Monica Lewinsky Cuts Off Interview in Israel After Clinton Question

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Screen capture from Yonit Levi interview with Monica Lewinsky, September 3, 2018.
Screen capture from Yonit Levi interview with Monica Lewinsky, September 3, 2018.Credit: Haaretz

Monica Lewinsky cut short an interview with an Israeli news presenter on Monday after being asked whether she expected a personal apology from former President Bill Clinton. The broadcaster later denied Lewinsky's claim it had agreed Clinton questions were 'off limits'.

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Lewinsky, whose relationship with Clinton when she was a 22-year-old led to his impeachment on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, had finished delivering a speech at a conference when she sat down with news anchor Yonit Levi for an interview. 

For for her first question, Levi noted that Clinton recently became irate when asked if he would make a personal apology. "Do you still expect that apology – the personal apology?" Levi asked.

"I'm so sorry, I'm not going to be able to do this," Lewinsky said before putting down her microphone and walking offstage.

The interview took place at a conference organized by the Israel Television News Company, where Lewinsky delivered a speech.

Lewinsky later commented on her walkout in a Twitter post, saying the question was presented to her by Levi the day prior, and that she rejected it.

"When she asked me it on stage, with blatant disregard for our agreement, it became clear to me I had been misled," she wrote. "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 concluded by apologizing to the crowd for ending the talk in such a way.

Also Tuesday, Lewinsky reacted to a news headline saying she had "stormed off stage" during the incident, writing on Twitter: "stormed? not quite. politely said i was leaving? yes. walked as fast as i could off stage in heels? yes."

Years after the scandal that turned her into a household name, Lewinsky is now a social activist and public speaker. 

She elected only in 2014 to publicly discuss her relationship with the then-49-year-old president. In an essay, Lewinsky wrote that her affair with Clinton was one between two consenting adults and no abuse was involved – though she said that “my boss took advantage of me." 

Clinton said earlier this year that he had not apologized to Lewinsky in private and thought it was unnecessary because he had apologized publicly.

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