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Confessing Affair Led to Months on the Couch

June 19, 2004|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — Former President Clinton says in his autobiography that his wife looked as if he had punched her in the gut when he finally confessed to his affair with Monica S. Lewinsky, and he slept on the couch for at least two months after that.

In "My Life," a copy of which was obtained by the Associated Press, the former president wrote that the affair with the White House intern revealed "the darkest part of my inner life."

The book, published by Alfred A. Knopf, comes out Tuesday.

Clinton wrote that after he finally confessed to Hillary Rodham Clinton and daughter Chelsea after months of public denials, she appeared stricken, and the couple started going to counseling one day a week for about a year.

On other topics in the book, Clinton said he met with President-elect George W. Bush and told him that the biggest threat to the nation's security was Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. According to Clinton, Bush said little in response, and then switched subjects.

In "My Life," Clinton wrote that he came to learn that his upbringing had made certain things more difficult for him than for other people and that he was particularly prone to self-destructive behavior when he was tired, angry or feeling lonely.

Clinton said his biggest presidential mistake was the 1994 decision that would ultimately lead to his impeachment -- asking then-Atty. Gen. Janet Reno to name a prosecutor to look into his Whitewater land dealings.

He said he was not worried about the prosecutor, because he had nothing to hide. Clinton said he might have been so worn out and upset by the death of his mother that he didn't make what he now saw would have been the wiser choice -- release the necessary papers, give Democrats a thorough briefing and seek their support.

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