Rob Lowe Recalls Talking With Monica Lewinsky About The West Wing After Her Scandal With Bill Clinton

Rob Lowe and Monica Lewinsky
In National Geographic's The 90's: The Last Great Decade?, Rob Lowe recalls talking with Monica Lewinsky about The West Wing after her sex scandal with Bill Clinton Valerie Macon/Getty; David M. Benett/Getty

Only in the '90s! Rob Lowe isn't just the narrator of National Geographic's The '90s: The Last Great Decade? special—he's also one of its interviewees. Entertainment Weekly shared a clip from the upcoming miniseries on Tuesday, July 1, in which the Parks and Recreation actor recounts a truly original 1990s moment—meeting Monica Lewinsky on a plane as he was getting ready to star in Aaron Sorkin's White House drama The West Wing.

The West Wing, about a fictional U.S. President (Martin Sheen) and his senior staff, premiered on NBC in September 1999, almost exactly a year after Kenneth Starr detailed Lewinsky's affair with then-President Bill Clinton in the Starr Report.

"I think two or three days before we filmed the West Wing pilot, I was reading the script and studying my lines on a plane," Lowe, now 50, recalls in the clip. "And I got the feeling of someone watching you—you know how that can be?—and I looked up across the aisle, and it was Monica Lewinsky."

"I had this moment, I thought, 'You know what? I gotta say this to her,'" he continues. "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, now 40, recalls the encounter, too. She says he was with his wife, Sheryl Berkoff, on a plane to Canada at the time. "I remember walking away thinking, 'Oh, he's a good guy,'" she says in the Nat Geo doc, her first televised interview since 2003. "'And I was right to have had a huge crush on him when I was a teenager.'"

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