She may have chosen not to discuss it in her book, Hard Choices, but Hillary Clinton has explained how she managed to move forward from her husband’s affair with Monica Lewinsky.
“I moved on,” she said.
The incident eventually led to his impeachment in 1998. Bill Clinton initially declared that he “did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky”, who was at the time a 22-year-old White House intern, although he later admitted that he had, in fact, engaged in an “improper physical relationship” with her.
In May, Lewinsky wrote a revealing piece for Vanity Fair, in which she said that she felt suicidal in the aftermath of the affair and her mother had to keep a firm watch on her to ensure her safety.
“The shame, the scorn, and the fear that had been thrown at her daughter left her afraid that I would take my own life – a fear that I would be literally humiliated to death,” she wrote.
She also described herself as “arguably the most humiliated woman in the world”.
“I think she is someone who has to express her own feelings,” said Clinton of Lewinsky.
“I can’t characterise her, that wouldn’t be right. I’m just grateful that I made the choices I made, to move forward and from that I’ve had an extraordinary set of opportunities and experiences.”
She admits that forgiving her husband wasn’t an easy task.
“Forgiveness is a hard choice,” she told The Telegraph. “It’s liberating to be able to reach the point in your life where you feel you can forgive. Everybody feels they have been trespassed upon and nearly everybody has trespassed on somebody else, maybe not intentionally.”
However, the Clintons, having worked through the past, are now as strong as ever. Their daughter, Chelsea Clinton, is expecting her first child this autumn.
“I feel that we always had a close relationship,” she said of her husband.
“It doesn’t mean that we haven’t disappointed each other or fallen short in some way because, of course, we each have in everyday life.
“There are things that you do or fail to do. I feel very blessed to have a partner in life who supports me, who is enthusiastic about what I want to do, who has been a great father and who will be a fabulous grandfather.”