The series will dramatize the affair between her and former President Bill Clinton that led to his impeachment in 1998. Lewinsky has been vocal in the past decade about how the situation affected her life after she was dragged through the court of public opinion, prompting the minds behind the series to consult her on the script and even give her credit as a producer.
Speaking on the "Today" show Tuesday, Lewinsky explained how wearing two hats on the project was a challenge for her. While she doesn’t like revisiting that time in her life in such an intimate, in-depth way, she explained that she knew the show was moving forward with or without her.
"You know I’ve been incredibly lucky the last six or seven years to really be able to reclaim my narrative," she explained. "So, the opportunity to have a seat at the table surrounding that was appealing to me. And, of course, Ryan Murphy."
Murphy is one of the key producers of the series, which has previously tackled real-life cases such as the trial of O.J. Simpson and the murder of Gianni Versace. Lewinsky explained that the big appeal of working with him on a show about the scandal that rocked her life was his decision to tell it from the perspective of the women involved.
"I really came to understand from him the vision that he had around showing this from the perspective of three women," she said. "Three women who had been on the sidelines of power at the time and that was really compelling to me."
Obviously, with Lewinsky consulting on her own story, there was a danger that it would present a skewed version of the events that leaned in her favor, something she was very cognizant of while going over the scripts. She made sure to note that, although she was consulted on almost every aspect of the story, she did not have any veto power about what would and would not go into the show. Lewinsky describes the finished product as having an "emotional truth" that she feels proud of.
Specifically, Lewinsky was asked about an infamous moment that leaked to the press at the time in which she flashed her underwear to Clinton at a social event. The Hollywood Reporter previously noted that the scene was not in the original script for "Impeachment: American Crime Story." However, she made sure that it was included for the sake of honesty and credibility among the other producers.
"As a subject, I was incredibly grateful when I saw that it was missing," she said of the scene.
"But then I realized, as a producer, because I was involved, that the credibility of the show would have been severely affected and that wasn’t fair to everyone else."
Several unflattering moments come up in the show about her affair with the married president. She says that, although it was painful to relive, she believed that she "shouldn’t get a pass" just because she’s in a producer’s chair.
"Truth and context were really missing in 1998, and throughout the process, and humanity. I hope that was one of the things we brought to the show," she said.
Lewinsky concluded: "I do not recommend watching your early 20s be dramatized on TV. Especially in this instance where the truth was really stranger than fiction. Moments when I just thought, ‘oh gosh, don’t smile back, don’t talk to her, don’t confess, don’t do this, don’t do that, don’t make bad decisions.’ It was really hard to see."