Former President Bill Clinton excused his sexual exploits with Monica Lewinsky as something he needed to help “manage my anxieties.”
The 73-year-old admitted in the new documentary, “Hillary,” that he felt “terrible” about what the former White House intern endured after their affair was exposed but maintained that his actions with her, while he was in office, helped him deal with stress and his own issues.
Clinton’s personal remarks are shared in the new documentary series set to air on Hulu, according to the Daily Mail, as he discussed details of the affair that led to his impeachment by the House of Representatives in 1998 before he was acquitted.
“Nobody thinks they’re taking a risk,” he said in the four-part series which airs Friday. “That’s not why we do stupid things.”
“You feel like you’re staggering around, you’ve been in a 15 round prize fight that was extended to 30 rounds and here’s something that will take your mind off it for a while, that’s what happens,” he said.
“Because there, whatever life – not just me. Everybody’s life has pressures and disappointments, terrors, fears of whatever,” Clinton added. “Things I did to manage my anxieties for years. I’m a different, totally different person than I was, a lot of that stuff 20 years ago.”
He revealed that he and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, had to go through “painful” marriage counseling as a result of the affair.
“Counseling was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do but it was necessary. She deserved it, Chelsea deserved it and I needed it,” he said, recalling that he had to confess after it became obvious he was lying.
“I went and sat on the bed and talked to her. I told her exactly what happened, when it happened. I said I feel terrible about it,” he said. “We’ve been through quite a bit in the last few years. I said I have no defense, it’s inexcusable what I did.”
“I was just devastated,” Hillary Clinton said in the documentary. “I could not believe it. I was so personally just hurt and I can’t believe this, I can’t believe you lied.”
In a 2018 interview with NBC’s Craig Melvin, Clinton had said he did not think he owed Lewinsky a personal apology.
“I have never talked to her,” he said at the time. “But I did say publicly on more than one occasion that I was sorry. That’s very different. The apology was public.”
He reflected on the damage his anxiety-relieving activities had on her in the upcoming Hulu series.
“I feel terrible about the fact that Monica Lewinsky’s life was defined by it, unfairly I think,” Clinton said, according to Daily Mail.
“Over the years I’ve watched her trying to get a normal life back again,” he added, “but you’ve got to decide how to define normal.”
“Hillary,” which was directed by Nanette Burstein, reportedly came together after 35 hours of interviews with Hillary Clinton as well as members of her 2016 campaign staff.
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