The country may not like Monica Lewinsky; a recent poll showed that only 5 percent of Americans held a favorable view of her. But grand jurors obviously did, urging her to forgive herself, forget Linda Tripp and get on with her life in a court appearance that often seemed more like a counseling session.
Testimony and evidence made public by Congress on Monday, showed that when first asked about sex with the president, Lewinsky - who asked the grand jury to call her Monica - was so embarrassed that she had to close her eyes to answer the question. And with prosecutors pressing her to specify what body parts went where, grand jurors seemed to become more and more sympathetic.Near the end of her testimony on Aug. 20, a juror asked her if there was anything she wanted to add, and Lewinsky defended the president while offering a blanket apology for her own behavior: "I would just like to say that no one ever asked me to lie and I was never promised a job for my silence. And that I'm sorry. I'm really sorry for everything that's happened. And I hate Linda Tripp," she said, and began to cry.
Several grand jurors tried to comfort her. One told her, "We've all fallen short. We sin every day. I don't care whether it's murder, whether it's affairs or whatever. And we get over that. You ask forgiveness and you go on. So to let you know from here, you have my forgiveness. Because we all fall short."
In all of her grand jury testimony, she comes across as unfailingly loyal to the president, calling him her "sexual soulmate" and saying of the affair, "I think back on it and he always made me smile when I was with him. He was sunshine."