What American Crime Story: Impeachment Didn't Tell You About The True Story

The third season of the FX Network's anthology true-crime show, "American Crime Story," tackles the real story of the infamous Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky affair. "Impeachment: American Crime Story" premiered on September 7 and immediately kicked off with the FBI interrogation of Lewinsky in 1998, after she's sold out to the feds by her former friend and Pentagon staffer, Linda Tripp (via Screenrant). Although most people know the main players in the scandal to be President Clinton and Lewinsky, Tripp has always been a key proponent in the story getting out, as she is the one who recorded her conversations with Lewinsky about the affair. Tripp is a central figure in the series. 

With each episode, viewers see what motivated Tripp to blow the whistle and betray Lewinsky — evidently exposing the story of the affair. Much of the show follows the very real and true timeline of actual events, but like a lot of Hollywood depictions, not every single thing is told. For starters, the series is based on the Jeffrey Toobin book, "A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President." Toobin served as a consultant for the show and Lewinsky is one of its producers. The difference between this show and others that highlight abuse of power is that the series is aimed at specifically bringing the victim's point of view into focus. Unlike what most Americans heard or thought they knew before, "Impeachment" tells Lewinsky's side. But what's not included?

The relationship between Clinton and Lewinsky

The 10-episode show explores a variety of characters central to the scandal that finally exploded in January 1998. But on a show about an affair that includes a sexual relationship between the president and a younger subordinate, there is one glaring thing missing that the show doesn't portray: the nature of their sexual interactions, or the implication of it. The series doesn't really hint at any of that going on.

On the show, actress Beanie Feldstein, who portrays Lewinsky, shares flirty looks, touches, and kisses with Clinton, played by actor Clive Owen (via IMDb). In reality, there was a lot more going on than that. But it is not clear to the viewer the exact details, as the show barely implies it. One can only assume that the scenes Feldstein and Owen filmed alone are meant to demonstrate the beginning of what would eventually happen when the two were out of sight of other White House staffers. However, if one were to only go by the show, you'd think otherwise and not really know how many times they engaged in a physical affair. The true story was that Lewinsky had about nine sexual encounters with Clinton between 1995 and 1997, most of which occurred in the Oval Office (via The Washington Post).

The tape meeting and the infamous dress

Throughout the scandal, Tripp is consulting with a literary agent named Lucianne Goldberg. This agent is the encouragement behind Tripp recording her calls with Lewinsky. When Tripp is closer to blowing the lid off, she meets with Goldberg and Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff one night. Tripp spills it all and plays the recordings for Isikoff for the first time, and that's when viewers get a sense that the story is about to blow. The scene is meant to show that Tripp was growing exceedingly eager to expose the affair. On the show, Tripp gradually becomes more and more interested in doing so. But in reality, Tripp was incredibly ardent about the whole ordeal that she was ready to even commit theft.

Lewinsky's infamous blue gown (pictured), which had evidence of Clinton's DNA on it, was a detail that Lewinsky shared with Tripp. According to an interview Isikoff did with Vanity Fair last month, when Tripp learned that there was an item that might have physical proof of the affair, she offered to steal it for Isikoff, so he could have it tested. But that incident is not explored in the series. "My main disappointment was that they left out the best part — after Monica showed Linda the blue dress, Linda called me and offered to steal the dress and give it to me," said Isikoff.

He says he was floored at Tripp's offer and declined to partake in the conversation, not knowing the same dress would become a key piece of evidence in the Clinton impeachment scandal.