Investigating the President: Monica's Father Speaks Out

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Investigating the President: Monica's Father Speaks Out

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Investigating the President: Monica's Father Speaks Out
by Larry King
April 16, 1998

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This is a rush transcript. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

Image
Dr. Bernard Lewinsky

LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, his daughter is in the middle of one of the biggest stories to hit Washington in years. Now Monica Lewinsky's father appears for his first live interview. Dr. Bernard Lewinsky for the full hour is next on LARRY KING LIVE.

The name is known by everyone. The name is Lewinsky. Our guest for the full hour is Dr. Bernard Lewinsky, of course, Monica's father. We'll get into that in a while, but we thought it might be interesting to find out a little about him. You were not born in the United States, right?

DR. BERNARD LEWINSKY: No, I was not. I was born in El Salvador. And we moved to this country about four -- 41 years ago, now.

KING: The whole family moved?

LEWINSKY: Whole family moved.

KING: When did you decide you wanted medicine as a life?

LEWINSKY: Actually, my first love was engineering, and when I did poorly on the entrance exams, I said, I don't think I better go into that.

KING: You mean you failed engineering...

LEWINSKY: You bet.

KING: ... but not medical school?

LEWINSKY: Right. No, no. Engineering. And...

KING: Why...

LEWINSKY: ... I never went into it, just the entrance exam, so I went into medicine, and I enjoyed it.

KING: Why, doctor, oncology?

LEWINSKY: Oncology provided for me the area of medicine that provided the interest with people, the interest with machinery, working with radiation -- which is physics -- and putting all of those together with a human element is what made me go into oncology.

KING: But one of the -- one of the problems, one would guess in oncology is the high amount of loss of life of patients. Or is that a myth?

LEWINSKY: No. I think that there is a lot of loss of life. But I think that one has to focus on the tremendous progress that we have made, and the large number of peoples that we have cured and saved, so that those are the areas that we have to keep in mind as we treat the patients that are not going to do well.

KING: What has all of this done to your practice?

LEWINSKY: Fortunately, not much, other than in the beginning when the media was coming into the office to interview the patients -- that was unconscionable. But after that it sort of slowed down, and I'm able to practice and keep on with my patient relationships well.


KING: On the other side, did it add to patients? People, out of curiosity, who want to say, "Dr. Lewinsky is my radial oncologist?"

LEWINSKY: Yeah, I haven't seen it. Nobody has really called and asked to see me because of whatever has happened. Patients are very discreet, and I appreciate it tremendously.

KING: This whole thing -- how did you first learn of your daughter and this story?

LEWINSKY: I was at a radiation therapy meeting -- radiation oncology meeting -- that actually I was part co-chairman of.

KING: Here?

LEWINSKY: Here in Los Angeles. It was Friday the 16th. It was about 2:45.

KING: January 16th?

LEWINSKY: January -- yeah, January 16th. And it was about 2:45 when I got a beep that Monica's mother wanted to talk to me.

KING: And you'd been divorced how long?

LEWINSKY: Ten years. And basically, she told me that Monica was in trouble and that we needed a lawyer. And that's the first word that I got as to what was going on. And she couldn't really tell me what the trouble was 'cause she really didn't know.

KING: When you did learn, did you learn from her what the trouble was?

LEWINSKY: Actually, it was around 8:00 that night that I got another beep from Monica's mother. And she told me to call the, hotel there, and so I called and talked to a couple of people at the switchboard, and then I...

KING: Was it the Watergate Hotel?

LEWINSKY: No, it's the hotel in Pentagon City.

KING: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. The Ritz-Carlton.

LEWINSKY: The Ritz-Carlton. And I ended up talking to Mike Emmick (ph). And he told me that Monica had been taped, and that they wanted her to cooperate and that she didn't want to cooperate, and that if she didn't cooperate, she would go to jail for 20 years.

KING: What was your first reaction?

LEWINSKY: I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

KING: Any part of it?

LEWINSKY: Nothing. I had absolutely no idea what was going on. I -- it was a total shock.


KING: Were you close with your daughter?

LEWINSKY: Absolutely.

KING: And she had been raised by her mother after the divorce, right?

LEWINSKY: She -- no, we had joint custody.

KING: Oh, you did?

LEWINSKY: We had joint custody...

KING: So you saw her all along?

LEWINSKY: ... all along. She lived with her mother. We saw each other all along. Approximately four years ago her mother decided to move to Washington, and naturally, the distance was a big factor in how often and how much I saw her.

KING: Her mother writes, right?

LEWINSKY: Yeah.

KING: And is engaged to Peter Strauss, who...

LEWINSKY: I understand.

KING: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Do you know Peter?

LEWINSKY: I have not met him, no.

KING: But Monica always came to see you and was close to you, right, I mean...

LEWINSKY: Yes, yes.

KING: ... you were close father-daughter relationship.

LEWINSKY: We had a very close father relationship. And it was getting -- and is getting -- closer as time goes on.

KING: Now, did you know of any involvement between your daughter and the president prior to this story breaking?

LEWINSKY: I knew that she worked at the Pentagon. And I knew that she had worked at the White House. And by virtue of the location of her office and her job, I knew that she had met the president. In fact, we met the president. We were invited to attend one of his radio programs that he tapes on a Thursday or Friday.

KING: For Saturday broadcast.

LEWINSKY: Yeah.

KING: "We" being?

LEWINSKY: Barbara, my wife and I. And so we went and met him with Monica and her brother.

KING: And then the president met you, afterward...

LEWINSKY: Yeah.

KING: ... he shook hands and you told him you were Monica's father?

LEWINSKY: Right.

KING: When you heard of a possible -- before the Linda Tripp thing -- any romantic thing, were you shocked?

LEWINSKY: Absolutely.

KING: Did you ask her?

LEWINSKY: No.

KING: This puzzles people. Why not? Well, I'm the father of a daughter. I think it would've been the first thing I asked, "what happened?"

LEWINSKY: I feel very strongly about not getting involved with anything that has to do with the sex life of my daughter. I really don't feel it's any of my business. And I respect that. And I will honor it forever.

KING: What about natural curiosity? I mean, this is the president of the United States. We're not talking about your daughter and, you know, John Jones down the street who sells automobiles. This is the president. Isn't there a natural curiosity on your part?

LEWINSKY: I would not talk about it with her, you know? I just will not deal with that subject with her.

KING: Did you talk about it with her mother?

LEWINSKY: No.

KING: So you don't just discuss...

LEWINSKY: No.

KING: What, then, do you make of what we have learned of the whole Linda Tripp thing? What's your own read on that?

LEWINSKY: Well, I haven't seen the final version of anything. You know, we have not seen -- we have not heard the tapes. I think taping a private citizen -- taping a friend -- I think it's despicable, and the worst thing you can do to friend. And I think it's awful. And I think that people in this country should see that as a threat that is an awful thing to do to anybody. And that is the take that I took. I couldn't believe what was going on.
I don't know what's in the tapes. I have never heard of them and neither has Mr. Ginsburg. The rest of the world appears to have. But nobody else, in the legal sense, has seen this.

KING: If your daughter did say that, would you be concerned? From what we have heard? Never heard the tapes.

LEWINSKY: I will wait for judgment until the final act is played.

KING: Dr. Lewinsky and Bill Ginsburg go back a long way, in fact, Bill's in the studio tonight. We'll talk about that relationship and how Bill was hired. Lots more to go. And we're going to show you some extraordinary photographs -- Dr. Lewinsky has other talents -- and we're going to give you an address that he'll be giving you as to how you can help in the Monica Lewinsky legal defense concept here. He's our guest for the full hour -- don't go away.

We will be taking your calls in a while for Dr. Bernard Lewinsky. And there is a fund -- we'll talk about that. But you and Bill Ginsburg -- how long time?

LEWINSKY: I met Bill Ginsburg about 25 years ago when the group of doctors that I associated with incorporated and builded their corporation papers, so that we met at that time. We went through a period of time where his life changed. My life changed. We didn't see each other much.

KING: Both had marital changes, right?

LEWINSKY: Right. And then we rehooked up about three or four years ago after I met Barbara and married her. And we have been really close friends ever since.

KING: Did he ever represent you in a medical malpractice suit?

LEWINSKY: Yeah. We, had a couple of suits back in 1979 -- 1980. It was very popular at that time to bring on malpractice suits in California.

KING: Is he a great malpractice attorney? I mean, that's the reputation we hear about.

LEWINSKY: To see Bill in action is a work of art. I mean, he is a fabulous malpractice attorney. And I am told that being such a good malpractice attorney makes him an even better civil attorney.


KING: But this could be a criminal case, so did you think, "maybe I ought to look for the Bob Shapiro's -- the Roy Black's of the country?"

LEWINSKY: I trusted Bill. And Bill has Nate Speights as his assistant and co-counsel. And I am extremely pleased with Nate. And I have absolutely no doubt that Bill has put together the team that is necessary to defend Monica.

KING: And Monica, who we happened to meet at a book party, a delight, she's very -- you have a very nice daughter.

LEWINSKY: Thank you.

KING: How do you do -- does she -- has she seen you since her last trip here?

LEWINSKY: No, we have...

KING: Did you get together for Passover? No?

LEWINSKY: ... not seen each other. No, she could not come for Passover which was very sad for both of us. She wanted very badly to come. But the media circus that develops when she comes is intolerable.


KING: How you explain it to yourself?

LEWINSKY: To myself?

KING: Your daughter absolutely is the most popular media figure in the United States. Popular in the point of view she would attract more attention than any person today walking out of the house.

(CLIP OF MONICA LEWINSKY BEING MOBBED BY REPORTERS)

LEWINSKY: I understand. And I heard the comments you made about who you would have on the show, which, you know, was funny. I think...

KING: Here we're seeing examples of it. She can't go to the car.

LEWINSKY: I think that it's lunacy to take a common group of people like we are and throw them into the media and basically devour us. Our life has been totally changed, dramatically.


KING: Are you able to step back and say, "yes, that's all true, but this is an incredible story?" Or you don't think that?

LEWINSKY: Well, I think history will tell the story. Right now it is so surreal that sometimes I have to pinch myself and say, "what's going on here?" And it's very unreal for me. This is not what I'm accustomed to doing.

KING: A fatherly question. You have been a rather -- pretty strong defender of the president, and attacker of Mr. Starr, right?

LEWINSKY: Right.

KING: OK. What if the -- just a hypothetical -- what if the president did have a relationship? Would you regard that, even as an outsider, as taking advantage of an intern-mentor relationship?

LEWINSKY: Larry, I'll tell you, I don't deal with hypotheticals. I deal with today. I deal with the facts today. And I am not going to speculate," what if?"

KING: Why, then, defend him before you have all the knowledge?

LEWINSKY: I haven't defended him. I have defended the office of the president. And I think that we all, as Americans, should defend and be proud of our president for the office that he stands in.

KING: OK, that's the office. Do you have doubts about him in the area of character? Forgetting Monica.

LEWINSKY: I think that we all have seen and read -- I think that the private life of the president should be the private life of his, the same as my private life is my private life. He has to deal with his life between him and his wife, and it's not for me to comment about it.


KING: And so, if there's forgiveness there, you're not going to make a judgment about it?

LEWINSKY: I am not going to make a judgment today.

KING: Aren't you -- so -- and you won't answer the hypothetic about your daughter?

LEWINSKY: No.

KING: Why are you angry at Ken Starr?

LEWINSKY: Because I think what he is doing is unconscionable.

KING: He isn't do -- he hasn't done anything.

LEWINSKY: Well he has -- first of all, I would like to know how the tapes that Linda Tripp got to him? What was the mechanism? We don't know that. I would like to know why a case that has been dismissed in the civil courts -- and my attorneys tell me that because of that there is no evidence that there was perjury because the case was dismissed -- why is Monica still under investigation?

And Monica has been made a prisoner to her home. She is sitting at home. She can't go out. She doesn't have a life. Every one of her friends has been talked to by the FBI. Several of her friends have been subpoenaed. They all have had to hire lawyers to come and be subpoenaed. And I think it's despicable.


KING: Paula Jones has appealed that matter. Does that lend you to believe this is going to be a big story around for years?

LEWINSKY: I don't know about the effect of the Paula Jones case on this case. Certainly, she...

KING: Well, if they do hear it, then the evidence -- or the purported evidence -- comes in, the transcript, the Clinton testimony, et cetera, at deposition.

LEWINSKY: I -- you know, I'm not an attorney. From what I understand from what my attorneys have told me, the judge dismissed Monica from that case. It's history. She's not part of that case. So, you know, certainly Paula Jones has a right to appeal. Every American has a right to appeal a decision. So be it. I don't know that it'll affect our case in one way or the other.

KING: How has this changed your daughter?

LEWINSKY: Well, Monica is -- as I said -- she's very disturbed that she has no life right now. She sits at home. She has -- can't talk to her friends. She's afraid she's going to put all her friends in jeopardy if she talks to them. She hasn't seen her brother.

KING: Hasn't seen her own brother?

LEWINSKY: No. Because of the possibility of him getting dragged in.

KING: Do you have a fear, doctor, part of the reason that you won't ask her -- in addition to the privacy of the sex act -- is that you could then be subpoenaed?

LEWINSKY: Absolutely.

KING: So you have to watch...

LEWINSKY: I have to watch my step. You know, her mother got brought into the grand jury. I think that's a horrible thing to do to a mother.

And, you know, there's no reason for me to get dragged in just because I talked to my daughter.

KING: How did you feel, looking at your ex-wife being so upset? I mean, emotionally, how did you feel?

LEWINSKY: I felt terrible for her. I mean, I think that for a mother to be subjected to that sort of thing -- to put her against her daughter in a court of law -- I think it's awful.


KING: We'll be back with Dr. Bernard Lewinsky. I promise you in a while we'll show you some of his incredible photographs of a young Ansel Adams in the making here. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: One hour after the show ends tonight, Dr. Lewinsky is going on-line on America Online, 11:00 Eastern time all on behalf of promoting the defense fund he set up for his daughter, the Monica Lewinsky Defense Fund. How much has this cost so far?

LEWINSKY: It's cost well over a quarter of million dollars. We're getting close to half a million dollars, if you put all the costs together, security and all of that.

KING: Being paid by?

LEWINSKY: Well, up until where I could, by me. But...

KING: Her mother couldn't help?

LEWINSKY: She has helped as much as she can, you know, but reality is that common citizens cannot fight this battle alone. We're dealing with Ken Starr, who has spent $40 million of our taxpayers' money, invested in all of these things, and then you have got the president, who has machinery set up -- I think he had a dinner last week, $15,000 a head. And immediately $500,000 are raised. I don't have that kind of cash. I am a physician. Anybody who knows the state of medicine in California, in particular, with managed care will know that physicians are not making tremendous amounts of money.


KING: The HMO tells you?

LEWINSKY: The HMO is...

KING: So the defense fund is designed to...

LEWINSKY: This defense fund is designed to help Monica get a life. I am hoping that by being able to pay her bills, she can look into the future and do what she wants to do rather than what she has to do.

KING: These are legal bills only?

LEWINSKY: These are legal bills only. These will not be used for anything other than legal fees.

KING: We have address that we can give out. The Monica Lewinsky Defense Fund -- this is if you are interested -- post office box 24086, Los Angeles, California 90024. We'll repeat that again before the end of the program. You can contact us at CNN if you didn't get the address and we'll be happy to provide it. There's also a Web site.

LEWINSKY: There is a Web site.

KING: This looks like an almost both sides jumping here. How do you react to that? Now you have got a defense fund. You're going on America Online. This perpetuates.

LEWINSKY: You have to use the media to your advantage today. I can't put an ad in "The L.A. Times" and expect somebody in New York to read it. And I can't put an ad in every newspaper of the world. So the media, fortunately, is available, and I certainly appreciate you having me on tonight.

KING: Your gut feeling about your daughter being indicted?

LEWINSKY: I think it would be a very sad state of affairs for this country to indict a young, 24-year-old person, woman. I think that it would be terrible for a crime that has not even been defined.

KING: Do you fear it?

LEWINSKY: Absolutely, I fear it. I think of it all the time, wake up at nights worried about what will happen. And I fear for my daughter having to go to prison. I think that that would be disastrous. And I would hope the country would rally behind her.


KING: We'll be back with more of Dr. Lewinsky. Later, your phone calls. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE with Dr. Lewinsky, the father of Monica Lewinsky. Do you practice -- I have read you're a Beverly Hills physician.

LEWINSKY: I am not a Beverly Hills doctor.

KING: You're not a Beverly Hills...

LEWINSKY: No. That is a media fabrication. I have never practiced in Beverly Hills every.

KING: Not that there's anything wrong with...

LEWINSKY: No, among wrong but I practice in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles.

KING: You have three offices.

LEWINSKY: I have three offices in that area. We treat patients of all kinds, all tumors, all kinds, all denominations and we take patients with health care, without health care. We work with them, and we take care of them. I am probably -- I am pretty sure I am the only Latino radiation oncologist in the San Fernando Valley.

KING: You reacted because you thought the Beverly Hills thing was kind of saying you were a money guy?

LEWINSKY: Well, that's the connotation that -- you're a physician. You're from Beverly Hills. You don't need to get any other income other than to bank roll this bill from your own resources. That's a myth.


KING: A couple of other things before we look at the pictures. Is the -- is the -- your daughter's offer still on the table? I remember Mr. Ginsburg saying she made an offer to Mr. Starr regarding testimony. Where is that?

LEWINSKY: I will defer to Mr. Ginsburg on that. I don't -- I am not privy to the details of where that is. And I am not going to answer that. I don't know.

KING: When you talk to your daughter, it can't be the same kind of conversation you had a year ago?

LEWINSKY: Absolutely not.

KING: You talk about her travails?

LEWINSKY: Her travails. I am constantly aware that our phones are bugged.

KING: Bugged?

LEWINSKY: Bugged. I am pretty sure. We hear tappings on the phone line, and it's quite possible and probable that our lines -- I know that Monica's lines are tapped.


KING: You know that? Does it concern you that lot of her colleagues, Pentagon and White House, while many liked her, some thought she was -- had a crush on the president or was affected by her job? Does that bother you at all?

LEWINSKY: Well, I -- I have to question -- first of all, I don't know exactly what you're talking about, but you know, you have question...

KING: You read these stories.

LEWINSKY: You read these stories, and not everything that you read is true, but in reality, you have to question, they don't want to get in trouble either. And they're going to say things that will put them in good stead with their supervisors. You know, it's a very -- it's a very sad thing of what's happened to Monica. She has been totally misportrayed in the media. They malign her. Monica is not a punch line of jokes.

She's a very, very intelligent, beautiful, sweet, caring, loving girl. And I think that it's really despicable, some of the media, particularly the right-wing side, Arianna Huffington in particular, that has been just awful in portraying Monica. And I am surprised that the women's movement have not stood up and defended her. I am surprised that the ACLU has not stood up and defended her.

KING: Well, because we have free speech doctor, so, Jay Leno or Arianna Huffington or David Letterman...

LEWINSKY: I understand that, but I still think it's wrong to put down a human being for what they are not.

KING: So the Monica jokes are very annoying to you?

LEWINSKY: Absolutely.

KING: Doesn't it get any better?

LEWINSKY: It gets better when you don't listen to them.

KING: It's almost as though you can't avoid them, right?

LEWINSKY: You can't avoid them.

KING: There are Monica jokes everywhere?

LEWINSKY: Yes, they are. And it's very painful to see.

KING: And you're the father.

LEWINSKY: I am the father, and it's very painful.

KING: How is -- does she talk to you about them?

LEWINSKY: No. Every once in a while she'll see a show or something that really disturbs her. But these are the painful things that she has to go through.


KING: Forgetting the relationship, could the president do more for her?

LEWINSKY: I don't know that. I don't know what the president could...

KING: Is there anything as a father you would want him to do?

LEWINSKY: Other than dismissing Mr. Starr...

KING: That would please you?

LEWINSKY: That would please me plenty.


KING: We'll take a break. We'll be back. We'll show you some of Dr. Lewinsky's pastime work and take your phone calls. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: By the way, tomorrow night on LARRY KING LIVE: lawyers; pundits; supporters; opponents of Paula Jones will all be with us to discuss the filing of an appeal in that case.

Saturday night we'll switch bases a little with Yogi Berra and Richie Cohen, the author of "Tough Jews."

Our guest is Dr. Bernard Lewinsky. We'll be taking your phone calls. This photography thing -- it's an interesting talent you have.

We would you like to show a little bit of it?

LEWINSKY: Sure.

KING: Was this since boyhood?

LEWINSKY: I've been photographing since I was eight.

KING: What is this?

LEWINSKY: That is a photograph in Arizona -- outside of Page, Arizona. That was done in the moonlight. That is a one and a half hour exposure in the moonlight of the rocks that have eroded...

KING: Beautiful.

LEWINSKY: ... and are standing there. That is a shot of Taos Pueblo taken approximately the middle of the day, with a medium format camera, which is not a 35 millimeter.

That is one of my black and white photographs that I took of Yosemite. It's a very popular scene as everybody knows. Ansel Adams is best known for that particular scene. This is a view of the Grand Canyon looking west and it's a rainy, typical afternoon at the Grand Canyon, black and white photograph.

KING: Have you ever thought of publishing?

LEWINSKY: I'm considering putting together a book for meditation and relaxation for cancer patients.

KING: What do you mean?

LEWINSKY: I think that patients have to learn to relax and by seeing photographs that are soothing and pleasing to the eye and the mind, they can go into space that they may not be able to go to because they're under treatment. And I think that I'd like to put something together that will be used in that way for the patients.

KING: What is your -- do you have a gut feeling as to how all of this is going to come out?

LEWINSKY: Well I wish...

KING: We know what you wish.

LEWINSKY: ... all of this would just disappear. I have no idea how it's going to come down. There are so many issues involved and I really don't know all of the intricacies that are playing here.

KING: Does Monica expect to go to the grand jury?

LEWINSKY: I have no idea what is going to happen.

KING: She has none either?

LEWINSKY: I don't think so.

KING: Does your ex-wife expect to be called back?

LEWINSKY: I don't know if she's done with them or not. I know that she had a session about a week or two ago and I don't know if that's the end of it or not.

KING: Does Monica do any kind of work? There was a report that she does some kind of work for a law firm?

LEWINSKY: She works in Bill's Washington office.

KING: She goes to the office every day?

LEWINSKY: Yes, she tries to defray the costs by working, and doing work there -- filing and getting things together.

KING: She realizes, cause she's smart, and you realize that it's never going to be what it was ever again?

LEWINSKY: No, I realize that, she realizes that.

KING: What as a father then do you -- she's an adult, so you don't have the power in that sense. But what do you do with that?

LEWINSKY: Well, I make sure that her well-being is taken care of, and that's why I'm doing what I'm doing, trying to get the fund there so that we can pay for the bills, so that it doesn't remain a burden for her, so that she can sit and concentrate and to do what she wants to do with the rest of her life. Her whole life is ahead of her. Six months ago, she had a glorious life, being at the Pentagon, was thinking of going to forensic law school, developing a career for herself and that's all gone.

KING: All right. Forgetting for a moment that her sex life is private and not your business, weren't you at all questioning or asked her about Vernon Jordan, Bill Richardson, trying to get her jobs, people at the top? I mean, didn't that look a little weird to you?

LEWINSKY: No, it didn't, because Monica, when you know Monica, you know that she will endear herself, she will meet people; she's gregarious. She was working in a position where she had, in my mind, the opportunity to meet people like Bill Richardson and Vernon Jordan, and my thought is, hey, Monica meant them, good for her. It just seemed very natural in the environment she was in.

KING: The visits -- the 37 visits -- the most reported number of visits, 37, is going to live forever. Does that concern you?

LEWINSKY: I don't know the details of that.

KING: Sex aside, you wouldn't ask about that?

LEWINSKY: Look, she was back east. I'm in California.

KING: Yeah, but when you learned of this?

LEWINSKY: When you learn about it, along with all the other things you learn, you wonder and you question, but you don't -- you take things at stride. I haven't gotten into details. On top of it, I haven't been able to talk about it openly. Everything is still at arm's length and I do not talk to her about anything of this.

KING: Your feelings about this president are: his sex life is his business, right?

LEWINSKY: Absolutely.

KING: What are your other feelings about him as a president?

LEWINSKY: I think that if you look at the stock market and you'll see what the economy is doing, I think that you will get an idea of what's happened during his presidency. We're all living better than we were before.

You know, there may have been some leftover from the previous administration, but bottom line, this is his second term and things are going quite well in this country, and I would think that, you know, in foreign policy he's done well so that my estimation and my feeling of his presidency, he has he's been a very good president.

KING: If your daughter had a relationship with him, you wouldn't love her any less?

LEWINSKY: Absolutely not.

KING: You would feel differently about him? Wouldn't you, or maybe not. You're the enlightened citizen of the 21st century.

LEWINSKY: I may or may not be. I don't know how I would react then.

KING: When she had a previous relationship, when she was at school, you knew about that relationship.

LEWINSKY: She elected to tell me that. It's not that I asked her. She voluntarily came to me and I told her that I thought it was a major mistake in her life.

KING: The teacher thing?

LEWINSKY: Yes, I was not pleased at all, and I wished that it hadn't happened, but, you know, things happen, and parents don't always have control of what happens.

KING: There is one thing I would imagine does not happen at all -- does she date?

LEWINSKY: At this point?

KING: Yeah. Has anyone said to her, at the law office, I want to have dinner? You and me, I'll pick you up at eight.

LEWINSKY: Monica can't go out for a cup of coffee. She's hounded by the media. How is she going to go on a date?

KING: She doesn't go; she's not asked?

LEWINSKY: No, she's at home, and everybody thinks she goes out a lot. She's gone out perhaps a dozen times in the last three months, other than when she goes to work or goes to get her hair done. That -- they also photograph.


KING: And the defense fund is not paying for the hair?

LEWINSKY: Absolutely not, or the clothes. Absolutely not.

KING: We'll be back with your phone calls for Dr. Lewinsky. We'll repeat that address for you too. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back. We go to your phone calls for Dr. Bernard Lewinsky. Magnolia, Arkansas, hello.

LEWINSKY: Hello.

CALLER: Yes.

KING: Go ahead.

CALLER: Larry, I enjoy your show and my question for Dr. Lewinsky is: does he think that his daughter will any time plead the Fifth Amendment should she be in court?

LEWINSKY: You know, my daughter has an attorney, and he's going to make that decision with Monica. I'm not going to become an attorney at this point, and I'm not going to be able to answer your question.

KING: Monica is not a laid back kind of girl, though, right? She's not on the subtle side; she's more on the open side?

LEWINSKY: Absolutely.

KING: So this has got to be doubly difficult for her, because one can imagine that she would want to tell the story? There is only two people that know the story?

LEWINSKY: Right. I think someday perhaps she'll be able to tell the story at the appropriate time and the appropriate place. But she needs to pick the time when she's ready and that's what I'm trying to do with the defense fund, free her from responsibilities so that she can do what she wants to do whenever it is.

KING: Metairie, Louisiana, hello.

CALLER: Hello. I'm a 69-year-old great grandmother.

What I would like to say to Dr. Lewinsky, to tell him that our prayers are women with him, we're praying for Monica and the family. My question to him is has faith played a big role in helping you to get through this?

LEWINSKY: The answer to your question, first of all, thank you very much for your wonderful wishes. Faith plays a tremendous role. You know, I treat patients with cancer; I've been doing that for 24 years, and I have learned that faith is what gets you through the troubled times. My patients have taught me that, and that is why I look at things in the present. I don't look at the future. I just live for today and make sure that today is as good as it can be.

KING: How do you deal with emotionally the fact that many of your patients are going to die?

LEWINSKY: It's very difficult.

KING: All oncologists face this, right?

LEWINSKY: Yes.

KING: So it takes a unique breed to be an oncologist?

LEWINSKY: I would think so. And I think that my involvement in radiation helps me focus, not only on the human side -- if we all looked at the human side of every patient, we wouldn't be able to function, so that we have to be able to segregate what we need to do to treat the cancer versus the emotional side.

KING: Have your patients been thoughtful about you?

LEWINSKY: Oh, patients have been wonderful. All patients have been very endearing. They're very responsive, and you know, we have something in common: the fear that I feared is exactly what they fear when they get the diagnosis of cancer, it's the same thing. The only difference...

KING: You fear something bad will happen?

LEWINSKY: My fear is awful. We have an unknown. We don't know where it's going to go; we don't know when it's going to finish. It is the same thing that a cancer patient has. The only difference is that we're not dealing with life or death right now.

KING: Wouldn't you think, doc, that the president owes you a phone call -- you've got a wonderful daughter, she's a friend, I liked her, we tried to help her, and I'm with you all the way, doc? Wouldn't you think that just out of human nature that call should be made?

LEWINSKY: I think Wolf Blitzer asked him that at a news conference and he sort of didn't know how to answer that. I think it would be very difficult.

KING: Wouldn't that call be helpful?

LEWINSKY: It certainly would be. Everybody has problems and everybody has difficult times and any word of encouragement and help and warm feelings is appreciated.

KING: To Vancouver, British Columbia for Dr. Bernard Lewinsky.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. Hi, Dr. Lewinsky.

LEWINSKY: Hi.

CALLER: I think that Monica is very lucky to have you as a father.

LEWINSKY: Thank you.

CALLER: You're welcome. And I would like to ask do you see any difference how the media has portrayed your daughter between the tabloids and the mainstream media?

LEWINSKY: Well, the tabloids seem to me take on a much more vindictive approach and the mainstream media, I feel, has been fairer in bringing out the truths and they don't always say everything exactly the way it is, and that's what frustrates Monica -- that she feels people don't really know her and they write things about as if they know everything about her.

KING: Well of course you don't know everything? But you haven't asked, so...

LEWINSKY: No, I'm talking about her as a person, not necessarily what happened.

KING: Do you read the tabloids when you see her name on the front page of the news stand?

LEWINSKY: No, talk about tabloids, talk about your privacy being invaded. We had a bar mitzvah for my son. We hired a photographer who happened to be a photographer at a hospital where I worked. We used to talk photography. I hired him. He took pictures of my son's -- a year later we got married -- Barbara and I got married, we hired him again. Guess what, he sold the photographs of Michael's bar mitzvah and our wedding to the tabloids. In the middle of the tabloids was a whole spread our private things. I think that's despicable.

KING: Have you seen him since?

LEWINSKY: No.


KING: We'll be back with more of your phone calls for Dr. Lewinsky. We'll also repeat that address for you right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back with Dr. Bernard Lewinsky. The address again is the Monica Lewinsky Defense Fund, post office box 24086, Los Angeles, 90024 and in about an hour and twelve minutes from now he'll be on America Online in the chat room, talking and of course they'll be putting up that address there, as well.

Is this deductible?

LEWINSKY: I don't believe so.

KING: I guess it wouldn't be tax deductible?

LEWINSKY: No, this is all after tax money. This is all after tax money.

KING: How is her brother taking this?

LEWINSKY: He's taking it difficultly, because he can't see her, hasn't talked to her. He's at Carnegie-Mellon University, and they have been absolutely wonderful. They immediately helped protect him. You know that the FBI came to his fraternity to interview him or to interrogate him, I should say, and the college was absolutely supportive and wonderful.

KING: What did the FBI want to know from him?

LEWINSKY: I don't know what they wanted to know from him. It's the same thing that they've done with everybody else that's involved.

KING: So you didn't even ask him what they asked him about?

LEWINSKY: No.

KING: Because you feel that you would be then subpoenaed?

LEWINSKY: Right.


KING: Chicago, Illinois, for Dr. Bernard Lewinsky, hello.

CALLER: Hello. Dr. Lewinsky, my question would be this: does Monica realize the repercussions of tainting the entire internship process in America today? Do you fell that she feels any responsibility of this at all?

LEWINSKY: I have not talked to Monica about the internship process; I think the process is wonderful. And in reality, until the facts come out and until we know what has happened, it is -- has nothing to do with what's going on now.

KING: But a lot of the jokes now are about interns and the word "taint" probably applies.

LEWINSKY: She has been dragged into this by the process.

KING: Part of it -- I mean, in all fairness, Dr. Lewinsky, she did talk to Linda Tripp about something. He had to take some kind of tape into this thing and -- we know there is a tape. So she had to participate in some way; she's not just a helpless victim that didn't do anything?

LEWINSKY: Well, the crime here is the taping itself. To have a friend -- most people have friends. Most people talk to friends about what is bothering them. I think that this is a horrible thing to think that's happening in America; that your friend may be taping you and give the tape to somebody who is going to use it against you.


KING: No doubt about that; that's not the best of things. But what they do say on the tape, once you've learned it, it has to give you some pause of concern?

LEWINSKY: You know, I don't know what has been said. There are reportedly 20 hours on that tape. We probably have heard one sentence of that or two, and I have no idea what it says.

KING: Does she ever talk to you about Linda Tripp?

LEWINSKY: I never heard the word. I never heard of her, neither did her brother, by the way.

KING: I've never heard of her, never heard anything about her. And it bothers me that a 48-year-old woman would befriend a 24-year-old woman if she didn't have an agenda.

KING: So you think Linda Tripp is part of a...

LEWINSKY: You bet. You bet. How did Linda Tripp know how to take tapes to Ken Starr. Do you know how to get a hold of Ken Starr? I don't. How did she know.


KING: You call and leave a message, I guess.

LEWINSKY: Well, no, I'm just saying. There's a missing link there.

KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments, try to get another call or two in for Dr. Bernard Lewinsky. Tomorrow night, the Paula Jones' matter. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Waverly, Iowa, for Dr. Bernard Lewinsky, hello.

CALLER: Yes, I'd like the to talk to Dr. Lewinsky and ask him if he thinks the independent counsel under Starr has become the 4th branch of our government without any checks and balances, and isn't this dangerous to a democracy?

LEWINSKY: I think I couldn't put it better than what you just said. I think that he is dangerous, and I don't understand how in this country we can allow one individual the to have that much power. I think that he has gone into areas that none of us want the government to go to. Going to a bookstore and subpoenaing the receipt of the books that you bought as a private citizen of this country, that's what this country is made of. We have a right to do what we want. And he is invading into that.


KING: What did Monica say to you about taking her books?

LEWINSKY: You know, the irony is that probably the books were on her shelf when the FBI raided her apartment. Why didn't they take them then? I mean, that's the irony. Why does he have to go and subpoena.

KING: What was her reaction, did she feel strange about that or surprised?

LEWINSKY: The books are typical books that people read. You know, a lot of people are reading those books. I don't know what books she bought; I haven't talked to her about that. But, you know, just the concept of the government going into your private life is a abhorrent.

KING: Was Monica kind of talkative, boastful, wishy -- we haven't heard the tapes yet, and we may never hear them, but was she the kind of would exaggerate things?

LEWINSKY: Look, I came from El Salvador, I said that before. I'm from a foreign country. For my daughter to be working in the White House of this country is the utmost of honor. And yes, she was boastful, and yes, I was proud of what she was doing. She was flying all over the world with the secretary of defense and was doing a good job at it and I was very proud of here. And she would tell me about what her ins and outs were in the government. It's fascinating to me; I think it would be to anybody.

KING: What was her goal, by the way? It may have changed now? What did she want to do in her life?

LEWINSKY: Well, she was not happy in the job that she was. She didn't feel that she was being used to the capacity that she could have been, and she was looking to get out of the government because she...

KING: And she had that offer at Revlon, which was withdrawn -- to do what? What was her...

LEWINSKY: Well, she wanted to go into the PR area. I think she would be an excellent public relations and, you know, parenthetically, I think Revlon lost a wonderful person. I realize that that was taken away, but Monica is very, very energetic and very charismatic and has tremendous ideas, and no matter what task you give her, she gets involved and goes to it.

KING: Will she rebound?

LEWINSKY: I certainly hope she will, with my help and her family's help and everybody of us rallying behind her. We want to make sure she rebounds. It's going to be a tough road for her, there's no doubt about it. But I want her to have every opportunity in this world.

KING: Thank you for sharing this hour with us. Do you ever jump when the phone rings, thinking this is the call that says, indictment?

LEWINSKY: Well, yeah.

KING: Are you on pins and needles about it?

LEWINSKY: I'm pins and needles all the time. This has affected our life totally, and if it wasn't my work, my involvement with my patients, I think I'd be pretty devastated, totally.


KING: Thank you, doctor.

LEWINSKY: My pleasure.

KING: He'll be on America Online one hour from now in the on- line chat and they'll be repeating that address, as well, for the Monica Lewinsky Defense Fund.
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