Rob Lowe & Monica Lewinsky Chatted About 'The West Wing' & That One Bill Clinton Incident
Talk about a coincidental '90s throwback: back when Rob Lowe was still reading pilot scripts for The West Wing , he talked to Monica Lewinsky about the show. In a clip from National Geographic's The 90's: The Last Great Decade?, Lowe talks about an incident in 1999 when he ran into Lewinsky on a plane.
Picture it: a year after the Bill Clinton scandal broke, a few days before Lowe shoots the pilot for The West Wing. While reading his script on the plane, Lowe spots Lewinsky and feels he has to say something.
"I had this moment, I thought, 'You know what? I gotta say this to her.' And I said, 'Listen, I just want you to know something. I'm about to do a show called The West Wing. It's about the presidency. I think people are going to pay a lot of attention to it. And I just want you to know we're not doing anything about...you know, so you don't need to worry.'"
Lewinsky remembers the same incident in the documentary, and she thought well of him afterwards. "I remember walking away thinking, 'Oh, he's a good guy,'" she says. "'And I was right to have had a huge crush on him when I was a teenager.'"
The funniest part about this awkward encounter is that there actually was a political sex scandal on The West Wing that involved Lowe's character in the first episode...it just wasn't about Lewinsky. In the very first episode, Lowe's character, Deputy Communications Director Sam Seaborn, gets in hot water after sleeping with a woman he later finds out to be a call girl.
It's not exactly ripped-from-the-headlines, Law and Order style, but it's no wonder that Lowe wanted to clear the air before the episode career. The president never got in a sex scandal on the show, and the only romantic tension on the West Wing White House was between Deputy Chief of Staff John Lyman and his assistant Donna. Although there's probably some fanfic around President Bartlett and his aide Charlie, if you search the Internet hard enough...but don't say I didn't warn you.