Lewinsky storms offstage after ‘off limits’ Clinton question

Monica Lewinsky said Israeli news anchor Yonit Levi’s first question about her relationship with former President Bill Clinton a “blatant disregard for our agreement.” (AP)
Updated 04 September 2018
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Lewinsky storms offstage after ‘off limits’ Clinton question

  • The agreed-upon parameters regarding the topics of her conversation about the perils of the Internet were not followed
  • Monica Lewinsky said on Twitter: ‘It became clear to me I had been misled’

JERUSALEM: Monica Lewinsky said Tuesday that she stormed offstage at a Jerusalem speaking event because of an interviewer’s “off limits” question about former President Bill Clinton.

The former White House intern turned anti-bullying activist tweeted that there were agreed-upon parameters regarding the topics of her televised conversation Monday night with a well-known Israeli news anchor, following a conference speech she gave about the perils of the Internet.

Lewinsky called Yonit Levi’s first question about her relationship with Clinton a “blatant disregard for our agreement.”

Levi, the main anchor of Israel’s top-rated evening newscast, asked Lewinsky if she still expected a personal apology from Clinton over the fallout of the scandal of their affair 20 years ago. Lewinsky responded: “I’m so sorry. I’m not going to be able to do this.” She then put down her microphone and walked offstage.

Levi reached out her hand and then anxiously followed Lewinsky offstage as some of the stunned audience awkwardly clapped. The confused hosts then rushed opposition lawmaker Yair Lapid onstage to keep the event moving along. A smiling Lapid, who plans to challenge Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the next Israeli elections, quipped: “Everything has happened to me but stepping in for Monica Lewinsky is a first. There is no way I’ll be interesting enough in the next few minutes but we’ll do our best.”

In a tweet several hours later, Lewinsky said she had been misled.

“In fact, the exact question the interviewer asked first, she had put to me when we met the day prior. I said that was off limits,” she explained. “I left because it is more important than ever for women to stand up for themselves and not allow others to control their narrative. To the audience: I’m very sorry that this talk had to end this way.”

Levi’s employer, the Israeli News Company, said it did its utmost to abide by all agreements made with Lewinsky.

“The question asked was legitimate, worthy and respectful and in no way deviated from Ms. Lewinsky’s requests,” said company spokesman Alon Shani. “We thank Ms. Lewinsky for her fascinating speech to the conference, respect her sensitivity and wish her all the best.”

Clinton recently came under fire for responding defensively to questions in an NBC interview about his sexual relationship with the White House intern in the late 1990s. He insisted he did not think it necessary to offer her a personal apology since he had already repeatedly apologized publicly. Clinton’s affair with Lewinsky helped lead to his impeachment.

Lewinsky, who for years kept quiet about the relationship before re-emerging as a public speaker, wrote in March that their relationship “was not sexual assault” but “constituted a gross abuse of power.”

 


Pacquiao tells son: ‘You don’t need to box’

Updated 39 min 44 sec ago
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Pacquiao tells son: ‘You don’t need to box’

  • The boxer has tried to push his son Emmanuel Jr, who is known Jimuel, to choose another path
  • An aide for Pacquiao said Jimuel took up boxing only in December

MANILA: Philippine boxing legend Manny Pacquiao said Wednesday he has urged his eldest son to stay out of the ring after the 19-year-old’s forays into fighting made young man’s mother cry.
Pacquiao, the only fighter to win world titles in eight different weight divisions, said he and his wife have even made a point not to have gloves and equipment at home.
The boxer, known for his rags-to-riches climb from the street, has tried to push his son Emmanuel Jr, who is known Jimuel, to choose another path.
“It pains me that he is boxing because I know how hard it is. I told him, ‘Daddy only went into boxing because of poverty... You, you don’t need to box’,” Pacquiao said on broadcaster ABS-CBN.
“But he said: ‘Daddy, like you boxing is my passion also. I want to be a representative of this country as an athlete’,” Pacquiao added.
Pacquiao made the comments after a video of Jimuel sparring during an exhibition match was posted on Facebook.
“His mommy had cried several times telling him, ‘Don’t go into boxing, son’,” Pacquiao said of his wife, Jinkee, who had also urged the 40-year-old boxer to retire.
“He really wants to do it,” he added.
The younger Pacquiao wouldn’t be the first son of a high-profile boxer to follow dad’s lead. The sons of British boxers Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank, as well as American slugger Joe Frazier became fighters.
The Facebook footage shows the younger Pacquiao sending his opponent to his knees with aggressive moves reminiscent of his father. Jimuel was wearing gloves and gear branded “Pacman,” his dad’s nickname.
The elder Pacquiao was watching the match through a video call and was seen talking to his son before it started.
An aide for Pacquiao told AFP Jimuel took up boxing only in December, a month before his father easily defeated Adrien Broner in Las Vegas.
As for his own career, Pacquiao said he was still eager for a rematch with Floyd Mayweather but had yet to discuss his next fight with adviser Al Haymon.
Pacquiao in October signed with Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions group after being promoted by Top Rank’s Bob Arum for the past 14 years.
Pacquiao said he was open to fighting unbeaten US “super champion” Keith Thurman, Errol Spence Jr or Britain’s Amir Khan.