Thursday 21 November 2019

US Diary: Monica Lewinsky makes a sensational splash

Monica Lewinsky
Monica Lewinsky
Patricia Arquette

Orla Healy

That was quick. Just seven months after ending a 10-year exile from public life, Monica Lewinsky is getting sweet revenge on all the pundits who mocked her comeback with a surprise nomination for one of the media industry's most prestigious awards.

Last Thursday, the American Society of Magazine Editors stunned New York's media elite by naming the former White House intern as one of five finalists who demonstrated such "noteworthy journalistic enterprise" as to qualify for a National Magazine Award based on her June 2014 Vanity Fair essay 'Shame and Survival'.

The novice writer scored the only nomination for the magazine in which she declared her intent to stop "tiptoeing around my past - and other people's futures".

Lewinsky, who was a very popular guest at last weekend's Golden Globe awards is expected to attend the award dinner in New York on February 2 - ironically the same week some souvenirs from her Washington days are scheduled to go on the block in New Jersey.

The items, which Lewsinky gave to Kate Nason, the wife of Andrew Bleiler, a drama teacher with whom Lewinsky had an affair, were subsequently turned over to special prosecutor Kenneth Starr before being returned to Nason. Originally set for auction in 2013, they were withdrawn after bidding failed to go above $12,650.

The new reserve for the lot which includes a "racy" black negligee, a hand-written birthday card Lewinsky had President Clinton write to her former teacher/lover Andrew Bleiler, a box of White House M&Ms and a 1999 legal bill from Williams & Connolly, the firm that represented the Clintons during the Whitewater and impeachment hearings, addressed to the Clintons.

Wonder who could possibly be interested in that.


Hillary - the wait continues

Mitt Romney isn't the only person who thinks that he should take another run at the White House in 2016. Hillary Clinton apparently also thinks it is a great idea. "We'd be much more concerned about Bush," a Clinton adviser told the New York Daily News last week, adding that if Romney somehow manages to secure the GOP nomination: "We will cream him."

The Republicans have bigger fish to fry. Namely, Hillary herself.

"Listen, we're writing a Hillary Clinton book now; I mean, we have a research team that is in Little Rock, so we're not going to be shy about it," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Preibus said in an interview with Bloomberg Politics.

Asked how many people the GOP would put on digging up Clinton-related dirt in Arkansas, Preibus responded, "I don't know, I think we're sending two or three...We're going to be active. We're going to get whatever we have to in order to share with the American people the truth about Hillary and Bill Clinton."

In a separate interview with the Washington Post Preibus said that while he considers Clinton "a formidable candidate," he isn't particularly wowed by her "political acumen".

Clinton representatives didn't respond to requests for comment on Preibus's remarks. They were probably too busy finding desks for new staffers, including Joel Benenson, the lead pollster on both Obama's campaigns, who is poised to become Mrs Clinton's chief strategist, and Jim Margolis, another Obama 2008/2012 veteran who is expected to become her media adviser.

John Podesta, a senior aide in Bill Clinton's administration, is also slated to join Team Hillary after he leaves his White House post as counselor to President Obama in February. He is expected to serve (officially) as her campaign chairman and (unofficially) as her enforcer. Now all she has to do is declare.

Silver screen doesn't pay

Golden Globe and Critics Choice Best Supporting Actress Patricia Arquette has no illusions about Hollywood glitz and glamour, especially when it comes to making indie movies like Richard Linklater's breakout film Boyhood.

"It's important to me as an actor to be able to make a living [but] I'm going to tell you something," the Oscar nominee told WENN news agency last week. "I paid more money to my babysitter and my dog walker than I made on Boyhood."

The film, which also got Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture (Drama) and Best Director, is expected to experience a box-office surge this weekend after being nominated for six Academy Awards, but it isn't enough to convince Arquette she has a future in movies.

"Television actually allows you to make a living, feed your children, send them to college. And to have the luxury to make the choices of doing what it is you think that matters," says the actress who returns to the small screen in March for the procedural spin-off CSI: Cyber.

Cumberbatch is made up

Benedict Cumberbatch may unwittingly have started an alarming new red carpet trend when he thanked concealer and a little foundation for his well rested appearance at the Golden Globes last Sunday.

"Make-up is a wonderful thing for men as well as women," Cumberbatch told reporters bemused by his honesty. "I literally landed about an hour before the ceremony started."

The Imitation Game star's frankness, no doubt inspired someone to release the fact that he was wearing Laura Mercier primer, Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Shine Mattifying Gel and a little Jouer Perfector foundation, which his groomer, Sydney Zibrak, spot-applied with a brush and a Beautyblender sponge.

Cue copious over-sharing from the male nominees on Oscar's red carpet.

Sunday Independent

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