sex

How Hillary Clinton really reacted to the Lewinsky affair.

When Bill Clinton was the President of the United States, did Hillary Clinton casually turn a blind eye to her husband’s affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky?

Were the stitches President Clinton received in his last term in office, a result of Hillary throwing a heavy object at him in a fit of rage?

And most importantly, did Hillary Clinton ever really forgive him for his transgressions?

With the recent release of the tell-all book, The Residence: Inside the Private world of the White House, written by former Bloomberg News White House reporter, Kate Andersen Brower, the answers to everything us political gossipers wondered during the 1990s are revealed.

Related: Why are a quarter of us having affairs when no one wants to?

The book, told as first hand accounts by ex-White House staffers, chronicles the lives of several First Families and spans 10 different White House administrations. Unsurprisingly, it’s the turbulent 8-year reign of Bill Clinton that is gathering the most attention, especially with his wife Hillary rumoured to be considering her own tilt at the White House.

A recent book excerpt featured on Politico.com, highlights some telling scenes from the Clinton residence during his reported affair with intern Monica Lewinsky:

“White House Florist Ronn Payne remembers one day in 1998, after President Clinton had publicly admitted to his affair with a former White House intern, when he was coming up the service elevator with a cart to pick up old floral arrangements and saw two butlers gathered outside the West Sitting Hall listening in as the Clintons argued viciously with each other.

The butlers motioned him over and put their fingers to their lips, telling him to be quiet. All of a sudden he heard the first lady bellow “goddamn bastard!” at the president—and then he heard someone throw a heavy object across the room. The rumor among the staff was that she threw a lamp.

The butlers, Payne said, were told to clean up the mess. In an interview with Barbara Walters, Mrs. Clinton made light of the story, which had made its way into the gossip columns. “I have a pretty good arm,” she said. “If I’d thrown a lamp at somebody, I think you would have known about it.”

Mr Payne however, wasn't surprised by the tensions, telling Andersen Brower that  “You heard so much foul language” in the Clinton White House.

In her role as a White House Reporter for Bloomberg News, Andersen Brower travelled the world on Air Force One and Two with American Presidents and their families to gather stories. She admits it was difficult at first to get current and former White House staffers, senior advisers, former First Ladies and their children to speak candidly, they eventually opened up. Especially when it came to dishing out details about Bill and Hilary Clinton and the subsequent fallout from his affair with the 22-year-old White House intern, Monica Lewsinsky in 1995

"In November 1995, Clinton began an affair with Monica Lewinsky, a 22-year-old White House intern. He had almost a dozen sexual encounters with her over the next year and a half, most of them in the Oval Office. Though the public did not learn about Monica Lewinsky until January 1998, some residence workers knew about the affair when it was still occurring.

The butlers saw the president and Lewinsky in the family movie theater, and the two of them were seen together so frequently that the workers started letting one another know when they’d had a Lewinsky sighting.

The butlers, who are closest to the family, zealously guard such secrets, but from time to time they share fragments of stories with their colleagues—because the information could be useful, or sometimes just to prove their access."

Monica Lewinsky and then President, Bill Clinton

Some on the staff have said that Hillary Clinton knew about Lewinsky long before it came out publicly, and that what really upset her was not the affair itself but the media feeding frenzy that followed. Andersen Brower penned:

"Hillary certainly knew, too. Nearly two decades later, many residence workers are still wary of discussing the fights they witnessed between the Clintons. But they all felt the general gloom that hung over the second and third floors as the Lewinsky saga dragged on throughout 1998."

Certain to surprise the public, is the alleged level of violence between the famous couple:

"The residence staff witnessed the fallout from the affair and the toll it took on Hillary Clinton, but West Wing aides had long suspected the kind of drama that was playing out on the second floor of the executive mansion.

“She would have hit him with a frying pan if one had been handed to her,” said the first lady’s close friend and political adviser Susan Thomases in an interview with the Miller Center at the University of Virginia for their collection of oral histories documenting Bill Clinton’s presidency. “I don’t think she ever in her mind imagined leaving him or divorcing him.”"

At the height of this tumultuous period, it is reported that Hillary often missed her scheduled afternoon appointments and instead of running the executive mansion, focused her energies on her husband's presidency and their marriage.

Forgiveness did not happen quickly for Hillary, Andersen Bower discovered.

"For three or four months in 1998, the president slept on a sofa in a private study attached to their bedroom on the second floor. Most of the women on the residence staff thought he got what he deserved. Even Butler James Ramsey, a self-proclaimed ladies’ man, blushed when the subject came up. He said Clinton was his “buddy, but … come on now.” As usual, during the Lewinsky scandal Ramsey said he kept his “mouth shut.”"

The timing of this tell-all book has come into question with the expectation that Hillary Clinton is poised to launch her own Presidential campaign. Whether these admissions will help or hinder her, remains to be seen.

The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House by Kate Andersen Brower was released on April, 7.