Monica's Story

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Overview

Behind the headlines, there was one fascinating woman. This is her story.

Monica Lewinsky. You know her name, you know her face, and you think you know her story: the pretty young intern who began an illicit affair with the President of the United States— a liaison that ignited an unprecedented political scandal and found Bill Clinton as the second U.S. president to ever be impeached. But there is much more to the Monica Lewinsky story than just that. Now, Andrew Morton, author ...

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Overview

Behind the headlines, there was one fascinating woman. This is her story.

Monica Lewinsky. You know her name, you know her face, and you think you know her story: the pretty young intern who began an illicit affair with the President of the United States— a liaison that ignited an unprecedented political scandal and found Bill Clinton as the second U.S. president to ever be impeached. But there is much more to the Monica Lewinsky story than just that. Now, Andrew Morton, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, Diana: Her True Story, takes you beyond the headlines and the sound bites to discover the real Monica Lewinsky, a woman as interesting, intelligent, and misunderstood as they come.

Read Monica's Story and you'll discover:

* How a difficult childhood shaped Monica's tumultuous adult romances

* Her relationship with Bill Clinton: how she saw a side to him few know— and why she sometimes still misses her "Handsome"

* The betrayal by Linda Tripp— and how Monica's trusting nature snared her in Tripp's treacherous web

* The horror of Kenneth Starr's exhaustive and intrusive inquiry— how it affected her and her family, and how it still haunts her

* Where Monica will go from here: What are her career plans? Will she realize her dream of marrying and starting a family in the wake of the scandal?

* And much, much more

With sixteen pages of photos.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
We have heard everything about her, from every conceivable source — friends, family, enemies, legal documents. The country has seen Monica Lewinsky from every possible angle. What more could be said about her that we don't already know?

There are those who view the President's impeachment as a morality tale; others see it as a constitutional crisis; still others see it as a crisis averted — after all, he was not convicted, and he remains in office. No matter how the impeachment is regarded, the catalyst for all of this remains a solitary young woman who made an unfortunate choice, and unleashed a series of events that whipped entirely out of her control. And no matter how much you think you know about Monica, the fact is that up until now, you have seen her only through the eyes of others.

Monica's Story is truly that, an unvarnished tale of her decision to become sexually involved with the President of the United States. What sort of woman is it who puts herself in a position of being "on call" to a man who is married, with a child, and who occupies the highest office in the nation? What sort of woman is it who allows her lover to ignore her for months, merely hoping for some glance of acknowledgement, some simple and friendly gesture? And what sort of woman is it who calls the President "Butthead"?

Morton presents Monica as a fairly complicated person, one whose self-esteem was so low that she couldn't envision herself as being a man's only love. Her struggles with her appearance, and the viciousness of the mediawhoportrayed her simplistically in order to sell newspapers, magazines and TV ads, are documented in painful detail. While Linda Tripp claims, "I am you," Monica is shown to truly be a very human and understandable young woman who made a choice and has reaped the consequences a hundredfold. At no time does she refuse responsibility for her actions; at no time does she pretend that somehow this is not her fault. And while horribly aware of her place in history, she tells us, "I don't want to make a career out of being Monica Lewinsky. I haven't done anything to be proud of."

This is a personal, painful, raw account of a young woman's mistake, and the horrors of a world which rushed in to take advantage of that mistake. Throughout her ordeal, she has grown significantly — these events have changed her from the bubbly, naive and engaging girl she was when she met the President to a phenomenally self-possessed, cynical, and mistrustful woman. She casts blame where it deserves to be cast — on herself, on the President, on Kenneth Starr and Linda Tripp. As Andrew Sullivan wrote in his article in The New York Times, "If this morality tale is essentially about honesty, then Ms. Lewinsky is its heroine." Her story is the missing piece to a puzzle of historic importance, and it is long overdue.

Michiko Kakutani
...[M]ight well be called The Miseducation of Monica Lewinsky....Its obsessive account of teen-age shenanigansits...prattling about sex and self-esteem...sadly sum up the sorry state of affairs our culture has reached....D-Day no longer refers to World War II but to "Dump Day" in the saga of Monica and Bill. —The New York Times
Francine Prose
...[O]ur costly, deeply destructive recent political crisis is finally revealed for what it was: an Oval Office teen romance. —People Magazine
Arianna Huffington
...[A] graphic account, though not as graphic as the Starr Report, of the buxom intern as wronged royal mistress....[W]hat we are left with is the terminal impression of two self-indulgent, self-obsessed teenagers — one of whom just happened to be President... —National Review
Lisa Schwarzbaum
[Morton] stands up for her like a protective big brother....[He] suggests themes to explain how life went so awfully awry for her. — Entertainment Weekly
Michael Oreskes
...[O]ne factor emerges: the complete absence of grown-ups. No one...ever says no and means it....Morton's portrait of Monica's life inside the media frenzy has moments of fascination....The book is clearly a rush job, thus a testament to modern culture.
New York Times Book Review
Michael Oreskes
...[O]ne factor emerges: the complete absence of grown-ups. No one...ever says no and means it....Morton's portrait of Monica's life inside the media frenzy has moments of fascination....The book is clearly a rush job, thus a testament to modern culture.
The New York Times Book Review
Michiko Kakutani
...[M]ight well be called The Miseducation of Monica Lewinsky....Its obsessive account of teen-age shenanigans, its...prattling about sex and self-esteem...sadly sum up the sorry state of affairs our culture has reached....D-Day no longer refers to World War II but to "Dump Day" in the saga of Monica and Bill.
The New York Times
Lisa Schwarzbaum
[Morton] stands up for her like a protective big brother....[He] suggests themes to explain how life went so awfully awry for her.
Entertainment Weekly
Arianna Huffington
...[A] graphic account, though not as graphic as the Starr Report, of the buxom intern as wronged royal mistress....[W]hat we are left with is the terminal impression of two self-indulgent, self-obsessed teenagers -- one of whom just happened to be President...
National Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312973629
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 8/15/1999
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 385
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.74 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Morton, who lives in London with his wife and two daughters, is the author of the worldwide bestseller Diana: Her True Story. He has won numerous awards, including Author of the Year and a special prize for services to journalism.

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Read an Excerpt

An Excerpt from Monica's Story

Preface

Stifling a yawn, Monica Lewinsky pulled on black leggings and a CZY gray T-shirt, then made for the door, negotiating her way around the half-filled packing boxes that littered her ground-floor apartment in the Watergate Building in downtown Washington. Once outside, she climbed into her brother's Jeep Cherokee and nursed it through the morning traffic for the fifteen-minute journey to her new gym on fashionable Connecticut Avenue. Conscious, as ever, of her weight, she wanted to get in shape for her new job, working in the Public Relations Division of Revlon, the cosmetics company, in New York. Yet while it was an exciting and enticing prospect, her anticipation of this new life was tinged with regret. She was leaving the person she loved, the one man who had occupied her every waking moment and invaded her restless nights for the last two years -- the President of the United States.

There was another and more pressing worry. As she took part in the morning aerobics class, her mind was occupied with more than a sentimental reverie for the man she had loved and now seemed destined to lose. She had been ordered to make a sworn statement in a civil case brought by Paula Jones, a clerical worker from the President's home state of Arkansas, who claimed that, in May 1991, when he had been state Governor, he had sexually harassed and assaulted her. But while she had complied with the order, Monica had lied in her affidavit. As far as she was concerned, the fact that she had had an affair with a married man, even if he was the most powerful individual in the free world, was nobody's business but her own.

As the disco beat pounded through the mirror-walled exercise room, Monica knew she had a major problem, a predicament that had been gnawing at her soul for nearly a month. She had told a girlfriend, a middle-aged secretary at her office in the Pentagon, about her affair. Now that friend was threatening to go public. For the last month Monica had tried every thing to ensure her silence, even offering her a condominium in Australia.

What she did not know then, however, was that her friend, Linda Tripp, had in fact been bent on betraying her for almost a year. She had even taped Monica's phone calls to her, planning to use the girl's indiscreet remarks in a "kiss-and-tell book" she proposed to write; worse still, she had plotted with a right-wing political spy, a magazine reporter and Paula Jones's lawyers to expose her. In the last couple of days Tripp had made a Faustian pact with the Special Prosecutor, Kenneth Starr, a former Bible salesman turned lawyer who had been zealously pursuing Monica's lover, the President, for the last four years. Starr would guarantee Tripp's immunity from prosecution for illegally taping her friend's calls if she told him everything, a deal that would leave Monica facing jail for having sworn a false statement.

Monica knew none of this, however, as she stopped off at the Starbucks coffee shop for her usual brew, a large latte, skimmed, with sweetener and a shake of chocolate and cinnamon. As she sipped her coffee and read the Washington Post for that Friday, January 16, she was paged on her beeper by "Mary," the code name Tripp was now using in their increasingly fraught communications.

She immediately called back, hoping that the older woman had at last seen sense and agreed to file an affidavit that would leave both of them in the clear. In her nasal New Jersey drawl, Tripp told her that she was planning to see her new lawyer later that day, and wanted to meet with Monica before that critical meeting to discuss what she should say in her affidavit. Monica readily agreed and arranged to see her at the shopping mall in Pentagon City at eleven o'clock. Relieved, she resumed her reading of the paper, only to be interrupted by another page from "Mary," who now pushed the meeting back to a quarter to one. Again she agreed.

That was not the only page she received that fateful morning. Next there was a call from "Kay" -- the code name used by the President's Personal Secretary, Betty Currie. She told Monica that she had spoken to the President about inquiries from the media, and particularly from Michael Isikoff of Newsweek magazine, whose questions seemed to indicate a level of knowledge about the illicit affair. The President's message was to say nothing. Monica asked Betty to wish the President "Good luck," knowing that he was due to give his sworn statement in the Paula Jones case on the following day.

Finishing her coffee, she decided that, rather than return to her apartment, she would pick up a few more packing boxes for her move to New York. She hoped that, if Tripp held firm in her affidavit and the President did the same in his deposition on the following day, then at last she would be able to wake up from this silly nightmare and the ridiculous Paula Jones case would drift out of her life.

Having killed some time, Monica still arrived early at the Pentagon mall, and therefore stood by the sushi bar reading a women's magazine. By now, however, she had begun to feel sick -- seriously nauseous, in fact, as an awful sense of dread dragged at the pit of her stomach. She had lost all faith in Tripp, whose behavior and disposition had altered dramatically over the last few months. Indeed, she now seemed a different person from the friend to whom Monica, one fateful day just over a year before, had reluctantly confided her love for the President.

In truth, she was tired of Linda Tripp, sick of her prevarication and her lies; she hated, too, the fact that she was now beholden to a woman she no longer liked, let alone trusted. A three-hour lunch a couple of days earlier had been a dragging ordeal, Monica forced to be pleasant as she listened to the other woman's evasions and her sly excuses. Now, to cap it all, Tripp was late.

It crossed Monica's mind that she should leave the mall and go home to finish her packing. She delayed, worried about the look on the face of her "Handsome" -- her affectionate nickname for the President -- if he were ever to discover that she had revealed their intimate secret. And he certainly would find that out if Linda Tripp were to swear an affidavit expressing what she knew of Monica's affair with him.

Then, as she continued to loaf by the sushi bar, she at last spotted the lumpy figure of Tripp, dressed in a dun-brown business suit, slowly descending the escalator. Lowering her magazine, Monica walked towards her, hiding her irritation behind a mask of friendship, preparing to greet her one-time friend while hoping that their meeting would be as short as it would be successful. "Hi," she said, reaching out to hug Tripp. The other was stiff and unresponsive, however; worse, she gestured with her eyes to two cold-faced men in dark suits and white shirts who had followed her down the escalator.

As they approached, an overwhelming sense of fear seized the base of Monica's throat, almost choking her. They introduced themselves as agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, extending their shiny steel badges rather than their hands to confirm their identities. Then, in clipped sentences that she could barely hear above the hubbub of the lunchtime throng, they told her that they were sanctioned by the United States Attorney General, Janet Reno, to investigate crimes committed in relation to the Paula Jones lawsuit.

"Ma'am, you are in serious trouble," they told her ominously, before adding, "But we would like to give you an opportunity to save yourself." Gasping for air, she looked plaintively at the two agents and then at Linda Tripp. How could she have done this to me? How could I ever have trusted her, and trusted her for so long? Hardly able to breathe, her heart pounding harder than she had ever thought possible, she managed to blurt out the one sentence she had heard in almost every crime movie she had ever seen: "I'm not talking to you without my attorney."

They barely missed a beat, replying with practiced certainty, "That's fine. But if you do that you may not be able to help yourself so much. We just want to talk to you. You are free to leave when you want." Monica's token defiance barely lasted the time it took for them to say the words; shocked and frightened, she burst into a flood of tears. Tripp now spoke for the first time. In her rasping voice she told her young friend, "Trust me, Monica, this is for your own good. Just listen to them. They did the same thing to me." Then she reached forward and, like a latter-day Judas, tried to embrace her. Monica pulled away in revulsion.

The FBI men made it clear that if she cooperated she might not be in so much trouble, and it took Monica a few seconds before she grasped the meaning of what they were saying. Her every instinct told her to walk away; equally, however, she calculated that if she did so she would not find out what was going on, and would not therefore be able to help either her case, or the President. She therefore agreed to accompany the FBI agents to their room in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, which is adjacent to the concourse. At this point she had one overwhelming thought in her mind -- she must warn the President.

As this unlikely group now ascended the escalators Monica was screaming in her head to the passing parade, "Help! These monsters have me. Please, somebody save me. Dear God, please help me." But the shoppers passed by without a glance, without offering a helping hand, without even having a clue about the calamity that had just overtaken the silently pleading girl.

She was in shock and she was panicking, but most of all she was in deep, deep trouble. As the lift took Monica, her treacherous friend and the two cold-eyed FBI men to the Ritz-Carlton's Room 1012, she found herself thinking,

"How did I get here?" 1999 by St. Martin's Press.

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Preface

Stifling a yawn, Monica Lewinsky pulled on black leggings and a CZY gray T-shirt, then made for the door, negotiating her way around the half-filled packing boxes that littered her ground-floor apartment in the Watergate Building in downtown Washington. Once outside, she climbed into her brother's Jeep Cherokee and nursed it through the morning traffic for the fifteen-minute journey to her new gym on fashionable Connecticut Avenue.

Conscious, as ever, of her weight, she wanted to get in shape for her new job, working in the Public Relations Division of Revlon, the cosmetics company, in New York. Yet while it was an exciting and enticing prospect, her anticipation of this new life was tinged with regret. She was leaving the person she loved, the one man who had occupied her every waking moment and invaded her restless nights for the last two years — the President of the United States.

There was another and more pressing worry. As she took part in the morning aerobics class, her mind was occupied with more than a sentimental reverie for the man she had loved and now seemed destined to lose. She had been ordered to make a sworn statement in a civil case brought by Paula Jones, a clerical worker from the President's home state of Arkansas, who claimed that, in May 1991, when he had been state Governor, he had sexually harassed and assaulted her. But while she had complied with the order, Monica had lied in her affidavit. As far as she was concerned, the fact that she had had an affair with a married man, even if he was the most powerful individual in the free world, was nobody's business but her own.

As the disco beat pounded through the mirror-walled exercise room, Monica knew she had a major problem, a predicament that had been gnawing at her soul for nearly a month. She had told a girlfriend, a middle-aged secretary at her office in the Pentagon, about her affair. Now that friend was threatening to go public. For the last month Monica had tried every thing to ensure her silence, even offering her a condominium in Australia.

What she did not know then, however, was that her friend, Linda Tripp, had in fact been bent on betraying her for almost a year. She had even taped Monica's phone calls to her, planning to use the girl's indis creet remarks in a "kiss-and-tell book" she proposed to write; worse still, she had plotted with a right-wing political spy, a magazine reporter and Paula Jones's lawyers to expose her. In the last couple of days Tripp had made a Faustian pact with the Special Prosecutor, Kenneth Starr, a former Bible salesman turned lawyer who had been zealously pursuing Monica's lover, the President, for the last four years. Starr would guarantee Tripp's immunity from prosecution for illegally taping her friend's calls if she told him everything, a deal that would leave Monica facing jail for having sworn a false statement.

Monica knew none of this, however, as she stopped off at the Starbucks coffee shop for her usual brew, a large latte, skimmed, with sweetener and a shake of chocolate and cinnamon. As she sipped her coffee and read the Washington Post for that Friday, January 16, she was paged on her beeper by "Mary," the code name Tripp was now using in their increasingly fraught communications.

She immediately called back, hoping that the older woman had at last seen sense and agreed to file an affidavit that would leave both of them in the clear. In her nasal New Jersey drawl, Tripp told her that she was plan ning to see her new lawyer later that day, and wanted to meet with Monica before that critical meeting to discuss what she should say in her affidavit. Monica readily agreed and arranged to see her at the shopping mall in Pentagon City at eleven o'clock. Relieved, she resumed her reading of the paper, only to be interrupted by another page from "Mary," who now pushed the meeting back to a quarter to one. Again she agreed.

That was not the only page she received that fateful morning. Next there was a call from "Kay"-the code name used by the President's Personal Secretary, Betty Currie. She told Monica that she had spoken to the President about inquiries from the media, and particularly from Michael Isikoff of Newsweek magazine, whose questions seemed to indicate a level of knowledge about the illicit affair. The President's message was to say nothing. Monica asked Betty to wish the President "Good luck," knowing that he was due to give his sworn statement in the Paula Jones case on the following day.

Finishing her coffee, she decided that, rather than return to her apartment, she would pick up a few more packing boxes for her move to New York. She hoped that, if Tripp held firm in her affidavit and the President did the same in his deposition on the following day, then at last she would be able to wake up from this silly nightmare and the ridiculous Paula Jones case would drift out of her life.

Having killed some time, Monica still arrived early at the Pentagon mall, and therefore stood by the sushi bar reading a women's magazine. By now, however, she had begun to feel sick-seriously nauseous, in fact, as an awful sense of dread dragged at the pit of her stomach. She had lost all faith in Tripp, whose behavior and disposition had altered dramatically over the last few months. Indeed, she now seemed a different person from the friend to whom Monica, one fateful day just over a year before, had reluctantly confided her love for the President.

In truth, she was tired of Linda Tripp, sick of her prevarication and her lies; she hated, too, the fact that she was now beholden to a woman she no longer liked, let alone trusted. A three-hour lunch a couple of days earlier had been a dragging ordeal, Monica forced to be pleasant as she listened to the other woman's evasions and her sly excuses. Now, to cap it all, Tripp was late.

It crossed Monica's mind that she should leave the mall and go home to finish her packing. She delayed, worried about the look on the face of her "Handsome"-her affectionate nickname for the President-if he were ever to discover that she had revealed their intimate secret. And he certainly would find that out if Linda Tripp were to swear an affidavit expressing what she knew of Monica's affair with him.

Then, as she continued to loaf by the sushi bar, she at last spotted the lumpy figure of Tripp, dressed in a dun-brown business suit, slowly descending the escalator. Lowering her magazine, Monica walked towards her, hiding her irritation behind a mask of friendship, preparing to greet her one-time friend while hoping that their meeting would be as short as it would be successful. "Hi," she said, reaching out to hug Tripp. The other was stiff and unresponsive, however; worse, she gestured with her eyes to two cold-faced men in dark suits and white shirts who had followed her down the escalator.

As they approached, an overwhelming sense of fear seized the base of Monica's throat, almost choking her. They introduced themselves as agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, extending their shiny steel badges rather than their hands to confirm their identities. Then, in clipped sentences that she could barely hear above the hubbub of the lunchtime throng, they told her that they were sanctioned by the United States Attorney General, Janet Reno, to investigate crimes committed in relation to the Paula Jones lawsuit.

"Ma'am, you are in serious trouble," they told her ominously, before adding, "But we would like to give you an opportunity to save yourself." Gasping for air, she looked plaintively at the two agents and then at Linda Tripp. How could she have done this to me? How could I ever have trusted her, and trusted her for so long? Hardly able to breathe, her heart pounding harder than she had ever thought possible, she managed to blurt out the one sentence she had heard in almost every crime movie she had ever seen: "I'm not talking to you without my attorney."

They barely missed a beat, replying with practiced certainty, "That's fine. But if you do that you may not be able to help yourself so much. We just want to talk to you. You are free to leave when you want." Monica's token defiance barely lasted the time it took for them to say the words; shocked and frightened, she burst into a flood of tears. Tripp now spoke for the first time. In her rasping voice she told her young friend, "Trust me, Monica, this is for your own good. Just listen to them. They did the same thing to me." Then she reached forward and, like a latter-day Judas, tried to embrace her. Monica pulled away in revulsion.

The FBI men made it clear that if she cooperated she might not be in so much trouble, and it took Monica a few seconds before she grasped the meaning of what they were saying. Her every instinct told her to walk away; equally, however, she calculated that if she did so she would not find out what was going on, and would not therefore be able to help either her case, or the President. She therefore agreed to accompany the FBI agents to their room in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, which is adjacent to the concourse. At this point she had one overwhelming thought in her mind- she must warn the President.

As this unlikely group now ascended the escalators Monica was screaming in her head to the passing parade, "Help! These monsters have me. Please, somebody save me. Dear God, please help me." But the shoppers passed by without a glance, without offering a helping hand, without even having a clue about the calamity that had just overtaken the silently pleading girl.

She was in shock and she was panicking, but most of all she was in deep, deep trouble. As the lift took Monica, her treacherous friend and the two cold-eyed FBI men to the Ritz-Carlton's Room 1012, she found herself thinking,

"How did I get here?"

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Interviews & Essays

On Thursday, March 11th, barnesandnoble.com welcomed Andrew Morton to discuss MONICA'S STORY.


Moderator: Thank you so much for joining us this afternoon, Andrew Morton. How are you today?

Andrew Morton: I'm great, and thank you for inviting me for the second time. The first time, you may recall, was when I was talking to the audience about Diana. This time it's about MONICA'S STORY.


E. Garland from New York City: When you were writing this book, did you worry that people might lose interest in the story after the Barbara Walters interview? Is there material in this book that Monica didn't talk about with Barbara?

Andrew Morton: I thought that the story was so compelling and so interesting that no TV interview, however long, could do it justice. I was proved right. The Walters interview touched on a number of topics but tiptoed around the most dramatic moments of the book, which is when Monica was terrorized in Room 1012 of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington, on the day that she was betrayed by Linda Tripp. She was threatened with 27 years in jail unless she cooperated. Now that aspect of the book has caused legal ripples and caused the Justice Department to investigate further the behavior of Ken Starr's office. So the book had a demonstrably profound impact.


Mark G. from New York City: It seems to me that many of Monica's quotes that the press is reporting seem to be much, much more articulate and intelligent than the type of comments we heard from Monica during the Barbara Walters interview. Were they really her quotes, or were they more your interpretation of her conversations that you wrote about that are erroneously being passed as exactly what she said? Thanks, I look forward to reading the book....

Andrew Morton: Well, the quotes that Monica gave to me were on tape, but unlike Linda Tripp, she knew what she was saying and that it would be for the record. And, yes, she is an articulate and very fluent speaker. I think the difference is that when you're relaxed and chatting to someone you know and trust, as opposed to talking on television, where you are very nervous, as she was, then it's a very different experience. That's why I've always felt that books give a genuine and more revealing insight into an individual than any television interview could ever do.


Meaghan Cliff from Lawrence, KS: I know that you are going over to tour in England after this -- how is Monica's story being received in the UK?

Andrew Morton: I'm astonished by the reaction to Monica in Britain. Only yesterday, 6,000 people queued at one bookstore just to see her. I was talking to a reporter who was with her today, who said that they've never seen anything like it. It's almost like a royal tour. And certainly Monica finds it rather overwhelming. But she's proving to be a real trouper.


Jono from Eugene, OR: I'm curious about how this book is doing internationally. Why do you think there's even any interest abroad on this subject when it seems to be old hat to Europeans to have a philandering leader?

Andrew Morton: I think that the combination of power, sex, love, obsession, betrayal, and the story of how a love story, basically an office romance, was turned into the impeachment of the president has shades of a political thriller as well. So, call me old fashioned, but as we would say in Britain, it's a right riveting read.


Bradley from London: What do you think of Monica getting rattled so easily over here in the UK; did you sort of expect it?

Andrew Morton: Well, on Saturday, just before she flew over to London, she rang me and said, "Andrew, what's a photo call?" And what I explained is that it's basically having a photograph taken, and you could hear her sort of gulp with nervousness. When she arrived in London, she was nursing a very heavy cold and facing the 200 photographers was rather overwhelming for the poor kid. But she seems to be coping a lot better now and is signing books with gusto.


Morgan from Denver: What do you think of the fact that infamous people like OJ Simpson and now Monica Lewinsky make their first real public appearances in the UK? What is up with that?

Andrew Morton: I would not want to link OJ Simpson with Monica Lewinsky. OJ Simpson faced a notorious murder trial. Monica was betrayed by a friend during a secret romance to a married man, albeit the President of the United States. Unless you've been on Mars you'll have seen she made her first public statement on the Barbara Walters show in the U.S.


Paul from Morris Plains, NJ: I find it not only interesting but just darn right cool that your book is resulting in the further investigation of Ken Starr. What are your thoughts on the concept of the independent counsel. Do you think they have way too much power?

Andrew Morton: I fully appreciate why there is the system of the independent counsel in America, following the Watergate scandal in the '70s. And it is important that the President does not abuse nor is beyond the scope of national laws. However, the issues raised by Ken Starr's behavior -- not just toward Monica Lewinsky, but also Susan McDougal -- are serious and must be addressed. The question that nags at me is whether Ken Starr and his team were commissioning a crime in order to investigate a crime by preventing Monica from speaking to a lawyer when she was in Room 1012 of the Ritz-Carlton. If she had been allowed to call her lawyer, would history have been rather different? Secondly, there is the issue of how independent the independent counsel has been. That is to say, how far was he linked to the Paula Jones case, a sexual harassment case that was funded by right-wing anti-Clinton factions? And thirdly, how far was Ken Starr's office responsible for orchestrating leaks from the grand jury and elsewhere to the media, which ran counter to his remit? I would finally point out that Sam Dash, his ethics adviser, did resign because of his behavior. It would be a tragedy if the special prosecutor's office was so diminished that when a president was genuinely doing wrong, the special prosecutor did not have the authority to properly investigate it. And this may be Ken Starr's legacy to the American Constitution.


Pac87@aol.com from xxx: In a barnesandnoble.com chat two days ago, Maria Shriver was asked what she thought about the Barbara Walters interview of Monica, and she said, "For me watching it, I felt an overall sadness." Do you find this to be a very common sentiment?

Andrew Morton: I think that some people found Monica too frivolous, and I think she was very nervous, which explains that, but I think Maria Shriver's comments are very perceptive, because behind the surface smiles, and the cheerful disposition, is a rather sad and confused young lady.


Phoebe from Des Moines: What similarities did you find between Monica and Diana?

Andrew Morton: Strong will, stubborn, low sense of self-esteem, both finding difficulty coming to terms with their parents' divorce. Both working this out in eating difficulties. Both with a similar sense of humor, very self-deprecating, and neither able to take themselves too seriously for too long.


Ringo from Ringo: Who do you think is really at fault in the spectacle this has become? Linda Tripp? The press? Kenneth Starr?

Andrew Morton: Well, we wouldn't be sitting here talking today if Linda Tripp had not decided to tape her friend and anonymously tip off Paula Jones's lawyers about her friend's affair with the President. I find it staggering that the American taxpayer is still paying for her to keep her job, after she's done her best to destabilize the country.


Gina from Boca Raton, FL: What course do you think Monica's life would have followed had she never met Bill Clinton? What were her aspirations then, and what are her aspirations and hopes now?

Andrew Morton: Good question. Well, she would have probably have gone to do her Ph.D. in psychology and jurisprudence at a college. She had enjoyed, ironically, working for the FBI as a college student when she was in Portland, OR. So, she may well have gone into the law or a legally related field. Now, it's much more difficult to imagine Monica addressing a jury, or something. But from my conversations with her, she does sincerely want to try to put something back into society. Maybe even using her name, at some point, to help a charity, probably one to do with children, and certainly children may well be her refuge, because unlike adults, they take people at face value and do not indulge in sanctimonious moralizing and critical judgments.


Norom from New York: Do you feel that people try to ignore the more important issues of our society with various superficial gossip stories bordering on pulp fiction?

Andrew Morton: In a word, yes. I find it amazing that it's taken a year for people to look seriously at the activities of the independent counsel and to start listening to what the First Lady was saying about a right-wing conspiracy. But also I think there was much to reflect upon: on how a young woman -- who could be, after all, for all her faults, anybody's sister or daughter -- could be humiliated in this way. It shows you how easy it is for the modern state, the mass media, to dissect and destroy an individual's life. To make the world think that they are not part of society, which gives them an excuse to treat them like a piece of meat, or a nonperson, and show them up as objects of ridicule and hatred. We do it in wartime, when we face an enemy, and we make them seem less than human in order to justify our attack. Monica certainly experienced that sensation in the last year. And I've always felt that this whole issue was more than just a love story, but was a parable of modern America and modern Western society. Many people don't know this, but I've spent a lot of the last few years in Africa, writing a book on the president of Kenya. And one of the things that bewildered the Kenyan, was how a man of the stature of President Clinton could be treated with such a lack of dignity. And looking at it from that perspective, you can see that there has been a loss of dignity and humanity in our dealings with the victims of this story, notably Monica Lewinsky.


Megan from New York City: In your book and on the Walters's interview, Monica dropped the bomb that she become pregnant during the time of her affair with Clinton but by another manand had had an abortion. Did Monica share this bit of info with you right off the bat? Did it help persuade you to write the book? And did Monica promise to keep this news secret -- just so the book would have some new revelations?

Andrew Morton: That's very cynical. The abortion story first emerged in January last year, when her first lover, Andy Bleiler, gave a news conference where he announced that Monica had had an abortion and implied that the baby was the president's. When Ken Starr sent his report to Congress, the abortion story was in there, even though Monica asked for it to be redacted.


Trina from Brooklyn NY: I was impressed by Monica's manner on the Barbara Walters special. I thought she was well spoken, carried herself well, and looked lovely. How does this Monica compare with the Monica you spent countless hours preparing this book with?

Andrew Morton: Well, the Monica I know was never that glamorous when I was interviewing her! The Monica I knew was a different kind of person from the one you saw on TV. Beneath the smiles and the giggles was quite a sad and pessimistic person. Always anxious to please and also nursing a lot of private pain and hurt that even now she finds difficult to come to terms with. She is a very poised and confident young woman, very strong-willed, fearless, loyal, and learned. She loves poetry, roses, romance. She's not this giddy kid, as some people have said.


Benny from Baltimore, MD: How did you and Monica come together to write this book? How were you chosen as "the one" to write it?

Andrew Morton: It's a funny story. Monica had always thought that probably a woman and an American would write her story. She didn't really know much about Princess Diana, other than what she'd read in the newspapers, and had never read my book, which brought me down a peg or two. However, the story went like this: One Saturday in November, a journalist from a British tabloid came to my house in London and said I was writing a book on Monica. I wasn't, but the story was printed anyway on the Fleet Street basis -- never let the truth get in the way of a good story. However, the story flew across the pond, and Monica's lawyer got to hear about it at the same time my own publisher in Britain was asked if he was interested in publishing a book on Monica. So, within a matter of days, I was amused to find that I was being asked by Monica's lawyer if I would be interested in writing her book. I flew over to New York and thought if she is an empty-headed Valley Girl, I'm not interested. But it was immediately apparent that she was very different from the image, someone who had a vivid and extraordinary story to tell. Ironically, most American publishers had turned down the idea of a book on Monica, and it is to the great credit of St. Martin's Press that they realized that she had a great story to tell that was totally different from the Starr Report, and I hope that when people read MONICA'S STORY they will recognize that.


Bill from New Jersey: Monica seems like she has overspent her 15 minutes of fame. Do you think people will be reading and talking about Monica in a month? In a year?

Andrew Morton: Short answer, yes. They'll be talking about Monica until the President leaves office in two years' time. And I think this story will run and run for some months, because it is only now becoming clear what really went on, and people will be talking about it for some time to come. And I'm very proud to have been Monica's biographer.


Moderator: Thank you very much for spending an hour with barnesandnoble.com. Best of luck with MONICA'S STORY and your future projects. Do you have any closing comments for the online audience?

Andrew Morton: I'd like to thank barnesandnoble.com customers for inviting me, and all those people who have bought the book. I think that MONICA'S STORY is more than just a love story. It is a political thriller. It is a story of power, obsession, love, betrayal, and raises many questions about the mass media and the political and legal system. It is truly a parable of modern American life.


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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 15, 2012

    This book is not worth the read. It just goes on and on and on.

    This book is not worth the read. It just goes on and on and on. I think she wants you to feel sorry for her because she only seems to like married men.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2005

    HOW COULD ANYONE FEEL SORRY FOR THIS WOMAN

    This book took alot of effort to get through.All you hear is Monica moan and cry because she didnt get to stay with a married man.Ms. Lewinsky got what was coming to her.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2000

    IN MONICA'S CORNER

    Buy this book if you want to give comfort and support to a young woman whom we hope has finally learned a valuable lesson on how to leave married men alone. After you buy it, send it to Monica for her autograph. But don't punish yourself by trying to read it. It's super BORING!!! So pack it away in mothballs. In a hundred years or so, your descendents might be able to sell it at an auction and make enough dough to buy a days' supply of bread.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2014

    Why publish this sad sex encounter

    Or buy it or read it? Do not believe how low publishing has become to even feature it let alone print it. Well she has her five seconds of fame in all the history books.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2013

    Don't bother wasting your money. This was an awful read. I agr

    Don't bother wasting your money. This was an awful read. I agree with the reader who said, "This book is not worth the read. It just goes on and on and on."

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2002

    Interesting to only who can relate

    I am not a person who likes to sit and read a book. But, because of a similar situation but not completely I did read this book. In my opinion Monica was young and naive. She was truly in love with the president as a person. He used her, and lied to her and the world. The book can be long at times because of the details. But I actually feel sorry for Ms. Lewinsky. She was made into a public fool, and tortured by the others.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 25, 2012

    A Great Read

    I enjoyed this book very much. It was good to get the other side of the story. I have always felt that Miss Lewinsky received much undue criticism. I believe we all should think how we would feel were we the subject of so much media attention and endless bad jokes. This book gives us a view of exactly how hurtful this whole situation was, is and will continue to be for probably the rest of her life. This is not to say she is blameless, but I personally feel that the whole thing was none of the nation's business. This should have been a private thing between the parties involved. Linda Tripp...well, that one needs dealing with! I will get off my soapbox now and say that the book was entertaining, emotional and eye-opening. Kudos to Mr. Morton. Best wishes to Miss Lewinsky.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 22, 2012

    Monica was used for political agendas. Cant wait to read a tell all into Ken Star's transvesite secret life

    It amazes me how Americans who have everything, give nothing back. This woman's life has been tortured and twisted for political gain. The relationship (yes folks thats what it was) between her and the president had nothing to do with any of us. Politicians and a revengeful independent counsel in Ken Starr ruined this girls life all for the sake of not liking Bill. Newt shut down the government due to a power struggle over not liking Bill CLinton and now he wants to be president. HA no thanks. People have sex and even presidents. No one ever put Kennedy through this when he had multiple affairs. Oh wait, they killed him instead. I forgot. Get over your high and might selves. MONICA, I AM SORRY FOR THE WAY YOU HAVE BEEN TREATED AND I AM SURE THERE ARE MANY LIKE ME WHO DO NOT SEE YOU IN THE WAY YOU HAVE BEEN PORTRAYED. I HOPE YOU FIND HAPPINESS AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE LEAVE YOU ALONE.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2001

    A good inside look

    This book gave a wonderful inside look into the sad happenings of Monica Lewinsky and her family. It shows a devastating side of what the government can do to a person. And while the media has made it quite easy to hate Monica, this book makes it hard to keep the hate going. Although slow at times, it is what seems to be very truthful about the facts as well as the raw emotions expressed in 'Monica's Story.'

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2013

    <3

    <3 <3 <3

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2013

    Great book

    What if she was your daughter she did do something wrong but he did too

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I certainly was enlightened...

    This book is actually quite absorbing and enlightening. I found out a lot of things I hadn't before known about Monica Lewinsky, and her relationship with President Clinton. I now see her as a person, rather than the woman who the President did not have sexual relations with. This book is so interesting. You get a behind the scenes look into Monica's life while the entire scandal and trial were going on.

    My one criticism...typos...and lots of them. I understand things aren't always and can't always be perfect, but it's annoying to see repeated words, misplaced words, misspelled words, and just typos. I hope if they had any later additions, they corrected these items.

    I'd definitely suggest this book, though it's strictly for adults only.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2002

    Land of the Free?

    At one point in her ordeal, Monica Lewinsky's mother compares what is happening to her daughter with the treatment of her family in Stalin's Russia and the tale which Andrew Morton's book tells is chilling to those who have formerly regarded the USA as the bastion of freedom. It is, it would appear, exactly like Animal Farm - all are equal but some are more equal than others. In this case, those with more money and power are more equal than those with less. Personally, I feel that there is something rather sick about middle-aged men who get a buzz out of terrorising a young girl and demanding that she describe her sexual experiences in lurid detail. We had one of those in the UK - it was called Frederick West and Mr Starr and his minions would do well to take notice of what happened to him.Or maybe I am too prissy, with my belief in due process and my feeling that the notion that a person is innocent until proved guilty makes the Anglo-Saxon legal system fairer than any other. It is a wonderful irony that Ms Lewinsky was bullied into telling the truth by the lies of the FBI operatives who were, by the way, so determined to have her testimony that they pre-empted the filing of her deposition and knowing prevented her from canceling it by stopping her from contacting her lawyer.In many countries those concerned would now find themselves behind bars. The fact was that Bill Clinton had made himself many powerful enemies who resented his apparently teflon-coated ability to slide out of scandals. They wanted to get him and they did not care what for. Monica Lewinsky was in the wrong place at the wrong time.What she did was wrong but hardly a major crime. When reduced to basics what was it she did? She had a relationship with someone much older than herself and attempted to avoid embarrassment by hiding the fact. Sadly her handsome prince had all too clumsy feet of clay and her fairy godmother was on the make. At this point her story becomes a nightmare- especially when one considers that her tormenters would have been cast, a few years earlier as defenders of the free world. God help us! What is heartening is the picture that emerges of the loyalty of Ms Lewinsky's family and friends. Let us hope that now she will be allowed to forget her mistakes - she is, after all, not the only person to have done things they regret- and to get on with her life in peace.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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