As the world celebrated the season of love on Valentine’s Day, former President Bill Clinton took to the digital realm to extend his heartfelt wishes to his wife, Hillary. However, his romantic gesture was met with an unexpected and fierce backlash from the social media community.
In the post, the ex-president shared a lovely picture of himself and his wife from their younger days, with an endearing message declaring his “forever Valentine” status to his spouse of 48 years. But the seemingly innocuous message was quickly bombarded with comments from social media users who reminded him of his past affair with Monica Lewinsky.
Despite the couple’s decades-long romantic history, critics seemed unwilling to forget the scandal that had shaken the Clinton presidency years ago. The Twitter post became a battleground for those defending and condemning the former president, revealing the deep-seated feelings of animosity and resentment that still linger in the hearts of many.
However, the pair’s very public romance has been marred by several well-known and embarrassing challenges, such as the sex scandal that erupted over his 18-month affair with White House intern Lewinsky, then 22, that led to his 1997 impeachment.
Clinton, now 76, at the time heralded his wife as a pillar of support after they emerged from the deeply embarrassing episode – which was far from the first, or last, time the politician was accused of being unfaithful.
Despite this, Clinton aired his impassioned, public post to his more than 13million followers, and was quickly subjected to a string of memes from onlookers who could not help that pointed to the alleged infidelities – of which there have been at least 14.
‘Happy Valentine’s Day!’ the former secretary of state wrote, including a double-heart emoji to better encapsulate his feelings for his longtime wife, who has notably stood by Clinton’s side throughout his several scandals.
The post included the throwback photo of the couple, taken not long after the pair married in a simple, Methodist ceremony at their Arkansas home in October 1975.
A follow-up post featured a photo of the pair, snapped on Valentine’s Day 1982, dancing together two years into Clinton’s second stint as Arkansas’ governor – which lasted from 1983 to 1992.
During that time, and in the decades before and after, it is claimed that Clinton engaged in multiple instances of misconduct with several women.
While deemed erroneous by Clinton and his administration, the allegations – as well as the confirmed tryst with then-White House aide Lewinsky – were seemingly not lost on social media users who saw the ex-president’s timely tribute, and proceeded to poke fun at him for his checkered past.
‘LOL “forever”‘, one user remarked, leaving others to draw their own conclusions in regards to Clinton’s alleged adultery.
‘You can smell the intern’s sweat in this photo,’ another added, referencing the affair with Lewinsky.
One merciless onlooker sniped: ‘What about Monica…?’
Someone else joked: ‘Come on now Billy… you know you’ve got more than one of those.’
‘I bet you say that to all the women,’ another added, while someone else simply remarked: ‘Didn’t you cheat on her like 100 times?’
Several other relentless zingers followed, as well as a slew of memes – many meant to insinuate that Clinton’s ‘forever’ assertion should be taken with a grain of salt.
‘Shouldn’t that be a picture of you and Monica?,’ one wrote.
‘Forever? Except when you were with Monica,’ someone else chimed in.
‘That doesn’t look like Monica Lewinsky,’ another added.
Other more technically skilled users photoshopped Monica’s face over Hillary’s in the couple photo, while several other referenced Clinton ties to the late rapist Jeffrey Epstein.
Clinton has never been accused of any wrongdoing in connection with Epstein, who hung himself in a New York cell in 2019 where he was awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges.
Aside from the links to Epstein, several woman have come forward to claim they were either sexually assaulted by or engaged in extramarital affairs with Clinton over the course of his political career and nearly five-decade marriage.
In a 1999 episode of Dateline, a former volunteer for Clinton’s first gubernatorial bid in 1978, Juanita Broaddrick. In the bombshell interview, Broaddrick, now 80 alleged that in the late 1970s, Clinton raped her in her hotel room in Little Rock.
When asked if there was any way Clinton thought the encounter – which came less than three years into his marriage to Hillary – was consensual, Broaddrick said ‘No, not with what I told him and with how I tried to push him away. It was not consensual.’
Clinton has since denied the allegations.
In 2016, a Former Arkansas reporter, Leslie Millwee, came forward to claim that she was groped by Clinton on three separate occasions in 1980, with Clinton each time coming up behind her and fondled her breasts.
On the second occasion, Millwee said Clinton – then serving his first term as governor – rubbed his crotch against her until he came to an orgasm.
The former Arkansas state employee who sued former President Bill Clinton for sexual harassment says she fears for her life in the event that his wife, Hillary Clinton, wins the election.
In 1998, former Arkansas state employee Paula Jones received a $850,000 from Clinton as part of an out-of-court settlement after she claimed that he exposed himself to her in 1991 in a Little Rock, Arkansas, hotel.
Clinton has also denied those accusations.
Clinton had an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky from 1995-1997. She was aged 22 to 25 at the time of the affair, he aged 48 to 51.
Lying about the clandestine romance famously led to his political demise – the House impeached Clinton in 1998.
‘I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky,’ Clinton claimed in a televised speech in 1998.
‘I never told anybody to lie, not a single time; never. These allegations are false. And I need to go back to work for the American people,’ Clinton said in a Jan. 26 address, flanked by his wife.
At the time, Hillary called the affair rumors a ‘vast right-wing conspiracy.’
‘The great story here for anybody willing to find it and write about it and explain it is this – that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president,’ the then-first lady said of the allegations.
Clinton finally admitted in taped grand jury testimony on Aug. 17, 1998 that he had engaged in an ‘improper physical relationship’ with Lewinsky. That night he offered a nationally televised statement admitting that his relationship with Lewinsky was ‘not appropriate’
Lewinsky said she had sexual encounters with Clinton nine times over the course of two years.
The scandal led to Bill being impeached in 1998. But he survived the trial in the Senate and remained in office during his second term.