Monica Lewinsky walked offstage at a conference in Jerusalem on September 3, when she was asked a question about former president Bill Clinton.
Lewinsky had just spoken at the Jerusalem Convention Center, later sitting down for a question and answer session with Channel 2 News anchor Yonit Levi. Levi then broached the subject that has made Monica Lewinsky a global name – Bill Clinton.
The emcee then asked, “Recently in an interview with NBC News, former President Clinton was rather irate when he was asked if he ever apologized to you personally,” Levi said. “Do you still expect that apology, the personal apology?”
The question did not sit well with Lewinsky, who replied: “I’m sorry, I’m not going to be able to do this,” before walking off stage.
Some of the audience applauded at her act.
Lewinsky then released a statement on Twitter on her decision to walk out. She said, "there were clear parameters about what we would be discussing and what we would not." An activist against social media bullying, Lewinsky gave a speech on the "perils and positives of the Internet," and she said the 15-minute conversation with Levi was supposed to be a follow up to that topic, "not a news interview."
According to Lewinsky, she told Levi the day prior that the question was "off limits."
"When she asked me it on stage, with blatant disregard for our agreement, it became clear to me I had been misled," Lewinsky said.
Explaining why she left, Lewinsky wrote that it was because "it is more important than ever for women to stand up for themselves and not allow others to control their narrative."
so here’s 👇🏻 what happened... pic.twitter.com/Y7gLs3SDLF
— Monica Lewinsky (@MonicaLewinsky) September 3, 2018
However Levi's employer, the Israel Television News Company, defended the question and denied breaching any such agreement and released a statement following her walkout. It said that it had "stood up to all of its agreements with Ms. Lewinsky and honored her requests."
"We believe the question asked on stage was legitimate and respectful, and one that certainly does not go beyond Ms. Lewinsky's requests and does not cross the line," the statement went on.
Monica Lewinsky was an intern in the White House of then-President Bill Clinton who admitted to having had what he called an "inappropriate relationship" with her while she worked at the White House in 1995–1996. The affair became known as the Clinton–Lewinsky scandal.
Lewinsky has since then donned multiple roles that included designing a line of handbags under her name, being an advertising spokesperson for a diet plan, working as a television personality and now a social activist speaking out against cyber-bullying.