How did late-night phone calls between two friends explode into one of the biggest political scandals in American history? Truth and Lies: Monica and Bill, a new two-hour documentary from ABC News, takes an up close look at hours of surreptitiously recorded conversations between White House intern Monica Lewinsky and her confidante, Linda Tripp; how the saga that ensued took an emotional toll on the desperate, young intern; and the lengths her colleague would go to uncover an American president's deception. The special marking the 20th anniversary of President Clinton's impeachment features new interviews with Kenneth Starr, independent counsel during the Clinton presidency, and Lucianne Goldberg, a literary agent who advised Tripp to make the tapes. The documentary also includes excerpts from Barbara Walters' extraordinary interview with Monica Lewinsky – watched by a record-breaking 48 million people when it aired in 1999 – and rarely seen or heard evidence assembled by the special counsel, including photos, surveillance material and audio recordings.
In 1993, Bill Clinton arrived in Washington as an outsider from Arkansas to govern a divided nation. A charismatic and energetic leader, he had emerged victorious from a presidential campaign fraught with allegations of marital infidelity and controversial details from his personal life. While democratic voters had embraced the idea of a new kind of president – a "comeback kid" who was the product of the '60s – conservative opponents never took their eye off Bill Clinton's perceived weaknesses. Plagued by investigations and allegations, Clinton's first years in office were marred by Whitewater, the White House travel office controversy, the White House FBI files controversy and Paula Jones' sexual harassment lawsuit. Then in the summer of 1995, Monica Lewinsky began an internship at the White House, setting in motion the events that would lead to only the second impeachment of a U.S. president in American history.
Truth and Lies: Monica and Bill is the eighth documentary in the No. 1-rated Truth and Lies series that premiered in 2017. The previous installments featured the Menendez brothers, Charles Manson, Watergate, Laci Peterson, Waco, Tonya Harding and Jonestown.
The special is produced by ABC News. David Sloan is senior executive producer. Muriel Pearson is executive producer.