For millions of Americans, Barbara Walters was a pioneering TV journalist, but to Monica Lewinsky, she was also a fount of valuable advice.
Walters died Friday at the age of 93, inspiring many tributes from her media colleagues.
Her death also inspired Lewinsky to relate the hilarious advice Walters once gave her after her relationship with then-President Bill Clinton became a huge scandal in the late 1990s.
Lewinsky tweeted Friday that she first met the veteran newswoman in 1998 at the height of Kenneth Starr’s investigation into whether Clinton committed perjury by not admitting to his relationship with Lewinsky, who had been a White House intern, under oath.
Lewinsky, then 24, told Walters that the scandal was the first time she’d ever been in serious trouble and that she was “basically” a good kid who got good grades, didn’t do drugs and never shoplifted.
“Without missing a beat, Barbara said, ‘Monica, next time shoplift.’”
Although the media spotlight eventually dimmed on Lewinsky, Walters kept in contact with her. They even had lunch together a few years ago, Lewinsky recalled.
“Of course, she was charming, witty and some of her questions were still her signature interview style,” Lewinsky remembered. “‘So tell me, Monica, how do you feel …etc etc.’ She was the very first person with whom i ever sat for a television interview… and will certainly be my most memorable.”