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When Monica met Bill: Lewinsky lures Clinton in ‘Impeachment’ clip

The public finally has eyes on President Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky’s secret, salacious Oval Office interactions.

FX teased an enticing clip from Ryan Murphy’s highly anticipated anthology series “Impeachment: American Crime Story” on Wednesday night. The series’ third iteration will examine the political spectacle that was President Clinton’s 1998 impeachment, which led to tawdry headlines and a national outcry.

The first-look clip features just the back of Lewinsky as she strides her way through the White House on her way to her final stop — the Oval Office, where she greets the president (Clive Owen, 56, “Closer”) with a hidden gift.

Lewinsky’s stroll is backed by ominous music, and the trailer closes with the first and only line of dialogue, when Clinton’s secretary says, “Mr. President, Ms. Lewinsky’s here to see you.” The trailer ends with a fade to black as Clinton slowly turns around in his desk chair to face her.

Beanie Feldstein as Monica Lewinsky in "Impeachment: American Crime Story"
FX

Rather than center around Clinton himself, creator Ryan Murphy has positioned the story to revolve around the three women who propelled the events: Monica Lewinsky (Beanie Feldstein, 28, “Booksmart”), Linda Tripp (Sarah Paulson, 46, “American Horror Story”) and Paula Jones (Annaleigh Ashford, 36, “B Postitive”).

The “Impeachment” cast also features, Margo Martindale (“Justified”), 70, as Lucianne Goldberg; Billy Eichner (“Parks and Recreation”), 42, as Matt Drudge; Betty Gilpin (“GLOW”), 35, as Ann Coulter; Edie Falco (“The Sopranos,” “Nurse Jackie”), 58, as Hillary Clinton; and Anthony Green (“London’s Burning”), 51, as Al Gore.

President Bill Clinton (Clive Owen) prepares to greet Monica Lewinsky (Beanie Feldstein) in the Oval Office in a scene from "Impeachment: American Crime Story." Inset: the real Lewinsky and Clinton in an undated photo.
FX; Getty Images
A woman reaches for a newsstand copy of Time Magazine featuring President Bill Clinton and former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
AFP via Getty Images

“American Crime Story’s” third season is inspired by Jeffrey Toobin’s book “A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President,” which details the infamous scandal between the intern and the president that aggrieved American politics. Like the series’ first season, 2016’s “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” as well as its second, 2018’s “The Assassination of Gianni Versace”, the new installment will have to face the feat of depicting a wildly covered real event that created a monumental media frenzy.

The “American Crime Story” anthology series has expanded FX’s portfolio and brought in a total of 31 Emmys across its first two seasons.

The president's secretary in "Impeachment: American Crime Story."
FX

“Impeachment” was first announced in 2017 but, after several delays, will finally air four years later. Murphy optioned the rights to Jeffrey Toobin’s book in 2017 but by 2018 it was dropped. However, the project was picked back up and began development in 2019, when Lewinsky, 48, joined the show as a producer. The show was to air in September 2020, but was pushed back due to Murphy’s schedule. It also faced criticism about timing the premiere to just before the 2020 presidential election. Even after start of filming last year, production was halted due to a positive COVID-19 case on set.

Monica Lewinsky at Vanity Fair's 6th Annual New Establishment Summit.
Getty Images for Vanity Fair

Executive producers include Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Brad Falchuk, Larry Karaszewski, Scott Alexander, Alexis Martin Woodall, Hannah Fidell, Sarah Paulson and writer Sarah Burgess.

“Impeachment: American Crime Story” will premiere at 10 p.m. Sept. 7 on FX.

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