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Monica Lewinsky calls Bill Clinton affair gross abuse of power

Ms Lewinsky said she has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress from being publicly outed and ostracised in the 1990s scandal.

Monica Lewinsky has said the affair that led to impeachment proceedings against former US president Bill Clinton was not sexual assault, but “constituted a gross abuse of power”.

Ms Lewinsky wrote in Vanity Fair that she is “in awe of the sheer courage” of women who’ve been confronting “entrenched beliefs and institutions” in recent months.

She said she was recently moved to tears when a leader of the #MeToo movement told her: “I’m so sorry you were so alone.”

The former White House intern lauded the “#MeToo” movement for providing “the safety that comes from solidarity”.

Ms Lewinsky said she has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress from being “publicly outed and ostracised”.

Mr Clinton initially denied the affair before admitting to it in 1998. The Democrat was acquitted by the US senate.

Mr Clinton served two terms as US president (Victoria Jones/PA)

Ms Lewinsky wrote: “There are many more women and men whose voices and stories need to be heard before mine. There are even some people who feel my White House experiences don’t have a place in this movement, as what transpired between Bill Clinton and myself was not sexual assault, although we now recognise that it constituted a gross abuse of power.

“Now, at 44, I’m beginning to consider the implications of the power differentials that were so vast between a president and a White House intern.

“I’m beginning to entertain the notion that in such a circumstance the idea of consent might well be rendered moot. Although power imbalances — and the ability to abuse them — do exist even when the sex has been consensual.”

She added of Mr Clinton: “He was my boss. He was the most powerful man on the planet. He was 27 years my senior, with enough life experience to know better. He was, at the time, at the pinnacle of his career, while I was in my first job out of college.”

Ms Lewinsky added that “none of the above excuses me for my responsibility for what happened. I meet Regret every day”.

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