Monica Lewinsky is in London, beginning a two-week tour of Europe to promote her book. But, apparently overwhelmed by the crush of media attention, a tearful Lewinsky Monday temporarily fled her first appearance.
Lewinsky seemed unprepared for the hundreds of photographers yelling and shouting her name in the book department of the landmark London department store Harrods.
The 90-minute signing session resumed after the news media was herded out of the room, as planned.
There has been a lot of hoopla and media hype surrounding Lewinsky's visit to Britain and Europe, reports CBS News Senior European Correspondent Tom Fenton. But, judging from the initial reaction, the visit may not live up to the publicity. A number of people who were at Harrods Monday were people who just happened to be shopping and lingered because they heard Lewinsky was showing up.
On her arrival Sunday at London's Heathrow Airport, Lewinsky said nothing to reporters and photographers. She had flown in on the supersonic Concorde and was whisked through the airport by security staff.It was a low-key arrival for a woman who has been the object of such intense media scrutiny in the U.S.
But Andrew Morton, author of Monica's Story, tells CBS This Morning Co-Anchor Jane Robelot that Lewinsky landed in London before the U.S. journalists.
"Saturday night, Monica was saying, 'Where are my [plane] tickets?' What happened, they made a booking but didn't pay for the ticket," explains Morton. "They lost a seat. The flight was full. She ended up going on the ConcordeÂ…arrives in London three hours before the other flights. The reason the flights were full: They were full of American journalists. So all of the journalists who just arrived [are] saying, 'They outfoxed us'."
At Harrod's Monday, one man said, "I wanted to see the charisma of Monica Lewinsky. I wanted to see what she was like in person. I believe that she's got tremendous character, so I wanted to tell her that."
A vacationing American girl said, "It's kind of a part of history. I can go home and say, 'I saw Monica Lewinsky' and have [the book] signed for my mom."
An informal telephone survey of some London book stores indicates that sales of Monica's Story Monday were slow to moderate. So early indications are that her book will not be a bestseller in Great Britain.
But Morton refutes that assessment.
"It's totally the opposite," he tells Robelot. "At Harrods, the preorders were five times more than for Mrs. Thatcher, the most popular biography of all timeÂ… The police are laying on special routes to go to the various cities [on the book tour] because the demand, the interest, is so extraordinary. The newspapers are publishing her itinerary as though she's a head of state."