Monica Lewinsky's affair with Bill Clinton re-examined

In an intimate new docu-series, Lewinsky shares her story and "Nightline" examines whether the nation is more sympathetic to her story in the age of #MeToo.
8:13 | 11/15/18

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Transcript for Monica Lewinsky's affair with Bill Clinton re-examined
He paid a lot of attention to me. He spent time sort of standing there and held my hand longer than he should have and gave what others have described as the full Bill Clinton. It feels as if you're the only person standing there. Reporter: It's the infamous start to an illicit affair. One that nearly toppled a president. My underwear had been showing, my thong underwear. And I thought, well, I'll up the game. Reporter: Monica Lewinski speaking out about the flirtatious moments that landed her squarely at the center of a white house scandal. I kind of have to laugh at my younger self. But that was when my crush started. Reporter: The unpaid intern and the commander in chief. I did not have sexual relations with that woman. Reporter: Now for Lewinski, a new reckoning with her past in a revealing six-part docu-series entitled "The Clinton affair" airing on A&E. Front and center, president Clinton's reckless behavior which almost cost him his presidency. Fresh out of college, Lewinski catches the eye of the president as he's leaving the white house and goes out of her way to catch it again. I did this really silly thing. I ran home at lunchtime and I put back on the sage green suit I had been wearing the day before when he paid attention to me. I thought, maybe he'll notice me again. And notice me he did. Reporter: Lewinski, now 45, reflects back on her own naivete which she says led her to their disastrous liaison. The truth is I think it meant more to me that someone who other people desired, desired me. However wrong it was, however misguided, for who I was in that very moment, at 22 years old, that was how it felt. Reporter: In an essay for "Vanity fair," Lewinski says she took part in the documentary to acknowledge her past behavior, which she still regrets and feels ashamed of. In the era of "Me too," the story of a young intern's entanglement with the most powerful man in the world and its aftermath now examined in a completely new light by director Blair foster. There's a real power imbans license. I don't think you get greater imbalance between the president of the United States and an intern. She was slut shamed, she was fat shamed. It was open season on Monica Lewinski. 100%, it was brutal. Reporter: Over two years they had multiple sexually encounters, engaged in phone sex, exchanged gifts. Amidst all the turmoil, Lewinski began confiding in an older colleague, Linda Tripp. When I tell you that I never pected to feel this way about him, and I'm not kidding you -- Reporter: Unbeknownst to Monica, Tripp started recording phone conversations about every intimate detail, including a dress Monica believed was stained with the president's semen. The nafty blue dress. Now all I would say to you is, I know how you feel today. But you have a very long life ahead of you. I would rather you had that in your possession if you need it years from now. Linda? Hi, it's Monnie. Monica, darling, hold on. Reporter: The imbalance of their seeming friendship portrayed on "Snl." All while president Clinton is already under a microscope, fighting a lawsuit alleging sexual misconduct. Paula Jones claimed that the then Arkansas governor asked her for a sexual favor while she was a state clerk. May of '91, Bill Clinton harassed me on the job, then basically told me, let's keep this between ourselves. Did you ever ask Paula Jones to kiss your penis? No, I did not. Reporter: Paula Jones' attorneys got a tip from an unexpected source. Lewinski's confidant, Linda Tripp. So with knowledge of the affair, Jones' attorney asked president Clinton about Lewinski. He lied under oath. I -- I have never had sexual relations with Monica Lewinski, I've never had an affair with her. Bill Clinton handed the sword to his enemies. Reporter: In January 1998, he held a press conference delivering that now notorious proclamation. I did not have sexual relations with that woman. Miss Lewinski. Reporter: Lewinski recalls being confirmed by FBI agents who threatened her with lengthy jail time for denying the affair, lying under oath, in the Paula Jones case. They wanted her to turn against the president. But she refused. They imagined that I would have flipped really easily. They had no plan in place for what would happen if I said no. There was a point for me somewhere in this sort of first several hours where I would be hysterically crying, then I would just shut down. And in the shutdown period I remember looking out the window and thinking that the only way to fix this was to kill myself. Was to jump out the window. And I -- I just -- I felt terrible. I was scared. And I just -- I was mortified. And afraid of what this was going to do to my family. And, you know -- I still was in love with bill at the time. So I just -- I felt really responsible. Reporter: Lewinski eventually struck a deal for total immunity in exchange giving up key pieces of evidence. Including gifts from the president. And that blue dress. The physical proof of their relationship. I was going to the white house in the dark of night to take a blood sample from the sitting president of the united States to compare with a semen stain on a dress of a 22-year-old. Reporter: President Clinton would undergo impeachment hearings in the fall of 1998. I don't remember exactly what I did say with her. That's what you say I said. The prospect of impeachment can never be far from president Clinton's mind these days -- Reporter: For only the second time in history, the house of representatives would vote to impeach a president. But the senate later voted to acquit. He leaves office with I think something along the lines of a 65% approval rating. Reporter: But Monica's role in the Clinton affair forever etched in a memory of the American public, skewered on late night shows. Bill, you already said you had no sexual relationship with Monica. Reporter: Hounded by the press. I think we're learning more and more right now in the "Me too" movement around people in power just how reckless they act. Reporter: Earlier this year Mr. Clinton was asked about the scandal by NBC. I asked if you ever apologized and you said you have. I have. You apologized to her? I apologized to everybody in the world. You didn't apologize to her, at least according to folks we talked to. There was never an apology -- I have not talked to her. Do you feel like you owe her an apology? No. I do not -- I've never talked to her, but I did say publicly on more than one occasion that I was sorry. Reporter: And then, just last month, Hillary Clinton was asked by CBS if time had changed her opinion. In retrospect, do you think bill should have resigned, president Clinton should have resigned, in the '90s, in the wake of the Monica Lewinski scandal? Absolutely not. It wasn't abuse of power? No. Reporter: Despite the re-examination that "Me too" may have brought, Lewinski still contends that it hasn't come far enough for her. Writing that that else say for "Vanity fair" what feels more important to me than whether I am owed or deserving of a personal apology is my belief that Bill Clinton should want to apologize. I'm less disappointed by him and more disappointed for him. He would be a better man for it, and we in turn a better society. Monica apologizes to both Hillary and Chelsea. I mean, I think she's deeply remorseful. Monica's always been very up front about, this was a consensual affair. And her regret in that.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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