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Monica Lewinsky Hawks Purses

September 8, 1999

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Even after a best-selling book and an Internet venture, Monica Lewinsky says she remains in debt from legal expenses related to the impeachment scandal and hopes a new line of purses she’s selling will open an avenue ``to where my future goes.″

``I went back to something I did in high school, which was designing and sewing,″ Ms. Lewinsky said in an interview Wednesday with The Associated Press. ``It’s been nourishing for me emotionally to work with colors and different fabrics.″

Ms. Lewinsky first started making handbags last year, when she was staying in, trying to avoid the news media during the impeachment scandal. Now, she’s turned her hobby into an Internet sales venture.

Since she started selling them through her Web site last week, Ms. Lewinsky has moved several hundred ``Made especially for you by Monica″ handbags, which cost between $70 and $130 each, logging five-figure sales.

``This will be one of the first steps to where my future goes. I want it to be successful,″ she said.

A dollar from each bag will go toward various charities, and the profits will go toward paying off her debts, Ms. Lewinsky said.

The new business has been a family affair. Ms. Lewinsky’s stepmother taught her to knit, her mother put her in touch with the fashion industry and her brother helped set up the www.therealmonicainc.com Web site.

``I could not have gotten through this without my family,″ Ms. Lewinsky said by telephone from Los Angeles.

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