Love her or hate her, Hillary Clinton is a fascinating political figure. Hulu has created a new docuseries about the former Secretary of State titled Hillary, and Clinton is opening up about the process of compiling this footage. When director Nanette Burstein pushed Clinton to widen the scope of the documentary, she admits it was “difficult” to relive sensitive issues like the Monica Lewinsky scandal — but maintains that the series needed that footage to accurately show her journey.
Clinton appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to discuss the new series with host DeGeneres, who was the first to ask the former presidential candidate what it felt like to discuss her husband Lewinsky. “Staying in my marriage was the gutsiest personal decision I ever made,” she told DeGeneres. “So for me, revisiting that, talking about it — for my husband also to agree to be in the film and also to be asked — made it a bit difficult, there’s no doubt about it.”
But Clinton feels strongly that — for better or for worse — the Lewinsky scandal is indelibly linked to her own story. “You couldn’t actually do a film about my life and not cover something that everybody knew about,” she explained. “You could read about it and everybody had an opinion about it.” The most popular opinion, Clinton goes on to explain, is that she was wrong to have stayed with her husband.
“A lot of [women] would say, ‘I just can’t support her. I don’t like her because she stayed with her husband.’ And [my friends] would say, ‘OK, why is that?'” Clinton described. “And people would talk, but pretty soon they would say, ‘You know, that happened to my sister. That happened to my friend.'”
By opening up this conversation, Clinton hopes they made some progress toward untangling why she made the decisions that she did — and why the stigma fell so strongly on her and not on husband Bill. “One of the people who’s both a friend and worked in my campaigns said, ‘You know, it’s such a strange conversation, because some of the very same people who would say, “I could never support her,” would say, literally in the next breath, “But I love her husband. I love Bill Clinton,'” Clinton shared. “Well, I do too.”
“It was a really emotionally draining experience to go through it again,” Clinton concluded. “But I have to say, once I saw the whole four hours of the documentary, I hope that our talking about this, my willingness to address all of this, really does help other people. There are lessons. There are lessons from my life, our times. People need to be thoughtful about the decisions they make in their own lives.”
“I always said everybody needs to make the best decision for you and your family,” Clinton added. “And we should be kinder and more supportive to everybody who makes the best decisions they think they can make.”