Bill Clinton claims he slept with Monica Lewinsky 'to ease pressures of Presidency'

Clinton said it was his way to "manage my anxieties" [Photo: Reuters]

Bill Clinton has told how his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky was his way to "manage my anxieties".

The former President speaks candidly about his infidelity in a new documentary set to air on Friday about his wife, Hillary Clinton.

Discussing his affair with Lewinsky, who at the time was a 22-year-old on work experience, he said it came at a great moment of stress in his life.

"You feel like you're staggering around, you've been in a 15 round prize fight that was extended to 30 rounds and here's something that will take your mind off it for a while, that's what happens," he said.

"Because there, whatever life - not just me. Everybody's life has pressures and disappointments, terrors, fears of whatever.

"Things I did to manage my anxieties for years. I'm a different, totally different person than I was, a lot of that stuff 20 years ago."

Discussing his former mistress, Clinton, 73, added: "I feel terrible about the fact that Monica Lewinsky's life was defined by it, unfairly I think.

"Over the years, I've watched her trying to get a normal life back again, but you've got to decide how to define normal."

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Discussing his affair with Lewinsky, Bill Clinton said it came at a great moment of stress in his life [Photo: Getty Images]

On the Hulu documentary called 'Hillary', Clinton talks about the moment he confessed to his wife.

"I went and sat on the bed and talked to her. I told her exactly what happened, when it happened. I said I feel terrible about it," he recalled.

"She said you have to tell your daughter. She said that's worse than me. So I did that, which was awful."

Hillary, 72, added: "I was just devastated. I could not believe it. I was so personally just hurt, and I can't believe this, I can't believe you lied.

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The former First Lady talks about the counselling both underwent in the aftermath of the affair.

"We saw a counsellor . . . painful, painful discussions," she said.

Clinton's affair led to him becoming only the second president to be impeached.

He was charged with perjury to a grand jury and obstruction of justice after he denied having sex with Lewinsky.

After a five-week trial, he was acquitted on both counts in February 1999.