Monica Lewinsky: Beyoncé Partition lyrics, did she ask for song to be edited - Bill Clinton affair explained

The former White House intern brought up the Partition lyrics after it was announced that Beyoncé would be changing to words to her song Heated amid controveresy over use of ableist slur

It was recently announced that Beyoncé would be changing the lyrics to one of her songs on her newly released album Renaissance due to the use of an ableist slur - the same word that Lizzo used in her recent song GRRRLS before she issued a rerecorded version of the tune.

Amid the news that the song, titled Heated, would be getting edited post-release, Monica Lewinsky took to Twitter to ask that another song by the singer be changed, “whilst she was at it”.

This is what you need to know.

Who is Monica Lewinsky?

Monica Lewinsky is an American media personality, best known as the former White House intern involved in the Bill Clinton sex scandal that took place whilst he was President, which eventually led to his impeachment.

The Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, as it became known, occurred in 1998, when Lewinsky was 24 and Clinton was 52, following their relationship between 1995 and 1997.

Lewinsky told Linda Tripp, an American civil servant, about her relationship with Clinton, and Tripp told Lewinsky that she should save things that Clinton had given her. Tripp also convinced Lewinsky to keep a blue dress that had been stained with semen, and not to have it dry cleaned.

A photograph showing former White House intern Monica Lewinsky meeting President Bill Clinton at a White House function submitted as evidence in documents by the Starr investigation and released by the House Judicary committee September 21, 1998. (Photo: Getty Images)

In 1997, Tripp began recording her phone calls with Lewinsky. Under the guidance of literary agent Lucianne Goldberg, Tripp took the tapes to Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr, and those working on the Paula Jones case, which was a separate case in which Jones was suing Clinton for sexual harassment.

Prior to handing over the tapes, Tripp discovered a sworn affidavit in the Paula Jones case in which Lewinsky denied her relationship with Clinton. Clinton also denied the relationship with Lewinsky when he was asked, under oath, about other workplace relationships.

The story of the affair broke on 17 January 1998 and, a few days later, on 26 January, Clinton denied the story in a live televised address whilst standing next to his wife, Hillary Clinton.

US President Bill Clinton addresses reporters on 26 January 1998 concerning an alleged affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky (Photo by JOYCE NALTCHAYAN/AFP via Getty Images)

He said: “I want you to listen to me. I’m going to say this again: I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time; never. These allegations are false.”

In July of that year, Lewinsky testified in front of a grand jury about her relationship with Clinton. She also gave the Starr investigators the blue dress, and the FBI DNA matched the semen to Clinton.

In a grand jury testimony in August 1998, Clinton admitted to engaging in an “improper relationship” with Lewinsky. Later that same day, he also issued another televised statement in which he admitted to the affair.

Whilst Clinton was deposed for the Jones lawsuit, he had denied having any sexual relationship with Lewinsky - but based on the evidence that came later, Starr was able to conclude that the President’s sworn testimony had been false and perjurious.

Monica Lewinsky sits in the back of a car on 29 January as she departs the Cosmos Club in Washington DC (Photo: LUKE FRAZZA/AFP via Getty Images)

In December that year, the House of Representatives issued Clinton two Articles of Impeachment, after it was claimed that his false testimony, and allegedly influencing Lewinsky’s testimony, were crimes of perjury and of obstruction of justice, both impeachable offences.

Clinton was ultimately acquitted on both counts and remained in office until George Bush won the 2000 Presidential election.

What are the lyrics to Partition by Beyoncé?

Partition is a 2013 song by Beyoncé from her self-titled fifth studio album, the lyrics of which reference Lewinsky’s affair with Clinton: “He popped all my buttons and he ripped my blouse / He Monica Lewinsky’d all on my gown.”

Monica Lewinsky looks up as she signs her book, ‘Monica’s story’, during a signing 23 April, 1999 at a book store in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Photo by RHONA WISE/AFP via Getty Images)

Lewinsky commented on the song a year after it was released in a 2014 article for Variety, in which she wrote: “Miley Cyrus references me in her twerking stage act, Eminem raps about me, and Beyoncé’s latest hit gives me a shout-out.

“Thanks, Beyoncé, but if we’re verbing, I think you meant “Bill Clinton’d all on my gown,” not “Monica Lewinsky’d”.”

What did she say on Twitter?

Following the announcement that Beyoncé would be removing an offensive lyric from her song Heated, off her latest record Renaissance, Lewinsky took to Twitter to ask if the singer would mind editing another song.

Lewinksy quote tweeted an article by Variety about the Heated lyric change, and added: “Uhmm, while we’re at it… #Partition.”

The reaction to Lewinsky’s tweet was mixed, with some sympathising with her and others telling her to “get over” it.

One person tweeted: “I need Monica Lewinsky to get over the fact her legacy will forever be topping the president off and saving a semen stained dress. She made choices and choices have consequences.”

In the replies to Lewinsky’s tweet, another person wrote: “Monica girl be realistic… You’re saying that Beyoncé should remove a line from her song that came out 9 years ago??? And why are you only talking about Beyoncé, there were plenty of other artists who were more disrespectful. Beyoncé’s line wasn’t even bad. So calm down.”

Monica Lewinsky attends the 2022 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 27, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

On the other hand, one person tweeted: “Monica Lewinsky was manipulated and sexually coerced at the age of 24 by THE president of the United States and Beyoncé fans who are self identified feminists are telling her to shut up about her casual reference to her ordeal.”

Another wrote: “Pretty sure Monica Lewinsky has called out others too. Read her book and watch interviews. She is a victim and a timestamp can’t be put. I love Bey too but y’all need to stop acting like she can do no wrong, it’s weird behaviour.”

Looking at both sides of the coin, one person wrote: “It’s a both and situation. Monica Lewinsky has every right to be irked that her name is a euphemism for oral sex in a popular mainstream song. AND we shouldn’t ignore the fact that only successful Black women are held to account for public behaviour that others get a pass for.”