The sex scandal between President Bill Clinton and White House intern Monica Lewinsky will be the subject of the new season of the FX anthology series American Crime Story, the cable network announced on Tuesday.
Lewinsky will also be a producer on the season, titled Impeachment: American Crime Story, and will be played by Beanie Feldstein (Lady Bird, Booksmart).
Sarah Paulson will play Lewinsky's confidante Linda Tripp, who infamously recorded their phone conversations about the Clinton affair without Lewinsky's knowledge. Those tapes became key evidence in the impeachment inquiry into Clinton. Broadway star Annaleigh Ashford (Kinky Boots) will play Paula Jones, whose 1994 sexual harassment lawsuit against Clinton ultimately led to his impeachment.
Paulson won an Emmy for portraying Marcia Clark on the show's first season, The People vs. O.J. Simpson, which established the series' acclaimed approach to re-examining the exhaustively covered scandals that dominated the news in the 1990s. The show's second season, The Assassination of Gianni Versace, traced how Andrew Cunanan came to murder the famed fashion designer in 1997.
Paulson will also serve as an executive producer on the new season, along with Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Brad Falchuk, Larry Karaszewski, Scott Alexander, and Alexis Martin Woodall.
In a statement to Vanity Fair, Lewinsky explained why she decided to partake in the project after much convincing from Murphy.
"People have been co-opting and telling my part in this story for decades," she said. "In fact, it wasn’t until the past few years that I’ve been able to fully reclaim my narrative; almost 20 years later."
Impeachment will be written by playwright Sarah Burgess, based on Jeffrey Toobin's 1999 bestseller A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President.
FX has scheduled Impeachment to debut on Sept. 27, 2020. That plops the show right into the thick of the 2020 presidential election, which has been embroiled with near-constant talk of impeaching President Donald Trump, as well as allegations that he raped and sexually assaulted multiple women in the years before his election.
Several major figures involved in the scandal have yet to be cast in Impeachment, including the Clintons, independent counsel Ken Starr, Clinton's personal secretary Betty Currie, literary agent Lucianne Goldberg, and Washington lawyer Vernon Jordan.