Monica Lewinsky is opening up in more detail about seeing her real-life scandals play out on the small screen.
The 48-year-old serves as a producer on the FX series “Impeachment: American Crime Story.” It follows the story of the former White House intern’s affair with President Bill Clinton and the subsequent impeachment trial that came about in December 1998.
Lewinsky has raved about working with Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Nina Jacobson and Sarah Burgess on the project, but in a recent interview, she admitted reliving the trauma from her past hasn’t been easy.
“I don’t make decisions to work on things that are connected to my past lightly,” Lewinsky explained to Variety. “I’m very aware that they impact people, and that it brings up a difficult time for all of us. So I put a lot of thought into it and it just seemed from the times we were living in, it would happen eventually.”
(L-R) Monica Lewinsky and Beanie Feldstein attend the premiere of FX’s ‘Impeachment: American Crime Story’ at Pacific Design Center on September 1, 2021 in West Hollywood, Calif. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Significant moments in Lewinsky’s life are covered in the series and there’s a few that have brought her to tears, she said.
“I think Episode 5, at the end, I was extremely triggered by Sarah Paulson’s performance as Linda Tripp. I just thought, ‘I’m feeling how I’m feeling, but as a producer, I know this is great, because there is so much emotional truth,’” she said.
The fifth episode shows Tripp’s betrayal of Lewinsky. “Um, spoiler alert. Although it’s history. What was happening around me that I had no idea was heartbreaking to see,” Lewinsky said.
Another tough scene to watch was when she was seized by the FBI, Lewinsky said.
“Ryan directed that and he did an incredible job, and Beanie did an extraordinary job with that episode too. It was harrowing. I just started sobbing at the end of the episode,” she said.
A photograph showing former White House intern Monica Lewinsky meeting President Bill Clinton at a White House function submitted as evidence in documents by the Starr investigation and released by the House Judicary committee September 21, 1998. (Getty Images)
“I mean, I tear up in a few places, but the end really took me back. And I think where this episode is going to be really important too is because of the social justice conversations we’ve been having over the last year. And I’m a privileged white person, and this was an anomaly for me to experience from my upbringing,” Lewinsky added.
The president was 49 at the time of the incident in 1998. Lewinsky was 22. Following the scandal, Clinton, now 75, was acquitted. However, Lewinsky was tried in the court of public opinion. After a few public appearances in an attempt to reinvent herself, Lewinsky disappeared from the spotlight in the mid-2000s.
Today, Lewinsky is a public speaker and anti-bullying activist who resides on the West Coast. She also serves as a producer of “15 Minutes of Shame” on HBO Max, which explores cancel culture.
Fox News’ Stephanie Nolasco and the Associated Press contributed to this report.