Bill Clinton revisits a tumultuous time in his personal and professional life.
In the four-part Hulu series “Hillary,” premiering Friday, the 42nd president of the United States candidly opens up about his 1998 impeachment — where he was accused of perjury and obstruction of justice for concealing his affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
As seen in the docuseries, the former commander-in-chief reveals the exact moment when he told his wife, Hillary, and daughter, Chelsea, about his adultery.
“I went and sat on the bed and talked to [Hillary],” the 73-year-old said on-camera. “I told her exactly what happened, when it happened. I said, ‘I feel terrible about it.’ I said, ‘We’ve been through quite a bit in the last few years. I have no defense. This is inexcusable, what I did.’”
Though the politician never meant to consciously “take a really irresponsible risk” that would hurt his family and country, the former governor of Arkansas blames “anxieties” for his infidelity.
“That’s not what happens,” Clinton explained. “It’s… you feel like you’re staggering around. You’ve been in a 15-round prize fight that’s been extended to 30 rounds and here’s something that will take your mind off it for a while. Everybody’s life has pressures and disappointments, terrors and fears of whatever. Things I did to manage my anxieties for years — I’m a totally different person than I was.”
He added, “What I did, it was bad, but it wasn’t like I thought, ‘Let’s see, how can I think about the most stupid thing I could possibly do and do it.’ It’s just not a defense.”
After becoming the second U.S. president to be impeached after Andrew Johnson, Clinton was acquitted by the Senate and completed his term in office.
In a January interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Hillary said her “gutsiest decision” was staying with her husband following the scandal.
While discussing a scene in “Hillary” where Bill expresses gratitude for his loyal wife, Hillary told the publication, “First, I’m grateful that he understood that this was a really terrible time. I said [recently] in connection with a book that Chelsea and I wrote, ‘The Book of Gutsy Women,’ when asked what was my gutsiest decision, I said, ‘Well, personally, staying in my marriage.’ And that kind of sums it up.”
She continued, “But I also think in every marriage there’s not just one side. So, I could say the same for him, that I’m not always the easiest person to live with. I’m glad he stuck it out, too.”