By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
She came to Washington in the summer of 1995, like so many before her, to assume a coveted position at a powerful government institution. Here, in her own words, a young intern describes her tumultuous, ultimately doomed affair with her boss, a highly placed married man.
I never expected to fall in love with the President. I was surprised that I did.
We... sort of acknowledged that there had been a chemistry that was there before and that we were both attracted to each other, and then he asked me if he could kiss me.
We enjoyed talking to each other and being with each other... We would tell jokes. We would talk about our childhoods. Talk about current events. I was always giving him my stupid ideas about what I thought should be done in the administration or different views on things.
When I was working there (at the White House)... we'd start in the back (in or near the private study) and we'd talk and that was where we were physically intimate, and we'd usually end up, kind of the pillow talk of it, I guess... sitting in the Oval Office... We spent hours on the phone talking... just how we were doing... We talked about everything under the sun.
I used to say to him that I like it when you wear my ties because then I know I'm close to your heart.
He had told me... that he was usually around on the weekends and that it was okay to come see him on the weekends. So he would call and we would arrange either to bump into each other in the hall or that I would bring papers to the office.
When I was getting my Christmas kiss [the President was] looking out the window with his eyes wide open while he was kissing me and then I got mad because it wasn't very romantic. He responded, "Well, I was just looking to see to make sure no one was out there."
We were both aware of the volume and sometimes... I bit my hand so that I wouldn't make any noise.
There were... some occasions when I sent him cards or notes that I wrote, things that he deemed too personal to put on paper just in case something ever happened, if it got lost getting there or someone else opened it. So there were several times when he remarked to me, you know, you shouldn't put that on paper.
He said he was going to be going into the office soon. I said, "Oh, do you want some company?" And he said, "Oh, that would be great." We made an arrangement that... he would have the door to his office open, and I would pass by the office with some papers and then... he would sort of stop me and invite me in. So that was exactly what happened.
We had... had phone sex for the first time the week prior, and I was feeling a little bit insecure about whether he had liked it or didn't like it... I didn't know if this was sort of developing into some kind of a longer-term relationship than what I thought it initially might have been, that maybe he had some regular girlfriend who was furloughed... I asked him why he doesn't ask me any questions about myself, and... is this just about sex... or do you have some interest in trying to get to know me as a person? The President laughed and said he cherishes the time that he had with me... I felt like he didn't really even know me yet... [He] kissed my arm and told me he'd call me, and then I said, "Yeah, well, what's my phone number?" And so he recited both my home number and my office number off the top of his head.
Trouble in Paradise
People were wary of his weaknesses, maybe, and... they didn't want to look at him and think that he could be responsible for anything, so it had to all be my fault... I was stalking him or I was making advances towards him.
He [Timothy Keating, Special Assistant to the President] told me I was too sexy to be working in the East Wing and that this job at the Pentagon, where I'd be writing press releases, was a sexier job. I was never going to see the President again. I mean, my relationship with him would be over.
I had asked [the President]... if he was doing okay with Ron Brown's death, and then after we talked about that for a little bit I told him that my last day was Monday. And... he seemed really upset and sort of asked me to tell him what had happened. So I did and I was crying and I asked him if I could come see him, and he said that that was fine. He told me that he thought that my being transferred had something to do with him and that he was upset. He said, "Why do they have to take you away from me? I trust you." And then he told me, he looked at me and he said, "I promise you if I win in November I'll bring you back like that. You can do anything you want. You can be anything you want." And then I made a joke and I said, "Well, can I be Assistant to the President for Blow Jobs?" He said, "I'd like that."