Monday 22 January 2018

Hillary: I have moved on from Lewinsky affair

US Diary

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton

Orla Healy

Hillary Clinton says she's over the whole Monica Lewinsky thing and – surprise, surprise – she thinks it's about time the rest of us got over it too. "I've moved on," Clinton tells the latest issue of People magazine, claiming she didn't read Lewinsky's recent essay in Vanity Fair. "I think everybody needs to look to the future."

Not that Mrs Clinton, who declined to confirm whether or not she called the former White House intern "a narcissistic loony toon" ("I'm not going to comment on what did and didn't happen") is ready to discuss her own future plans just yet.

"I know I have a decision to make," Clinton says in the interview pegged to the June 10 publication of her memoir Hard Choices, before delivering her boilerplate response to questions about a 2016 run. "Part of what I've been thinking about is everything I'm interested in and everything I enjoy doing... I want to live in the moment. At the same time I am concerned about what I see happening in the country and in the world. Through the next months, I will think more about what role I can or, in my mind, should play."

Hillary is clearly using the People story to spotlight her softer side – an element that was sorely missing from her 2008 campaign. Discussing how she has spent her downtime since leaving the State Department, she tells People she's been sleeping in (until 8 am) getting to grips with yoga and aquatics (but "not as much as I should") organising her closets and binge-watching (what else) House of Cards on Netflix. She also tackles the sinister rumours about her husband's health. "He's had that tremor for years – it's nothing serious, just some sort of nerve pinch," she says of the noticeable shake in the former Prez's hand. "People say that he's too thin. He doesn't think so, and he has an enormous amount of energy."

Hillary's own health – recently the subject of a Karl Rove attack suggesting she may be mentally impaired – isn't an issue in the interview but it did trend on Twitter as soon as the cover image of the magazine landed. Right-wing theorists, including Matt Drudge, spun themselves into a frenzy suggesting the photo of Hillary shows her leaning on what they claimed was a walker. Jess Cagle, the editor of People, immediately issued a statement clarifying that she was actually leaning on a patio chair. The sheer ridiculousness of the "walker" story – not to mention the amount of ridicule it is generating – has some suggesting the GOP might want to put more muscle into sourcing, as well as pacing, their future attacks.

Monica hasn't gone away...

The National Geographic Channel is betting the bank that nobody is over Monica Lewinsky. In what will be her first TV appearance in over a decade, the 40-year-old brunette is a major selling-point for the network's three-part miniseries (The 90s: The Last Great Decade?) set to air stateside on Sunday, July 6. Lewinsky, described in a stiff network statement as "a White House intern whose relationship with Bill Clinton led to her becoming a legal target in an investigation and a media target like the world had never seen before", will be among 120 "unexpected newsmakers," participating in the documentary series. How other contributors – including statesmen like Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, Colin Powell and Tony Blair as well as celebrities such as Courtney Love, Vanilla Ice, Martin Sheen and Roseanne Barr – can compete with Lewinsky recounting details of her affair with Bill Clinton and discussing the notoriety that ensued remains to be seen.

RiRi hams it up with bestie

Frock-shock wasn't the only sensation Rihanna created on Monday night when she stormed the Council of Fashion Designers of America's red carpet in a dress best described by its designer Adam Selman as "fishnet, crystals and a couple of fingers crossed".

Before accepting the night's top honour (fashion icon award) from Anna Wintour, RiRi hammed it up with the Vogue chief in a video spoof (which owes its inspiration to the Spring 2012 classic Texts with Hillary) depicting an imagined iMessage confab between the Diamonds singer and the powerful editrix which reflected both their personalities to a T.

The now widely reposted video opens with Rihanna sending a bubbly "HEY GIRLFRIEND!!!" text to Wintour who responds with an icy "Hello." When Rihanna tries to loosen up the conversation with emojis, she is quickly put in her place. "I think you sat on your phone," Wintour replies before reacting to one of Rihanna's ideas ("Thinking of wearing denim 2 the event") with a crisp: "Don't."

Despite the frivolity, Wintour appeared genuinely moved when presenting the award to Rihanna who she described as an "audacious," "jaw-dropping, button-pushing" trendsetter who could teach the rest of us a thing or two about how fun it feels to be "a little boyish one day and dress up like a dazzling diva the next". "I think," Wintour said in an aside that brought the house down, "that's what she was going for tonight."

Handbags at Donna brand

Dog-eared rumours that Donna Karan is being edged out of her business by LVMH, the French conglomerate that purchased her company 13 years ago, flared up again on Thursday when the designer told The New York Times she feels she is being given "the cold shoulder" by the powerful French executives overseeing her collections.

Karan singled out her problematic relationship with Delphine Arnault, LVMH's executive vice president and the daughter of its chairman, Bernard Arnault, in a candid, some would say dangerous, assessment of the "issues" that have led to cracks in the brand including Bloomingdales drop ping her eponymous line.

Asked if there have been discussions about splitting from LVMH, Karan said: "Not that I know of, right now – not at moment" – a response, that indicates such discussions will be tabled pronto. Whether Karan can find a way to restructure her company, or whether her decision to speak out signals the final curtain for an iconic brand is now a matter of hot debate.

Sunday Independent

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