• Monica Lewinsky at the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party. (Getty Images )
"People have been co-opting and telling my part in this story for decades. In fact, it wasn’t until the past few years that I’ve been able to fully reclaim my narrative."
By
Sarah Malik

8 Aug 2019 - 11:59 AM  UPDATED 8 Aug 2019 - 11:59 AM

Monica Lewinsky is set to produce a TV show based on Bill Clinton's presidential impeachment, saying the move was an act of speaking back to power and telling her own story in her own words. 

The episode, called Impeachment, will form the third installment of Emmy-award winning producer Ryan Murphy's American Crime Story series and will be broadcast in the run-up to next year's US presidential election.

Lewinsky was 22 and a White House intern when she became involved with President Bill Clinton, who was 27 years her senior. The former president was impeached for perjury in 1998 after lying about their relationship, but later acquitted. 

The show will feature Booksmart star Beanie Feldstein playing the role of Lewinsky. Actress Sarah Paulson will play Linda Tripp, Lewinsky's confidant who leaked tapes of Lewinsky detailing the affair in phone conversations. 

'Almost all the books written about the Clinton impeachment were written by men.'

According to Vanity Fair, Murphy ran into Lewinsky at a Hollywood party and told her he wanted her to helm the project.

“Nobody should tell your story but you, and it’s kind of gross if they do. If you want to produce it with me, I would love that; but you should be the producer, and you should make all the goddamn money," she recalled.  

The gesture convinced Lewinsky to take part in the project. 

"People have been co-opting and telling my part in this story for decades. In fact, it wasn’t until the past few years that I’ve been able to fully reclaim my narrative; almost 20 years later," she told Vanity Fair in a statement.

"I’m so grateful for the growth we’ve made as a society that allows people like me who have been historically silenced to finally reintroduce my voice to the conversation. This isn’t just a me problem."

"Powerful people, often men, take advantage of those subordinate to them in myriad ways all the time. Many people will see this as such a story and for that reason, this narrative is one that is, regretfully, evergreen."

Lewinsky has enjoyed a renaissance in the #MeToo era as a feminist figure and powerful anti-bullying advocate. 

She is active on Twitter, and has spoken out about her preference for working with all-female teams that centre the  female gaze on shows retelling political history.  

"Throughout history women have been traduced and silenced. Now it’s our time to tell our own stories in our own words.… Almost all the books written about the Clinton impeachment were written by men," she wrote in a personal essay for Vanity Fair

In the essay, Lewinsky revealed the impact of becoming a reviled national figure - the butt of late-night talk show jibes and misogynistic trolling - on her mental health and career prospects. 

"I hope that by participating, by telling the truth about a time in my life—a time in our history—I can help ensure that what happened to me never happens to another young person in our country again."

Hannah Gadsby and Monica Lewinsky discuss shame, visibility and power
"It was a genuine attempt to extend an apology from an art form that profited off hurting you."