After what she calls her “nightmare” year, Monica Lewinsky finally began to cash in big-time last week. She stood to take in $7.5 million from her book deal, her photo shoots for European magazines and her interview with Britain’s Channel Four, which has been sold to more than 25 countries. But she still owes an estimated $3 million in legal bills.
The biggest winner may be the American Broadcasting Corp. Her interview with Barbara Walters, which Lewinsky did for free, brought in an extra $45 million for the network, according to industry watchers. It netted a 48 “share,” the percentage of households watching at least part of it—still short of the record celebrity interview, Oprah Winfrey talking with Michael Jackson, which gained a 56 share in 1993. In Canada, a third of TV sets were tuned to
Monica’s Story, by British author Andrew Morton, debuted at No. 1 on Amazon.corn’s Webbased bookstore. Publisher St. Martin’s Press said the book, retailing at $36.99 in Canada, had U.S. advance sales of 400,000, nearly eating up its first printing of 450,000 copies for North America.
While Lewinsky’s interview was airing, Clinton was attending a fundraiser for New Jersey Senator Bob Torricelli. There, as disco queen Gloria Gaynor took the stage, Clinton happily sang along to her song / Will Survive.
On the day of the ABC broadcast, Linda Tripp, the Pentagon staffer who taped Lewinsky’s phone calls, ended a year-long
stint working at home and began a regular job as a “public affairs specialist” at the defence department’s manpower data center in Rosslyn, Va. Salary: $94,098 (U.S.), the equivalent of $142,900 Canadian.
Linda recently on Monica: “I would want to give her a hug.”
Monica on Linda, after learning of the taping: “I wanted to hurt her. I felt like an animal wanting to claw at her skin.”
According to Walters,
^ Lewinsky didn’t like how I her hair fell in front of her § face during her last TV I appearance—the video of her U.S. Senate deposi"" tion—so she got a stylist to slick it back. And her weight, currently 172 lb., has been the bane of her existence, as she told Walters, “all my life.” But it was her lipstick, Club Monaco’s Glaze, that scored with viewers. The company said the shade sold out across North America after the show aired.
Sales are still brisk for scandal-related knick-knacks. Monica’s image or name adorns everything from large cigars from the Philippines (Monica Special) to T-shirts, Monica-face gourmet cookies, joke books, buttons, dolls and sculptures. A set of Russianstyle dolls features the likeness of Clinton, which opens up to progressively smaller dolls of Lewinsky, Paula Jones,
Gennifer Flowers and Kathleen Willey. Estimated sales of Monica ware: $50 million.
THE CANADIAN CONNECTION
Lewinsky told Morton that as the scandal broke, she and her mother briefly considered fleeing to Canada, but feared the FBI was watching every airport and border point. The longest she could have stayed in Canada as a tourist is six months—unless she applied for asylum as a refugee. An Ottawa spokeswoman said Lewinsky would have been eligible for a hearing.
The story you want is part of the Maclean’s Archives. To access it, log in here or sign up for your free 30-day trial.
Experience anything and everything Maclean's has ever published — over 3,500 issues and 150,000 articles, images and advertisements — since 1905. Browse on your own, or explore our curated collections and timely recommendations.WATCH THIS VIDEO for highlights of everything the Maclean's Archives has to offer.