most people know, the days leading up to when my name came out were somewhat telling; that it wasn't going to be a good year. So...

KING: You knew then, right?


KING: How did you handle that? M. LEWINSKY: I don't know that I did handle it. I mean, I -- I cried a lot. I freaked out a lot. I mean, it was just -- it was scary.


QUESTION: Everybody get a picture.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on. Relax! Relax!

QUESTION: Hey, Monica, Monica!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, don't touch her!





M. LEWINSKY: I've tried every diet in the world. I mean, if it was stand on your head, I tried it. If it was eat only grapefruits, I tried it. Magic diet pills, I tried it.

I've lost 31 pounds on Jenny Craig. I'm not there yet, but I can still appreciate and be grateful and proud of my success so far.


KING: We're back with more of our January 2000 interview with Monica Lewinsky.

At the time of that conversation, she was starring in a ad campaign for Jenny Craig weight loss program.

I asked her how that deal came about.


M. LEWINSKY: First let me say it's just been a wonderful, wonderful experience for me so far. And I'm really fortunate to have been this successful at it. And...

KING: How did it happen? Did they call you, you call them?

M. LEWINSKY: Well, it was sort of a mutual, really, coming together. They contacted a family friend. And I was at a point in my life where I was looking to...

KING: Lose weight.

M. LEWINSKY: ... not just -- not just lose the weight, though, but really get control of it, and finally be rid of some of my food issues. And I think they were looking for some way to bring attention to their program, which is really great.

KING: What happened during all of this, Monica, to family?

M. LEWINSKY: Well...

KING: Your father was on this show; I'm sure you saw him.

M. LEWINSKY: Of course.

KING: And your stepmother was on this show.

Spoke to your mother the other day. I know this must -- how did they take it, from your perspective?

M. LEWINSKY: This was devastating to everyone in the family. And not just the immediate family, but far reaching as well. And to my friends, too. But I -- my sort of -- the nuclear family was just amazing. And I would not be here today had my family not stood by me the way they did.

KING: Even though you were dealing with a separated family, right?


KING: Father and stepfather, mother and stepmother -- all supportive?

M. LEWINSKY: Incredibly.

KING: And your sibling?

M. LEWINSKY: Incredibly.

KING: Friends?

Any friends leave you?

M. LEWINSKY: My friends have been absolutely unbelievable.

I had a really neat experience last week, because I got to have all three of my closest friends -- the three of whom had to testify -- were all here in L.A. together. And they all three hadn't been together with me at the same time. And so that was -- they know I'm so mushy. So we went to lunch, and it was just -- it just meant so much to me. Because I think especially -- I mean, family is important. And that's certainly something I've learned.

But someone my age, your friends are really important.

KING: In daily living, who's -- how -- is it tough -- how you paying legal bills? They still there?

M. LEWINSKY: They're still there. KING: Well, you have some income now. You could whittle that down, right?

M. LEWINSKY: Yes. Right. Well, I mean, I'm working on that. I mean, I'm 26 years old, and I'm taking care of myself. I'm not supported by either set of parents. So I'm...

KING: Nor have you asked?

M. LEWINSKY: No. I think that during a time when I wasn't able to get any financial support outside of the family, they were supportive, as you would sort of expect. But I'm 26, so it's important for me to take care of...

KING: And that lawyers understood that when they took it on, didn't they? You think...

M. LEWINSKY: I -- well, I think -- I mean, all I had a few sets of -- or, two sets of lawyers. And I think that it's kind of a sticky situation. It's...

KING: Are they bugging you for money? No, really. I'm surprised at that.

M. LEWINSKY: Next question.

No. I mean, they -- I think that Plato and Jake are working now to -- I know that they're helping me make sort of -- Plato is making adjustments where he can. And they're trying to help me...

KING: Have an arrangement?

M. LEWINSKY: Yeah. But I think it's -- I think everybody feels that they worked hard, and I think...

KING: They want their money.

M. LEWINSKY: ... feels they want to be compensated. And I am terribly, terribly grateful for all of the hard work that everybody put into this. And there isn't -- there isn't a feeling that people shouldn't be compensated for the hard work that they did.

And if they hadn't done all that, I -- I mean, I got my immunity because of it. And it's -- I'll always be grateful for that. I just, you know...

KING: Well, yeah. Not easy.

M. LEWINSKY: We have the taxes, and agents, and all sorts of other things. So it's -- you know, you end up with not much of the dollar when it finally gets to you.

KING: You do not -- you do not have an apartment in Trump Tower, in New York, on...

M. LEWINSKY: No. KING: We'll be back with more of Monica Lewinsky after this. Don't go away.


QUESTION: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm an unwilling spokesman. I want to introduce Ms. Lewinsky and Mr. Stein, and Mr. Spites (ph). And with me, we are the defense team for Monica Lewinsky.





WOLF BLITZER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Mr. President, Monica Lewinsky's life has been changed forever. Her family's life has been changed forever.

I wonder how you feel about that, and what, if anything, you'd like to say to Monica Lewinsky at this minute.




KING: How do you react in view -- it's obvious -- how do you react when you see the President on television, or read about him in the paper? You can't look at it dispassionately. It's not someone like out there. How do you look at it?

M. LEWINSKY: It's -- I think as each day goes on, I really am farther and farther removed from the situation. And it's...

KING: You look at him as just the President? Can't.

M. LEWINSKY: I'm working towards that. I mean, I've really -- I can't stress this enough -- I have really put so much energy into trying to work on myself, and work on learning how to balance my food, and work on learning how to not see -- you know, not judge myself so much for what I eat, and working in therapy on personal issues. That...

KING: You're putting it behind you is what you're saying?

M. LEWINSKY: I put it behind me.

KING: Have put it behind...

M. LEWINSKY: I have put it behind me. KING: But it's going to linger with you all your life. I mean, the name will be lingering with you all your life.

M. LEWINSKY: Well, as does every person who's been in my life. I mean, it's -- I think that's what life is. It's a journey where you meet people, you interact with them. Some experiences are good, and some are bad.

KING: And sometimes feelings don't go away. You must still have some feelings. I mean, it's a jump...

M. LEWINSKY: Some days. I mean -- again, I'd be lying to say my heart is always cold. But it's not -- it's not anything like what it used to be.

KING: Any bitterness?

M. LEWINSKY: Well, I've really -- I had to put that behind me. I really had to sort of let go in order to be able to move forward and work on myself. And not to sound egocentric -- myself, myself, myself, but...

KING: It's about you; you're the guest.

Linda Tripp, who you said in the Barbara Walters interview, you hate -- I think it was a term you -- did you say you hate Linda Tripp? What was the term you used? I forget what it was.

Anyway, on this program, Linda Tripp said if she saw you, she would hug you. And she felt sorry for you. Did you see that show?

M. LEWINSKY: I think so.


M. LEWINSKY: I think so.

KING: How do you feel about her?

M. LEWINSKY: I think -- because she's in trial, it's probably not appropriate for me to comment; I'm sorry.

KING: Now, what are your personal feelings toward her? OK, I understand. She's...

M. LEWINSKY: I -- really, in that sense, I don't think that it would be appropriate.


Was it emotionally tough to testify?

M. LEWINSKY: It was -- it was difficult for me, because I haven't dealt with those emotions or really thought about the events of that time for awhile.

So, fortunately, I have a good memory, so I kind of was able to gear it up again. But it was just -- it was stressful.

KING: And she wasn't in the courtroom, was she?


KING: That would have been more stressful, right?


KING: It's hard to put this away, isn't it? I mean...

M. LEWINSKY: I keep trying.

KING: No, I mean, but it is hard. It's hard for you...

M. LEWINSKY: You know...

KING: ... because it is a public -- it's a major public story.

M. LEWINSKY: I think so. Well, obviously.


M. LEWINSKY: I mean, not -- I think so.

KING: Were there other friends you confided in during this period?

M. LEWINSKY: Which...

KING: Who didn't tape you or talk about it? I mean, was Linda Tripp the only person you were confiding in?

M. LEWINSKY: No. And those friends ended up with legal bills. So, I mean, they were...

KING: They called in.

M. LEWINSKY: The ones who had to testify. And I think that's -- I mean, they were my true friends, who ended up having -- being forced to share information that they wouldn't have shared with anybody, unless they were forced to under -- or by law.

KING: As you look back, were you just a young girl, talking as any young girl in that position would?

M. LEWINSKY: I think not necessarily young girl; I think most women -- I mean, a lot of the women I've encountered...

KING: Would have talked about...

M. LEWINSKY: ... younger to much older have all sort of tried to make me feel like I'm not alone.

KING: Most people are nice to you, right?

M. LEWINSKY: Yeah. And I'm very grateful for that.

KING: And that must be terrific for you.

M. LEWINSKY: It's wonderful.

KING: We'll take a break and take some calls for Monica Lewinsky.

This is LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.



LINDA TRIPP: Monica is 21 going on 14 on a good day. And she was a child. She was a mixed up, unstable, volatile child. The notion that he would even dally with this child is beyond repulsive to me. But to do what she did -- she was...

KING: You have no harsh feelings toward her, then?

TRIPP: No. None.

KING: None.





M. LEWINSKY: I know this is so stupid, but Linda, I don't know why I have these feelings for him. Maybe I'm crazy. Maybe I don't really have these feelings. Maybe I am pretending it. I don't know.

But when I tell you that -- I never expected to feel this way about him. I am not kidding you.

TRIPP: You protect him every inch of the way.

M. LEWINSKY: I never -- and the first time I ever looked into his eyes close up and was with him alone, I saw somebody totally different than I had expected to see. And that's the person I fell in love with.



KING: By the way, since going on the Jenny Craig diet, you have lost 31 pounds. Is that correct?

M. LEWINSKY: Uh-huh.

KING: Is there goal by the way? Do you have a...

M. LEWINSKY: Yes, I think I -- I mean, my goal for me is a little -- probably more mental, I mean, in the sense of I want to feel healthier and it will -- how I'll look. But it's probably about 15 more pounds, so...

KING: Toughest days are the days you want to binge, right? Because the...

M. LEWINSKY: Yes, I mean there's...

KING: The alcoholic wants to drink, the gambler wants to bet.

M. LEWINSKY: Uh-huh. Someone told me something really interesting today, that sort of in the face of stress you either want to fight or flight. And the thing to do did if you can't fight or flee is to just flow. And I thought that was -- actually, my consultant from Jenny Craig told me that. And...

KING: And if you can say it fast, you're pretty good, too.


KING: You could fight or flee or flow.

M. LEWINSKY: But it's something that, you know, today I was nervous about coming on here, so today would have been a perfect day to want to have some comfort food.

KING: You're not -- you're not still nervous, are you?


KING: Let's take a call. Let's see what the public thinks.

Boston, Massachusetts, for Monica Lewinsky -- hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry.


CALLER: Hi, Monica.


CALLER: Monica, I am overweight myself, so I feel for you. And I wanted to know, what do you do when you're tempted to eat something you know you shouldn't have? What do you do now? How do you stop yourself from doing that?

M. LEWINSKY: Well, one of the tools that I've really learned on the Jenny Craig program is to sort of think about it more. And so I stop, and before I eat the food think about do I really want it? Can I wait 20 minutes and see then if I really want it? And sometimes I still do. And at that point, think about what the best portion would be and allow myself to eat it and be there and enjoy it in the moment and sort of work out the rest of my day so that my food's balanced and kind of be OK with it.

KING: It's a daily thing, though, isn't it?

M. LEWINSKY: It is, it really is.

KING: Indianapolis for Monica Lewinsky -- hello.

CALLER: Hey, Larry.


CALLER: Monica.


CALLER: Hi, my prayers are with you.

M. LEWINSKY: Thank you.

CALLER: I just wanted to ask, earlier in the show you'd said you really didn't want to be in the limelight. But now you are kind of in the limelight promoting something. So how do you feel about that? I mean, is that a double standard?

M. LEWINSKY: Well, I...

KING: Fair question.

M. LEWINSKY: No, very fair question. I don't think it's a -- I hope people that don't see it as a double standard, because I -- I'm in a position right now where I'm trying to support myself and pay my legal bills, and so I'm looking for kind of the best way to do that. It would be too chaotic for me to go to a traditional job. I'm not being supported by my parents, and I chose something among a lot of different things that I felt was honorable and that I thought would be helpful to me to...

KING: Kind of betwixt -- you're caught here.

M. LEWINSKY: Sort of.

KING: In other words, you don't want to be public...


KING: ... but to make money you have to be public.

M. LEWINSKY: Well, and -- and also, too, it's -- it's sort of not doing something in public doesn't make people not recognize me. And it doesn't give me my life back. And I do need to -- I do have financial responsibilities.

KING: So you're -- it's a Catch 22. You're betwixt and between in a sense, right?

M. LEWINSKY: Uh-huh. KING: You've got -- you need the income.

M. LEWINSKY: Uh-huh.

KING: And you can't take a traditional job. That would just never work for you, right? You can't go work in a P.R. firm?

M. LEWINSKY: Not right now, no. And maybe down the line I'll go back to school, and who knows what will happen. But right now, this is -- this is what I'm doing.

KING: Do you see yourself as a housewife someday? Housewife- housewife?

M. LEWINSKY: Well, I think I...

KING: Home with the kids? I'm -- hey, Phil, how did it go today?

M. LEWINSKY: I think I see it -- I think being a mom can be a full- time job. And I think it's a great full-time job. And if I'm lucky enough to be in a financial position to be able to do that, then that's great.


KING: We'll have more highlights of our conversation with Monica Lewinsky right after this.


CLINTON: Indeed, I did have a relationship with Miss Lewinsky that was not appropriate. In fact, it was wrong. It constituted a critical lapse in judgment and a personal failure on my part for which I am solely and completely responsible.




CLINTON: I want to say again to the American people how profoundly sorry I am for what I said and did to trigger these events and the great burden they have imposed on the Congress and on the American people.



KING: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania -- hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry, hi, Monica.


CALLER: The year 2000 is a presidential year. And my question is, has your experience influenced your opinion of presidential politics, and would you get involved in this year's race in the new millennium?

M. LEWINSKY: My interest in politics is not very high at all right now.

KING: You were a political major, weren't you?

M. LEWINSKY: No, I was actually a psychology major.

KING: You were?

M. LEWINSKY: Yes. And I sort of am not very interested in politics.

KING: You're turned off by it?

M. LEWINSKY: Yes. I think that I'll register to vote, of course, and we'll see what happens. We'll see how I feel.

KING: You're going to be a New Yorker.


KING: You got thoughts on the Hillary Clinton-Giuliani race, if that happens?

M. LEWINSKY: Well, I sort of -- I think that voting preferences should be kept quiet, private and quiet.

KING: All right. Fair to ask though, do you feel bad for her, badly for her?

M. LEWINSKY: I have a lot of personal remorse for what she's gone through and I'm sure what their daughter has gone through, what Chelsea has gone through. It's...

KING: Because you're Chelsea's generation, right?


KING: Did you know Chelsea?


KING: Never met her?

M. LEWINSKY: I don't believe so.

KING: Jackson, Mississippi, hello?

CALLER: Hello, Larry. Monica, let me ask you, I feel that you were abused by Ken Starr and those slick Republicans in Washington. How do you feel about the future of our capital, Washington, in the hands of people like that?

M. LEWINSKY: Political question.

KING: You don't want to discuss politics, but do you feel abused? Did you feel abused?

M. LEWINSKY: I don't think I probably would be OK answering that.

KING: Because of the immunity thing?

M. LEWINSKY: Yes, I -- I'm sorry. I'll...

KING: It's not a trial.


KING: Clayton, North Carolina, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry.

Hi, Monica.


CALLER: Monica, you look great.

M. LEWINSKY: Oh, thanks.

CALLER: Do you think -- I need to try to lose weight, and I was going to try Jenny Craig since you became spokesperson. And I am just wondering if you would have had more trouble losing the weight on the program without being paid as the spokesperson?

M. LEWINSKY: I don't think so. I would imagine not. I think that the Jenny Craig program has been around for a long time and people have been very successful on it. So I think I would have found my success whether or not -- hopefully.

KING: Can you stay a couple of more minutes?

M. LEWINSKY: Actually, I've got a run, I'm sorry.

KING: All right, let me get in one more call.

Las Vegas, Nevada -- hello.

CALLER: Hi, Monica.


CALLER: I was just wondering, in this past year that you went through this whole privacy issue was a big concern. I want to know how you feel, what you've learned with our laws in the court about what John Q. Public needs to know about how important our privacy is allowed to be.

KING: What do you think about that? Good question.

M. LEWINSKY: Great question.

KING: And you can answer it.

M. LEWINSKY: Yes. And actually, I had a really neat opportunity at Georgetown Law. Professor Catial (ph) invited me to talk to with his constitutional law class, and that was -- privacy -- the privacy issue was really sort of the main topic in ideas that we were exchanging. And from my experience this past two years, I think people need to realize that your e-mails can be read and made public , and that you need to be cautious. I mean, that also I think...

KING: We have to live like scared people?

M. LEWINSKY: No, I don't think so, but I think -- I -- one of the things that I was a little bit disappointed about was not seeing how -- I guess I am not saying this very clearly, but was -- that people didn't seem to pay too much attention about their privacy issues, and I'm really glad that this caller asked this question, because it shows that people are interested in it, and I think as Americans, we should see that. I mean, I don't -- obviously there are a lot of horrible things that happened over the past two years, but I think at some point, we all need to look at what we can learn from it, too. I know I have learned things...

KING: With technology, you worry that there's going to be less of it, right?

M. LEWINSKY: Sure, I mean also there are issues that -- right. I mean, the privacy also within the courts. You have things that, because of certain laws, you can be forced to testify about issues that should be kept private. And you can be forced to turn over your computer that may have private documents on it, things that you've -- I mean, there's so many things that you don't think about -- the books you read. I mean, you don't normally think twice about, do I want to pay cash for something or write a check or credit card based on what kind of item you're buying because someone might find out, and that's a little bit how I think now.

KING: Do you think your life will ever be private?

M. LEWINSKY: I hope so. I hope so.

KING: Thanks, Monica.

M. LEWINSKY: Oh, thank you, Larry.

KING: Good luck.

M. LEWINSKY: Thanks.


KING: We'll update you on what Monica's doing these days later in the show. When we come back: highlights of a conversation with her father and stepmother. Stay with us.


CLINTON: When I was alone with Ms. Lewinsky on certain occasions in early 1996 and once in early 1997, I engaged in conduct that was wrong.



KING: Welcome back. About a year before Monica Lewinsky did her first-ever live primetime interview with us, we sat down with her father, Dr. Bernard Lewinsky and her stepmother Barbara. Bill Clinton had been impeached by the House, but not convicted and removed from office by the Senate. A new book, "Monica's Story" by Andrew Morton was on the bestseller list, and we wanted to get the Lewinsky's reaction to this, one of the most notorious sound bites in presidential history.



CLINTON: But I want to say one thing to the American people. 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. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time, never.


KING: When you were on this show the last time, you wouldn't criticize the president because at that time very little was known, I guess. How do you feel now about him?

BERNARD LEWINSKY, MONICA LEWINSKY'S FATHER: Well, I would say -- you know, to begin with, I would say that Monica's biggest mistake was to get involved with that man -- the president, and I think that that was her biggest mistake.

I respect him as a president, I said that a year ago, and I still respect him as a president. But as a man, I think he showed a side of him that we all didn't know, or at least we suspected it, but I've seen it from a side that I find abhorrent. And I'm very disappointed in what he did,, and I think it was totally wrong, and I'm very angry at what he did to Monica.

KING: Because you weren't then, because -- well, then you didn't know, right? Had Monica denied it to you?

BARBARA LEWINSKY, MONICA LEWINSKY'S STEPMOTHER: We didn't even discuss it really. I mean, it was not discussed, and as I said we still haven't discussed it, and we don't want to.

KING: That amazes me. I would pick up the phone and call my daughter and say, "What is going on?"

BERNARD LEWINSKY: We didn't know what was going on. We never heard anything until day one on January 16. And from that point on, it was a legal issue.

KING: Did you find out before Clinton announced that night, "I have had a relationship with this woman"?


KING: You learned that night?


KING: You were watching that night?


KING: What did you think?

BERNARD LEWINSKY: I was shocked. I mean, it was awful. It was sort of like we were so deceived. We were in the Oval Office with him. We met him. And to realize what he was doing to my daughter was disgusting, and so it was a shocking event.

KING: Was there ever a tendency to want to blame Monica on your part, saying Monica may have come on and played...

BARBARA LEWINSKY: Well, I think like her dad has said, you know, it takes two. And she certainly, you know, did involve herself and, to a certain extent, knew that she was involved. I don't think she had any idea that it would escalate to the level that it did.

I think that, primarily, it was his responsibility. He was already under scrutiny for his previous shenanigans. He knew what he was doing, and he is twice her age. She's a little bit older than his own daughter. And it was a very, very selfish thing to do.

KING: And you were stung, obviously, by the term "that woman."

BERNARD LEWINSKY: Oh, that was awful.

KING: Now, at the time he said it, were you angry?


KING: Even though you didn't know that they'd had a relationship.

BERNARD LEWINSKY: No, but I said at the time that he -- that was a horrible choice of words. I mean, if there was anything going, I knew that he knew that -- who she was, because she worked at the White House, and I knew that. And I knew that they had seen each other. But to call her "that woman" was so degrading. I was amazed that women, in general, didn't stand up and say something about that.

KING: Did it appease you any when he wished sorrow for the two of you? He mentioned...

BARBARA LEWINSKY: It was a little too late, as everybody said.

BERNARD LEWINSKY: It's -- you know, at this point, you know, when you're sitting there with a knife in your heart bleeding, what are you going to say? "I'm sorry I put the knife there?"

We had a really funny -- funny -- nothing is funny in this thing -- but we got an appeal from the Democratic National Committee to donate for the Clinton defense fund.

BARBARA LEWINSKY: A little insulting.

BERNARD LEWINSKY: No, we got it in the mail. And I just circled my name, and I sent it back and I said "Do you know who this is?" and mailed it back.


BERNARD LEWINSKY: I mean, this was ridiculous. We're trying to build a defense fund for Monica which, you know, never came to anything and -- of significance.

KING: Because there's no hero in this, is there? There's no...


KING: There's no heroine?

BARBARA LEWINSKY: It was sort of a lose-lose. I mean, everybody came out being victimized by this, I think, and hurt very badly.

KING: We'll be right back with the Lewinskys. Don't go away.



CLINTON: I don't think there is a fancy way to say that I have sinned. It is important to me that everybody who has been hurt know that the sorrow I feel is genuine. First and most important, my family. Also, my friend, my staff, my Cabinet, Monica Lewinsky and her family




KING: What are your feelings, if any, toward Hillary?

BERNARD LEWINSKY: I -- you know, I feel sorry for her to have to go through what -- all of this pain is. But, on the other hand, I think that she knows who he is. This is not the first time this has happened, I don't think. But I feel bad for her, and I feel worse for Chelsea.

KING: In the bad feelings, Barbara, do you feel the same?

BARBARA LEWINSKY: Yes, and as I've said before, she knew what she was getting herself into with Bill Clinton from the very beginning.

KING: But do you ever say to yourself, "My daughter, my stepdaughter led to her pain"? Maybe the hardest admission to make.

BARBARA LEWINSKY: Maybe in a very small way. But she's had pain before Monica came into the picture for a very long time, and she chooses to be in the position she's in. I really believe that.

KING: Chelsea's the total victim.


KING: For example, how do you think Clinton would have reacted if Chelsea were in Monica's place?

BERNARD LEWINSKY: Oh, I think he'd be out there protecting, and romping, and raving, and...

KING: Screaming.

BERNARD LEWINSKY: ... whatever, like anybody would.

KING: Are you surprised that his public approval stayed high through all of this?

BERNARD LEWINSKY: I think you have to separate the persona versus the president. I mean, people are moved by the president's actions and how the economy is, and not necessarily by who he is as a person.

KING: Did that bother you?


KING: Your thoughts on Miss Tripp.

BERNARD LEWINSKY: Too many. It's -- disgust, betrayal.

KING: How do you explain it to yourself?

BERNARD LEWINSKY: I don't. I look at her as an aberration in humanity.

KING: She says she likes your daughter. On this program she said she cares for her.

BERNARD LEWINSKY: She can say what she wants; that's not the way a friend acts. And if you really want to look at who brought this crisis on, it was Linda Tripp. Monica never intended to bring this to the open world. It was never intended to be something that was going to be discussed. And you know, people have asked, "Well, why did she tell all her friends? These were all friends that were her high school and junior high school friends.

KING: Friends who didn't come forward?

BERNARD LEWINSKY: No, they were brought into this picture because of Linda Tripp, because of the e-mails and all of that. They never spoke.

KING: So you count her in the co-villain category with the president in a sense, even though had the president not done it we'd have never heard of Linda Tripp.

BERNARD LEWINSKY: Well, I think what Linda Tripp did is worse in many ways, because there was some form of a relationship between Monica and the president, and they...

KING: Not one that made you happy, but some form.

BERNARD LEWINSKY: Didn't make me happy, but there was a relationship between them. And it was meant to be kept quiet. And she brought it on and made a big issue out of something that should never have come out. And I totally -- I just can't stand myself sometimes when I think about her, because she makes me sick.

KING: Barbara.

BARBARA LEWINSKY: I feel the same way, and I -- as I've said before, she has tried to do herself over and do a makeover, but she cannot change her insides and her soul. And I really don't know how she sleeps at night. There is no way she can justify what she has done to Monica, and the turmoil she has created in this country.


KING: Before we go, that update we promised. She's living -- Monica is -- in New York City, has a business called The Real Monica -- makes and sells purses and totes. Also has signed a deal with HBO to do a major documentary.

That's it for this edition of LARRY KING WEEKEND. Thanks for watching; good night.




QUESTION: How was your flight?




4:30pm ET, 4/16

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