Hillary Writes of Bill's Lewinsky Affair

updated 06/04/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/04/2003 01:00PM

Hillary Rodham Clinton's eagerly awaited memoir, "Living History" -- for which she received an $8 million book deal -- goes on sale next week.

But for now, the Associated Press has obtained a copy of the 562-page book and reveals what everyone wants to know: What the U.S. Senator from New York, 55, has to say about her husband Bill's extramarital relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. It is not a pretty picture.

"The most difficult decisions I have made in my life were to stay married to Bill and to run for the Senate from New York," she writes, revealing that he lied to her about the relationship until the weekend before he admitted the affair to a grand jury.

Up until then, Hillary had believed -- and stated publicly -- that the Lewinsky scandal was part of a right-wing conspiracy to do in her husband and his administration.

But on the morning of Saturday, Aug. 15, 1998, the president (whom she describes as ashamed) woke her up, paced at the bedside and "told me for the first time that the situation was much more serious than he had previously acknowledged. ... He now realized he would have to testify that there had been an inappropriate intimacy. He told me that what happened between them had been brief and sporadic," AP reports.

Her reaction to hearing the news: "I could hardly breathe. Gulping for air, I started crying and yelling at him, 'What do you mean? What are you saying? Why did you lie to me?' I was furious and getting more so by the second. He just stood there saying over and over again, 'I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I was trying to protect you and Chelsea.'"

She goes on to write, "I was dumbfounded, heartbroken and outraged that I'd believed him at all." She reportedly describes the president's eyes as filling with tears when she told him he would have to confess to their teenage daughter as well.

In the end, she writes, she decided that she still loved her husband, although "as a wife, I wanted to wring Bill's neck." Time and his help during her senatorial campaign ultimately bridged the marital schism between them, she adds.

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