TV

Lewinsky-produced TV series to air before US elections

Monica Lewinsky will produce a major true crime series about impeachment proceedings against former US president Bill Clinton set to air just weeks before the 2020 election.

The third season of the American Crime Story franchise will dramatise events that saw White House intern Lewinsky and two other women become “swept up... in the country’s first impeachment proceedings in over a century”, FX said in a statement.

It follows the network’s first two seasons, which dealt with the trial of O.J. Simpson and the murder of Gianni Versace respectively, and together earned a bevy of awards and considerable controversy.

The announcement of season three prompted an immediate social media storm, with many users claiming a renewed focus on a sex scandal which nearly toppled a Democratic president would benefit incumbent Republican Donald Trump.

Meanwhile, Democratic support for impeachment proceedings against Trump is growing, with more than half of House Democrats now backing the procedure, media tallies showed last week.

Lewinsky said in a statement to Vanity Fair that she was initially “more than a little scared” to join the project, but ultimately decided to in order to “fully reclaim (her) narrative”.

“I’m so grateful for the growth we’ve made as a society that allows people like me who have been historically silenced to finally reintroduce my voice to the conversation,” she said, referring to the explosive #MeToo movement against sexual harassment.

“Powerful people, often men, take advantage of those subordinate to them in myriad ways all the time,” Lewinsky said, noting that “this narrative is one that is, regretfully, evergreen”.

The latest instalment of the Ryan Murphy-produced franchise will star Sarah Paulson as Linda Tripp, who blew the whistle on Lewinsky’s affair with Clinton. Lewinsky will be played by Beanie Feldstein and Annaleigh Ashford will portray Paula Jones, who sued Clinton for sexual harassment.

It will be based on Jeffrey Toobin’s book A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President.

Production starts in February and it will premiere on Sept 27 next year. The US election is scheduled for Nov 3. - AFP

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