Lewinsky Affair Eased His Anxiety, Clinton Says

'Nobody thinks they’re taking a risk,' former president says in documentary, 'Hillary'
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2020 6:05 PM CST
Updated Mar 6, 2020 1:00 AM CST
Bill Clinton Says Lewinsky Affair Had to Do With Anxiety
Former President Bill Clinton discussed his affair with Monica Lewinsky in a new documentary.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Being president is stressful, Bill Clinton says, and his affair with Monica Lewinsky was one way he had of "managing my anxieties." The pressure of the job left him feeling like a boxer who'd just gone 30 rounds, the Daily Mail reports, and he said the affair was "something that will take your mind off it for a while." Clinton's comments appear in a new, four-hour documentary about his wife, Hillary, which is to be released at midnight Friday on Hulu. Clinton was impeached in the aftermath of the affair, then acquitted by the Senate. "Nobody thinks they’re taking a risk," Clinton said, per the New York Post. "That's not why we do stupid things."

That was in 1998, and Clinton says he's "totally different person" now. After denying the affair at first, he admitted it to his wife when more information came out. Hillary Clinton says in the documentary that she was devastated. They then went through what she called "painful, painful discussions" during marriage counseling. Her husband called counseling “one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do." But, he said, “She deserved it, Chelsea deserved it and I needed it." The president had a word about Lewinsky, as well. "I feel terrible about the fact that Monica Lewinsky’s life was defined by it, unfairly I think," he said. (Clinton gave a brusque response to the Lewinsky apology question in 2018, then tried again.)

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