Hillary Clinton says it was “emotionally draining” revisiting her husband former President Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky for the new docuseries Hillary — but she felt it had to be included in a story about her life.
The former secretary of state spoke about the upcoming Hulu doc, which premieres March 6, on Thursday’s episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. She said while it started as a “behind-the-scenes look at the campaign” — when she faced off against Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, winning the popular vote, but not the electoral vote — it morphed into “a bigger story” of her life and the women’s movement.
The doc includes both Hillary and Bill speaking on-camera about his very public affair with then-intern Lewinsky when he was president, which she admitted was hard.
“Once I agreed to cooperate, the director [Nanette Burstein] said, ‘Well, we’re going to talk about everything’ and I said, ‘OK’ And yet when it actually came time, yeah, it’s hard,” Hillary said.
She continued, “As I said when I was talking about the book [daughter] Chelsea and I wrote, The Book of Gutsy Women, that staying in my marriage was the gutsiest personal decision I ever made. So for me revisiting that, talking about it [and] for my husband also to agree to be in the film and then also to be asked, made it a bit difficult. There is no doubt about it. “
However, Hillary explained, “But you couldn’t actually do a film about my life and not cover something that everybody knew about — because you could read about it and everybody had an opinion.”
Having watched the completed film, she said it was interesting seeing her friends talk about the scandal and also talk about encountering other women who were “really upset because I chose to stay with my husband” and would say things like, “I just can’t support her” in office or “I don’t like her because she stayed with her husband.”
Hillary said that some of those critics would then go on to say “literally in the next breath: But I love her husband. I love Bill Clinton,” as if it wasn’t his fault Hillary found herself in that circumstance in the first place. She added, “Well, I do too.”
Hillary admitted talking about her husband’s affair with Lewinsky on-camera like that for the film “was really an emotionally draining experience to go through it again.” However, after seeing the whole four hours of the documentary, “I hope that our talking about this — my willingness to address all of this — really does help other people. I mean there are lessons — they’re lessons from my life, from our times. Because people need to be thoughtful about the decisions they make in their own lives. And we should be kinder and more supportive to everybody who makes the best decision they think they can make.”
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