Bill Clinton has said his White House romps with Monica Lewinsky were a way of coping with the stress of being President.
Speaking in a documentary about wife Hillary, the Democrat – known as Slick Willie – said the sordid affair was one of the things “I did to manage my anxieties”.
While saying he felt guilty about it, he claimed he was pressured in the US’s top job – and his tryst with the young intern was “something that will take your mind off it for a while”.
Devastated Hillary told of how his betrayal broke her heart, saying: “I could not believe it.
“I was so personally just hurt and I can’t believe this, I can’t believe you lied.”
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Clinton, 73, also confessed to feeling guilty that the affair has come to define Lewinsky’s life.
The 46-year-old was 22 when she performed a sex act on the then President in his White House office.
Clinton – impeached in October 1998 after he lied about the affair – said he felt “terrible” that she was “unfairly” tainted by it.
But defending his actions, he said: “You feel like you’re staggering around, you’ve been in a 15-round prizefight that was extended to 30 rounds, and here’s something that’ll take your mind off it for a while.
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“Everybody’s life has pressures, disappointments and terrors, fears of whatever, things I did to manage my anxieties.”
He and Hillary went through intense marriage counselling to save their relationship. And Hillary, 72, admits even her closest friends and family questioned whether them staying together would work.
She said: “Some people thought I made the right decision and some people thought I made the wrong decision.
“I have gotten both affirmation and criticism for the decision I made, and that was true from the very beginning of deciding that.”
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Her grovelling hubby added: “I was so grateful that she thought we still had enough to stick it out.
“God knows the burden she paid for that.”
The four-part documentary, called Hillary, is available on streaming service Hulu.
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