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03/11/2015 02:42 pm ET Updated Mar 12, 2015

Biographer Andrew Morton's Plea To Americans: Let Monica Lewinsky Move On

Monica Lewinsky's friend and biographer Andrew Morton issued a request to Americans during his Tuesday interview with HuffPost Live: Stop using Monica to attack the Clintons.

It's been nearly 16 years since Morton published his Lewinsky biography Monica's Story, and he's still in close contact with his controversial subject. "We went for a walk on Hampstead Heath just the other week, actually," Morton told host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani during a conversation about his new book, 17 Carnations. He said his friendship with Lewinsky is focused on her current endeavors rather than her notorious affair with Bill Clinton, and to that end, he made a request.

"I would send out a plea today for America to move on from forever using her as a shorthand to criticize the Clintons," Morton said. "We're talking about something that happened when she was a young woman."

The author dismissed the notion that Lewinsky could affect Hillary Clinton's run for president in 2016, calling Lewsinky's potential influence on the race "marginal, to say the least." Morton is more interested in her efforts to curtail bullying, which she wrote about in a buzzy Vanity Fair essay last summer about society's "culture of humiliation."

"She's looking great, she's feeling great," Morton said of Lewsinky. "I very much admire the fact that she's got her life together after all these years, and that she's decided to come out in public and talk about cyber bullying and bullying, and she's no longer prepared to live in the shadow of Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton."

The word "shadow" was an interesting choice. Earlier this month the painter of a 2006 portrait of Bill Clinton revealed that a faint blue shadow in the painting represents the infamous blue dress containing DNA evidence of Lewinsky's sexual relationship with the president. Morton said he hasn't spoken to Lewinsky about the painting:

I've not asked her what she makes of it, but the blue dress will always forever haunt her. And knowing Monica as I do, her explanation is entirely accurate and plausible that in those days she had a fat closet and a thin closet. She wore that blue dress when she was thin, she put weight on, she chucked the dress in the back of the closet. And by the time it came to the FBI surrounding her and telling her that if she altered any evidence she faced 27 years in jail, she was so terrified she just left the dress there.

Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation with Andrew Morton here.

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