CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Interview With Monica Lewinsky
Aired February 28, 2002 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Monica Lewinsky, exclusive, one-on- one. Her immunity deal's over. We'll talk about lots of things -- next, on LARRY KING LIVE.
Good evening. An extraordinary documentary will take place on HBO on Sunday night at 10:00 Eastern. It's called, "Monica in Black and White."
This is the second season of HBO's documentary series, "America Undercover Sundays." It'll premiere Sunday night. If you miss it Sunday, it'll play frequently throughout the month. But its premiere night is Sunday at 10:00 -- in which Monica is at Cooper-Union University, right? -- College, in New York ...
MONICA LEWINSKY: Yes.
KING: Sitting on the front of the stage, talking to students.
KING: Whose idea was this?
LEWINSKY: Well, it was actually -- I brought the idea of doing a documentary to HBO back in 2000, when there were some press reports sort of were bandied about that there were going to TV movies based on some of the books that were out. And I was a bit concerned that with some of the misinformation and one-sided stories that were out there that, once again, versions of the story that were coming from people who weren't there were going to be told again. And I thought that a documentary might be a more interesting way to tell the story.
KING: So it has a two-fold purpose: to get the story out -- the immunity over and everything, you're free to talk about anything, and two, prevent books or miniseries that don't have it all right.
LEWINSKY: Well, for me, really, I think it was I wanted to try and clear up some of the misperceptions that were out there and fill in some of the historical gaps. And also, too, to try and call attention to some of the historical issues or constitutional issues that got lost, really, in the flurry of salaciousness in '98 and '99 too, that really affected more than just me at the time, but can affect everybody in the country.
KING: Because I think anyone can make a movie about this that they want to. Right? Because you're a public figure.
LEWINSKY: Right. I can't stop that, unfortunately.
KING: You can't stop them.
KING: But you can sue the movie if it lies about you.
KING: But you can't stop it from being made.
LEWINSKY: No. That's true. So I think it's -- what was important to me is that I found that I can't change the fact that people already have made an opinion about me. But I don't think that should stop me from trying to correct some of the misperceptions that are out there.
KING: Sure. Why do you think -- I know when you appeared before the press thing, they got mad at that. Why would anyone be mad at someone trying to clear up misconceptions? Can you figure that out?
LEWINSKY: Well, that was -- that was a bit of a tricky day. And it's possible that I think maybe because -- and the press probably won't like to hear this -- but...
LEWINSKY: Maybe I think it's possible because a lot of the misperceptions were created because there was a void in '98 that was filled with information that was inaccurate, and the information was disseminated by the press. So I didn't really...
KING: Who are you to correct us?
LEWINSKY: Yes. So I didn't think about that before I agreed to go to the Television Critics Association, that there might be some -- a bit of concern or hostility there of just -- so...
KING: I'd say this. The special looks terrific. Let's just go into it. First, before we begin -- and let's do it -- we'll do it chronologically. It's a lot easier to tell it as a story. But what overview is the biggest misconception do you think people have about you?
LEWINSKY: Probably that I went to Washington with an agenda to seduce the president and then expose that relationship so I could become famous.
KING: All a scheme?
LEWINSKY: Right, when that is the farthest thing from the truth. I had really gone to Washington as a short pit stop on my way to graduate school.
KING: And you wanted to be a what?
LEWINSKY: Forensic psychologist.
KING: Really? Examining...
LEWINSKY: Well, looking at -- I mean, looking at the interaction between psychology and law. And there are quite a few different avenues you can take once you have your degree in that. And I wasn't sure exactly where I wanted to go. At one point, I actually, ironically, thought I might go into criminology and work with the FBI. But I...
KING: You could have investigated yourself.
KING: So anyway, you went to Washington, you went from here. You went to school here in Los Angeles. Right?
KING: Beverly Hills High School.
KING: Then to college where?
LEWINSKY: Up in Oregon, at Lewis & Clark.
KING: Why there?
LEWINSKY: It's a really long story. But it...
KING: Shorten it.
LEWINSKY: Shorten it? It was a choice between Lewis & Clark and Berkeley. But I was transferring from a college here. And I found that from one of the schools I'd gone to in Los Angeles, I preferred a smaller class size.
KING: Glad you went there?
LEWINSKY: Yes. Yes. I think I had some amazing professors.
KING: Now, you do admit.
LEWINSKY: I made great friends there too.
KING: Yes, you did. You do admit, though, to of having had a relationship prior to coming to Washington with a married man. Was that at college?
LEWINSKY: That actually started here in Los Angeles. So...
KING: So you were very young.
LEWINSKY: Yes, I was. I think it started before when I was 18.
KING: Was that a bad life's lesson?
LEWINSKY: That was a -- that was probably the first of my very foolish mistakes that I made in my youth.
LEWINSKY: It was very damaging.
KING: When that ended, was it crushing to you?
LEWINSKY: I think it was -- there were moments that were crushing and damaging throughout the entire relationship. As I can imagine anybody who's probably been in that situation knows, it is -- it's not...
KING: Ups and downs.
LEWINSKY: ... good for your self esteem. And it's not a good situation to be in. It's not right. It hurts too many people.
KING: Is he still married?
LEWINSKY: I don't know. I don't believe so. But I...
KING: You never hear from him again.
LEWINSKY: No, no.
KING: On you go to Washington. Your first job there is?
LEWINSKY: I was an intern. I went to Washington. My mom's side of the family had moved to Washington while I was in college.
KING: Your parents are divorced, your dad and your mom.
LEWINSKY: Right. And so I had gotten accepted to the White House internship program while I was a senior in college, and moved to Washington that summer, did the internship that summer, and had secured a position by late fall of that year, right as the furlough, the government shutdown, occurred, in November. So it was sort of an odd time because I had been hired, but my paperwork hadn't gone through. So I worked as an intern during the government shutdown, as an intern, but I already had a job.
KING: This was unpaid, right...
KING: ... during the shutdown.
KING: Is that when you first met the president, during the furlough? LEWINSKY: No. I had -- I had met him in August of '95, at a departure ceremony. You've probably been to one of those.
KING: Someone's leaving.
LEWINSKY: He's leaving, and you wait on the south lawn and you wait by the rope line, and he leaves in the helicopter, takes off. And...
KING: So were you introduced there, or you just...
LEWINSKY: No. He went down the rope lines. I'm sure a lot of people have seen it on TV. And he shakes everyone's hand.
KING: That was the first time?
LEWINSKY: And he...
KING: You mean, you with the beret and...
LEWINSKY: Oh, no, no, no, no, no.
KING: Right, that's the one that we've seen the most.
LEWINSKY: Right. At the...
KING: Did he say anything to you that first time?
LEWINSKY: No. And actually, I guess I should correct myself because the first -- the first time I saw him at a departure ceremony, he sort of glazed over and kind of just went through the line and left. And then, the interns had another opportunity to go to a departure ceremony. And at this departure ceremony, he just happened to give me this...
LEWINSKY: ... look.
KING: We'll be right back. It's good for you to hook. "Monica in Black and White" starts Sunday night on HBO at 10:00. She's with us tonight exclusive.
By the way, tomorrow night, a major guest in the news will be with us. It'll be announced tomorrow on CNN who it is.
We'll be right back with Monica. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "MONICA IN BLACK AND WHITE")
LEWINSKY: Hi. Thanks all for coming. I'm really nervous. I guess really the best way to do this is for you all to know that you can ask me anything you want. I may choose to not answer it. And I hope this is informative, and I hope I'm articulate.
(END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
KING: We're back with Monica Lewinsky.
OK, his first awareness of you is at this departure, the second time he departs. Right? And he's aware.
KING: Was there a little, like, you know, flirtatious thing going on?
LEWINSKY: Sure. There had been this flirtation. And that really was where it began. And that's where it started. And from there, it sort of...
KING: Took off.
LEWINSKY: That's -- the match lit. And...
KING: Did you say to yourself before the first encounter, whew, I had a lot of problems back in L.A. with this similar kind of thing, and this is way bigger league than that. I'm treading where I shouldn't tread.
LEWINSKY: No, I think, unfortunately, it was probably the opposite of having had experiences that maybe were similar, and while they were problematic, it made me comfortable. I was familiar with the notion. I...
KING: Even though it had ended in pain.
LEWINSKY: Correct. It also -- I also should probably note that when this began, it was not 100 percent over.
KING: Oh. So you still had feelings?
LEWINSKY: You know, it's a complicated thing to talk about because I think to start to get into the intricate details of someone's personal life, I think it's really easy to judge them. And I can only imagine what someone hearing that would start to think and you don't know my whole history. And I -- so I sort of am hesitant to even talk about that.
KING: But you present yourself well.
LEWINSKY: No. But I just think -- I think I imagine myself sitting at home and listening to someone say that and I think, oh, wait a minute. She's in a relationship, and she's getting involved in another relationship. And so, in a way, I just, sort of -- I think that there's so many other...
KING: That aside, did you say to yourself, this is the president?
LEWINSKY: Larry, I was a -- I was a 22-year old foolish kid. And I think I -- there was this charismatic, powerful man, who was standing there showing interest in me. And I was attracted to him, and I think I was swept up, you know, with the -- with the power of the presidency, and later found myself swept away by the government as a result of it.
And here I am.
KING: A victim, in a sense. I mean, you're a figure of ...
LEWINSKY: I don't want ...
KING: ... the 20th century.
LEWINSKY: ... to use the word "victim." But I think that all of the details of what happened, that's the culmination of it.
KING: From flirtation to intimacy. What was it like the first time for you? I mean ...
LEWINSKY: That sounds terrible. I'm sorry.
KING: Everyone would have to think -- I mean, anyone would think of that -- as a first time -- it's -- OK, it's one thing ...
LEWINSKY: But ...
KING: ... to begin a relationship. It's one thing to begin a relationship -- everyone has it, we've all begun relationships.
LEWINSKY: But that's it. That's ...
KING: But this is with ...
LEWINSKY: ... exactly ...
KING: ... with someone who's larger than life.
LEWINSKY: But I think that's the point, is that when you -- I'm sure people who watch this, they think Larry King, and they revere you -- and not that I don't revere you sitting here, but I'm sitting here with you and you're a real person. You're wearing blue jeans.
LEWINSKY: So I think the point is is that people are all human beings. And that is -- that's what I came to see. And that's the person I came to know...
LEWINSKY: ... and it's not ...
KING: ... it wasn't President Clinton, it was Bill Clinton. LEWINSKY: Yes. I mean, there was a portion, of course, that I think, when I look back now, that there was a portion of what attracted me must have been the awe of him being a powerful man in this environment, not to take away from who he is as a real person.
But I think that was a question that was sort of asked of me in the documentary, and it's really this idea of it's the same -- it's the same excitement of when you first get together with anybody.
KING: It was -- and the attraction was first. It was not who it was, it was it.
LEWINSKY: It was ...
KING: It was what it was.
LEWINSKY: It was that chemistry. And was the fact that he was president part of that chemistry? I don't know. Maybe. Probably. But it was -- I was there because there was chemistry. I wasn't there because, oh, this is the president.
KING: After the first physical togetherness, did you fall in love?
LEWINSKY: Not at first. But I came to.
KING: What was that like then, to be in love -- again, with someone you couldn't have?
LEWINSKY: Well, I -- it was -- I think it was not a -- it's not a -- it's hard to describe because there's the euphoria you feel when you have intense feelings for someone and you love them.
LEWINSKY: But there is exactly, as you say, when they're -- when you can't have them, there is frustration and there are a lot of...
LEWINSKY: ... sadness that comes with it. And ...
KING: Aren't the sad moments much greater than the up moments?
LEWINSKY: That's usually...
LEWINSKY: That's the pattern that comes later. And I think that, certainly, is what is for an individual, aside from morality -- I think that is one of the worst aspects for an individual person, not for how many people it can hurt -- not, as I said, for the morality. For the individual, I think that's what can be the worst about being involved with someone who's married, or someone who's even emotionally unavailable. And that's certainly something I had to work on with myself. KING: Was this, as has been reported, one-sided, in that you were the giver -- and in fact he even said that in a deposition -- and he was the taker?
LEWINSKY: That's absolutely false. And I think that's another big misconception that I certainly hope...
KING: He gave as much as he took? There's no other way to put it.
LEWINSKY: It was a mutual relationship. It was a mutual physical relationship, and emotional, and ...
KING: So if he was satisfied, you were satisfied. It was...
KING: You never felt like, I am sort of slave to this.
LEWINSKY: No. No.
KING: Did he lead people to think that? I mean, there...
KING: ... was only the two of you there.
LEWINSKY: I have had to deal with a lot of difficult emotional feelings of that and hurt, I think, because I do believe that's what he tried to lead people to believe.
KING: It would hurt me.
KING: You deal with the pain of saying publicly, Listen, yes, it happened, but she was servicing me.
LEWINSKY: Right. And I think that that was -- for a woman, that's incredibly degrading. Incredibly degrading.
KING: We'll be right back with more of Monica Lewinsky.
Don't forget, Sunday night, it's "Monica in Black and White," on HBO.
Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "MONICA IN BLACK AND WHITE")
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why are you doing this? What is this going to do for you?
LEWINSKY: I think one of the first reasons I wanted to do it was because I was finally free to speak. Part of my immunity agreement with the independent counsel's office prohibited me from talking about January 16, which was the day that I was first approached by the FBI and I found out about the investigation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Monica Lewinsky. What was the thong thing? That's hard to say. The thong thing.
LEWINSKY: Well, that's definitely something that I hope people who end up watching the documentary will ...
KING: Oh, many will watch this documentary.
LEWINSKY: Well, I hope that's something that is definitely cleared up...
KING: But, quickly, what?
LEWINSKY: Oh, no, sure. But that was such an exaggerated gesture that was -- which I can understand. It's a salacious, titillating detail that was taken and made into this -- which worked great because it -- for the purposes of turning me into this tawdry little tart, that I somehow flashed my thong and would be so incredibly inappropriate. Some of my behavior might have been inappropriate in a private sense, but it was -- it was a tiny little gesture. And there were other people in the room. So this idea that it was somehow a huge, almost showgirl, move is ridiculous.
And it's sort of just one example of how I think things were exaggerated in the media to try and paint a picture ...
KING: Why didn't you speak out more then? Because the...
LEWINSKY: I wasn't able to.
KING: ... grand jury thing?
LEWINSKY: Well, for a good portion of the time until I was granted immunity, it was -- it was really my lawyer's strategy. And understandably so, that when you're in legal jeopardy, you really cannot put yourself in a position to open yourself up to the media. And I think no matter how much you try and -- I personally couldn't go out there, because I didn't know what was going to happen to me. Was I going to be indicted? Was I going to get immunity?
And so whatever -- the thing I was most concerned about and my family was most concerned about was what was going to happen to me legally. And so that was first and forefront in our minds.
KING: During this time, are you telling anyone of this?
KING: During this period of time, as you're seeing him ...
LEWINSKY: Yes. I had -- I had confided in a couple of my friends.
KING: And Linda Tripp?
LEWINSKY: Eventually, yes. Linda Tripp.
KING: Those other friends never said anything?
LEWINSKY: No. And while I was criticized for having told some of my friends -- which I can understand -- but I think the joke among most of my friends was that I had sort of kept my mouth shut for me, because I'm sort of...
LEWINSKY: I'm very talkative. So I actually even had had friends at the time who when the story came out -- they're not friends any more -- who were convinced that I must have not been telling the truth because they didn't know. And they had assumed that I'm -- that they knew me so...
LEWINSKY: ... well that if I had not told them, then it couldn't be true.
KING: Were you with the president at times when -- intimately and he would also be conducting affairs of state? The story that he was on the phone talking to congressmen.
KING: Did that feel weird?
KING: I mean did it -- maybe not.
LEWINSKY: You know, I -- Larry, I have to be honest -- I think there's so many other more important things that we could talk about than getting into some of the...
KING: I'm just moving...
LEWINSKY: ... details...
KING: ... through the chronology. I'm just trying...
LEWINSKY: But the chronology is long. The relationship was from November of '95 to May of '97. So, I mean, it's...
KING: Almost two years.
LEWINSKY: Yes. So, I mean, it's ... KING: When did you -- how soon did you fall in love?
LEWINSKY: Pretty quickly. I'd say probably -- probably by within the first couple months.
KING: Was he in love with you?
LEWINSKY: I thought so at times but I -- I wouldn't bet my life on it.
KING: You exchanged gifts?
KING: All right. Did you at all feel for Hillary at all?
LEWINSKY: Of course. I think my concern and my empathy for what happened -- my regret was really more when this all came out and I -- I think, unfortunately, what people see in the documentary is a much more strident view of me and what I feel about this in that...
KING: Strident from the students?
LEWINSKY: No. Strident from me, really, in that it's one side of how I feel about that I have -- that I've really taken -- that people blame me more, I think, for the pain that Mrs. Clinton and Chelsea had gone through. And really what didn't come across, I think, is the fact that I do have sympathy and I -- and -- or maybe sympathy is not the right word, but I -- I'm sorry. And I felt sorry, and I have felt bad about what happened.
KING: Did you ever think, as young girls might, that he would leave her and be with you? I mean that's a 22-year-old...
LEWINSKY: I think I -- I thought that might have been a possibility, but for once he was out of office. I didn't have any desire to be, you know, running...
KING: Second first lady?
LEWINSKY: No. Not at all. Not at all.
KING: Why did it end?
LEWINSKY: He ended it. He just said he didn't -- he -- well, what he said was that he didn't feel it was right, and you know, I mean that's -- because he ended it, he'd probably have to be the one to answer that.
KING: Were you shocked?
LEWINSKY: At the time, I actually was just because of a number of conversations we had had prior to my visit that day...
KING: You were more than just lovers. You were friends, right? I mean he called... LEWINSKY: Yes.
KING: ... you, he spoke to you. It wasn't just sex.
LEWINSKY: I thought so. So, I mean it was...
KING: How do you feel about him?
LEWINSKY: I've moved on. I mean I really...
KING: When you see him, what...
LEWINSKY: I don't -- I don't really watch much TV.
KING: But you catch a newscast, and he's walking...
KING: ...somewhere. You live in the same city.
LEWINSKY: My heart certainly doesn't beat like it used to, and I don't get excited...
KING: Are you angry?
LEWINSKY: No. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't angry some days. But I really have worked hard to put a lot of the anger and disappointment in the past. And a lot of -- I've really worked on moving forward and kind of looking at my future, so...
KING: Which we'll discuss in (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
LEWINSKY: Oh, phew!
KING: It's got to be difficult.
KING: You're always going to be Monica Lewinsky.
LEWINSKY: Until I get married.
KING: That's right. Change the name.
LEWINSKY: Well, you know.
LEWINSKY: Or move it to my middle name.
LEWINSKY: Change it to my middle name. I'm -- you know.
KING: You've got wonderful parents.
LEWINSKY: I do. I'm not embarrassed of who I am so.
KING: You have wonderful stepparents too.
LEWINSKY: I do. I'm an incredibly lucky girl. For someone who has made some very foolish mistakes and had some tough lessons to learn very quickly, I am still incredibly lucky.
KING: We'll be right back with Monica Lewinsky. The special will air. The documentary will air Sunday night on HBO. "Monica in Black and White."
Don't go away.
KING: Before we move to Linda Tripp's legal involvements and all the things she went through with Ken Starr, Linda Tripp, that friendship, what was it based on? It had quite an age difference.
LEWINSKY: Probably the -- I was probably -- I'd probably say -- I'd have to weigh a bigger mistake between the moment I'm getting involved with the president and the moment of blurting out that I had the affair with him to Linda Tripp as...
KING: You relate them equally?
LEWINSKY: I'd probably have to say...
LEWINSKY: ... that because that really was so out of character for me to be -- I mean when it -- as I was saying that I am not -- even though I am, or I was -- I should say I was -- sort of a young, somewhat indiscreet at the time 22-year-old, 23-year-old, I had been so selective with the people with whom I had shared that information, and to have just blurted that out to her after a series of -- she had spent -- I had met her in, gosh, it was April or May of '96 -- '96, after I'd got into to the Pentagon, and it had been in months of her -- I had known her for months without having shared that information with her, and she had just always sort of made these comments that I was just the kind of girl the president would like. And it was really after kind of a series of terrible things that had happened to me, and it was a confluence of events, and I was in a very bad place in my life and not getting the kind of help that I should have been getting...
KING: So you...
LEWINSKY: ... that I...
KING: ... like an aunt? Like a...
LEWINSKY: No. My aunt's incredible.
KING: But she was...
LEWINSKY: She was nothing like an aunt.
KING: But she was a friend? What was she?
LEWINSKY: She was probably...
LEWINSKY: ... more -- she was. But what happened was instead of being a confidant, she fed this -- she fed my hope that -- she fed my hope that I would go back to the White House. She fed this notion that this relationship with the president could continue...
KING: She said she...
LEWINSKY: ... and...
KING: ... discouraged it.
KING: You say she encouraged it. She liked the story is what you're saying? Yes.
But did you ever think of this: If she didn't tell you to save the dress, President Clinton today could be saying he never had a relationship with you. So in that sense, didn't Linda Tripp help you?
LEWINSKY: I don't know. I -- it's -- I think that's one thing that I'll probably never be able to reconcile...
KING: Because he would have denied it.
LEWINSKY: Of course he would have.
LEWINSKY: I mean that's what he did until...
KING: They knew about the dress.
LEWINSKY: Right. Exactly. But that was such an incredibly humiliating experience for me. I mean, of the many that happened throughout this, it...
KING: But it's less humiliating than being called a liar?
LEWINSKY: Not necessarily.
LEWINSKY: No. I don't know because I hated being called a liar because that's what I was called for the first, what, eight months of '98? A liar, a stalker, stupid floozie and, you know, throw in a couple other ones. But it didn't change the fact that he still continued to testify that I serviced him, so...
KING: That had to be awful for you.
LEWINSKY: It was. But on one sense, that's all personal for me. And also at the same time, you know, the country was going through something terrible too at the same time, so...
KING: You met with her at the Ritz, right? Is that where the prosecutors came upon you? Is that when you knew it's up?
LEWINSKY: Well, I -- that's when I knew I was -- I was in trouble. This was something that was -- this was definitely something that had gone awry. I think, certainly, once I had been subpoenaed in the Paula Jones case in December, and that Linda had been subpoenaed in the Paula Jones case, my antennae started to go up, and I was petrified. But to be met in a shopping mall and approached by FBI agents with Linda Tripp right there, when you were supposed to meet her for lunch.
KING: Did you feel like -- is "betrayal" the word?
LEWINSKY: I did. But at the beginning of that, I didn't know until -- I didn't know until after that day that she had set -- I didn't know until after that day all of her machinations. So she had led me to believe from the things she said that day, that I was sort of under this impression that they had maybe trapped her. And then to get it -- for her to get out of being trapped, she brought them to me, rather than her having created this whole thing.
KING: That's what she said. Hasn't she said that she was cooperating as a good citizen, and nothing personal against you, that she liked you.
LEWINSKY: Well, you know, I question something anybody says who tape records someone's phone calls for that long -- and then tape records the phone calls, then goes and gets the person subpoenaed so that they're then -- I don't -- I've never understood her explanation because she said she tape recorded these -- she tape recorded me to protect herself from a situation that she created.
So she never would have needed to protect herself if she hadn't gotten me subpoenaed in the Paula Jones case.
KING: Did you -- were you questioned by the -- was that intense questioning by the FBI without a lawyer present, did that occur?
LEWINSKY: It was -- I felt very, very intimidated that day. And it was -- I guess, once it became clear to me that it -- while I was told I could call my attorney, it seemed to me it was not in my best interest, from what they said, because they said they wouldn't be able to give me as much information, and I wouldn't be able to help myself as much because I was in trouble, and I would be ...
KING: How long did that questioning go on without an attorney?
LEWINSKY: Well, I didn't -- I didn't -- they approached me at 1:00 in the afternoon, and I didn't leave that night until 12:30 in the morning.
KING: We'll be right back with more of Monica Lewinsky. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "MONICA IN BLACK AND WHITE")
LEWINSKY: I made the best decisions I could. I chose to not wear a wire and tape people. I chose to not get immunity until -- were accepted, whatever -- until the independent counsel's office was comfortable with what I said was the truth. So, it's frustrating for me because there are so many facts out there and there are so many things and until someone has walked in my shoes...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Monica Lewinsky. This special airs Sunday night.
Now, during this investigation and everything, you were still covering for the president? Were you or not? Were you forthcoming or not?
LEWINSKY: Well, I was -- no, I -- no. I'm sorry. I didn't understand your question. I don't want my hesitation to be...
KING: I know.
LEWINSKY: ... misconstrued.
KING: Were you trying to protect him?
LEWINSKY: No. I was -- I was trying to protect myself. And I didn't want to falsely implicate him in order to save myself because I could have done that very easily on January 16, which was the day I met with the FBI in the independent counsel's office.
They had wanted me to -- in order to avoid being prosecuted for 20 -- and go to jail for 27 years -- they had offered me this cooperation immunity deal, which was, if I told them the whole story and I let them monitor phone calls with Betty Curry and Vernon Jordan, and then wore a wire to see Betty and Vernon and possibly the president, that then I would not be prosecuted.
So for me it was not about ...
KING: Did you do all that?
LEWINSKY: No! KING: No.
LEWINSKY: No! Gosh, no! I mean, I think if I had done all that, it probably would have been an open-and-shut case, which ...
KING: Not against you, though.
LEWINSKY: ... the -- no. Against him.
KING: So you were protecting in a sense. I mean, in others words, you ...
LEWINSKY: Well, I...
KING: ... didn't go further with it.
LEWINSKY: No. I -- no, I wasn't, I certainly wasn't out to get him. And I mean...
KING: Woman scorned kind of thing. You never felt that?
LEWINSKY: No, no, no, definitely not. I mean, I felt terrible. And in the beginning, I mean, I was completely devastated. I mean, can you imagine the kind of guilt that you would feel, and the responsibility?
KING: When he made that statement, "I...
LEWINSKY: No, but...
KING: "... never..."
LEWINSKY: ... but the, you know, the responsibility and guilt you would feel having been involved with someone, and then knowing that you were, you had been...
KING: Yes, the cause...
LEWINSKY: ... part of causing all of that trouble.
KING: Yes. When he made that statement, by the way, how did you feel? That famous...
KING: ... "I have never..."
LEWINSKY: Well, there was part of me that felt -- there was part of me that felt glad that he made it because, at the time, I certainly didn't want him to lose his job. But there was also, certainly, a part of me that was hurt. But...
KING: Did the judicial process treat you fairly?
LEWINSKY: I don't think so. I -- I mean, I think I -- when I look back on all of this, I mean, I see things that -- and this is what I hope people might see in the documentary that's more than just about me is things that people don't know, like with parent-child privilege, that a parent could be forced to testify against a child.
KING: Your mother was...
LEWINSKY: And vice versa.
And that also, too -- I mean, that was just unbelievably traumatic. And that she was threatened with a subpoena. She was actually subpoenaed that first night. And they threatened to subpoena my father, too. So I'm not sure a lot of people know that.
And the pressure that -- that you can feel when you're under legal jeopardy, when your parents are the only people you can turn to. It's...
KING: It only protects man and wife.
KING: Yes, they're...
LEWINSKY: Or priest and penitent, and attorney-client.
But that's also something that is supposed to be corrected in the legislative system. So it's up to Congress.
KING: Well, they were out after bigger fish.
LEWINSKY: I mean, this clearly was -- you know, I was exploited, I think, for no other reason but a political agenda.
KING: What are your feelings about Ken Starr?
LEWINSKY: I've never been introduced to the man. I...
KING: Never met him.
LEWINSKY: No, I passed him in the office once on -- before the investigation was even made public. And I just -- I think I wish he had -- I don't think this was a fair investigation.
And I think that this was -- there was no proportionality in this investigation. I mean, you -- this was about, this was a private relationship that then was made into a huge public issue, a legal issue.
And you have -- every turn, you have something where it was a question of proportionality. If somebody doesn't tell the truth about sex under oath, is that then -- is it then right to have, to have her then in a room with a total of nine FBI agents and independent -- people from the independent counsel's office? KING: Do you think this might have affected the presidency at all from a standpoint of decision making?
LEWINSKY: I don't...
KING: As a guess?
LEWINSKY: ... think I'm the -- I don't even want to speculate. I'm not the best person to do that.
KING: When was the last time you spoke to Bill Clinton?
LEWINSKY: January of '98. Before -- obviously, before this broke.
KING: And that was a good-bye call, or a...
LEWINSKY: No. No. It was, I mean, of course not, I mean, nobody knew this was going to happen, so it was -- it had to do with -- oh, I was trying to get a recommendation for my Revlon job.
KING: Did you ever have a Revlon offer?
LEWINSKY: Yes. I had accepted a position with Revlon.
KING: Oh, you're hired...
LEWINSKY: And then...
KING: ... then this broke.
LEWINSKY: ... it was rescinded, which is understandable.
KING: What's next for Monica Lewinsky? We'll find out right after this.
KING: We're back with Monica Lewinsky. Before we talk about her future, a couple of other things. Did you -- were you upset at all the sexual references in the Starr Report? All of the detail?
LEWINSKY: Oh, it -- yes. Of course. I think that was one of the most violating things that occurred.
LEWINSKY: Shocked, humiliated. And it was humiliating to have to give those details under oath. So just even being deposed and being asked questions like that. But for them -- for them to be disseminated in the way -- knowing that people were reading them, you just...
LEWINSKY: ... you just feel naked in front of the whole world. KING: The -- so you were shocked they put it in?
LEWINSKY: Yes. Yes.
KING: The -- this documentary, is it under your control or HBO's?
LEWINSKY: No. I just -- I participated as the subject, and...
KING: And you were paid, right?
KING: All right.
LEWINSKY: Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey were the producers, and they have the creative and editorial...
KING: They edited it ...
LEWINSKY: ... control under...
KING: How many -- you did do a couple of sessions, right?
LEWINSKY: Pardon? Oh, yes, yes.
KING: And they edited it. Are you happy with the final edit?
LEWINSKY: I think it's an objective piece, so I hope that it -- I hope that it certainly clears up some of the misconceptions, and it's one of those things where I won't really know how I feel exactly about it until people see it.
KING: And tell you what they think.
LEWINSKY: Well, actually, I screened it for a bunch of my friends...
LEWINSKY: ... last weekend. Well, they all liked it. So that...
KING: Made you feel good.
LEWINSKY: ... sort of gave me a really...
KING: Are they the kinds of friends who would tell you if they didn't?
KING: What are you going to do now, Monica? What's your life like? Still got the handbags?
LEWINSKY: Yes. I'm still designing, and I'm loving it. It's really...
KING: Are you dating?
KING: Seeing nice people?
KING: Anybody serious?
KING: Nobody married?
LEWINSKY: No. Oh, gosh, no.
KING: That's done.
LEWINSKY: Never again.
KING: OK. The...
KING: What do you want to do with your life? I mean, what are -- you have life goals?
LEWINSKY: Well, I do. I mean, I certainly -- I want to life with purpose. And I -- actually, one of the things that was really interesting from doing the taping was I came to learn some things about myself that affected my life. I think just answering some of the questions on stage out loud in front of people, like, will you ever go back into forensic psychology? And I had said, no, I don't have a passion for it anymore. And, you know, are you spiritual? And I said, no, I'm not spiritual.
KING: Learn about yourself.
LEWINSKY: Right. And within -- I had been thinking about going back to school and talking about it, but within a month of the taping, I was registered as a postgrad, non-degree student at Columbia. And within a month, ironically, I had been given this amazing gift of a series of classes at the Kabballah Centre, and I've been studying Kabballah since then.
KING: Oh, really? Are you returning to your faith?
LEWINSKY: Yes. And spirituality. And it's been amazing for me. It's -- I think the combination of designing and sort of working on having my creative juices, and keeping that flowing, really, and then stimulating my mental brain and...
KING: Do you attend services?
LEWINSKY: ... working my spirituality. I try and go...
KING: Go to synagogue?
LEWINSKY: ... well, I try -- the Kabballah Centre...
LEWINSKY: ... has services every Saturday.
KING: Yes, I know.
KING: Young rabbis.
LEWINSKY: Yes. So it's been great.
KING: Do you want to marry?
KING: Want to have children?
KING: Do you -- do you think you intimidate men?
LEWINSKY: I don't know. I hope not. But I probably do. But I also -- all my friends tell me I'm picky too. So I probably need to work on that a bit. So maybe the...
KING: And finally, do you ever have the thought, I am history. I'm part of history? You know, like ask an astronaut when you look at the moon -- if you walked on the moon -- what does that feel like?
LEWINSKY: I don't -- I don't know. I don't ...
KING: You're just you.
LEWINSKY: I guess so. I mean, that's -- I'm kind of just me.
KING: Thank you.
LEWINSKY: Thanks, Larry.
KING: Thanks for doing this.
KING: Monica Lewinsky in focus -- is the focus, rather -- of "Monica In Black and White." It launches the second season of HBO's documentary series "America Undercover," Sundays. It premiers this Sunday night, March 3, at 10:00 p.m.
Again, tomorrow, they'll make a major announcement about our guest tomorrow night. You'll hear about it on CNN, and you'll read them tomorrow evening.
Thanks for joining us. For Monica Lewinsky, yours truly, Larry King, good night.
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