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Lewinsky-produced 'impeachment' drama to air weeks before US election

The third season of the American Crime Story franchise will dramatise events that saw White House intern Monica Lewinsky and two other women become "swept up ... in the country's first impeachment proceedings in over a century," according to the FX network.

Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. Picture: AFP.

LOS ANGELES - Monica Lewinsky will produce a major true-crime series about impeachment proceedings against former US president Bill Clinton set to air just weeks before the 2020 election, the FX network said Tuesday.

The third season of the _American Crime Story _franchise will dramatise events that saw White House intern Lewinsky and two other women become "swept up ... in the country's first impeachment proceedings in over a century," FX said in a statement.

It follows the network's first two seasons of _ACS, _which dealt with the trial of OJ Simpson and the murder of Gianni Versace, respectively, and together earned a bevy of awards - and considerable controversy.

The announcement of season three prompted an immediate social media storm, with many users claiming a renewed focus on a sex scandal which nearly toppled a Democratic president would benefit incumbent Republican Donald Trump.

Meanwhile, Democratic support for impeachment proceedings against Trump is growing, with more than half of House Democrats now backing the procedure, media tallies showed last week.

"People are going to be very interested in this around the presidential election and it is going to be a great show," FX chief John Landgraf told a television critics' gathering in Los Angeles, according to Deadline.

"I don't believe it's going to determine who the next president of the United States is going to be," he added in response to the swift backlash.

Lewinsky said in a statement to _Vanity Fair _that she was initially "more than a little scared" to join the project, but ultimately decided to in order to "fully reclaim (her) narrative."

"I'm so grateful for the growth we've made as a society that allows people like me who have been historically silenced to finally reintroduce my voice to the conversation," she said, referring to the explosive #MeToo movement against sexual harassment.

"Powerful people, often men, take advantage of those subordinate to them in myriad ways all the time," Lewinsky said, noting that "this narrative is one that is, regretfully, evergreen."

The latest instalment of the Ryan Murphy-produced franchise will star Sarah Paulson as Linda Tripp, who blew the whistle on Lewinsky's affair with Clinton. Lewinsky will be played by Beanie Feldstein and Annaleigh Ashford will portray Paula Jones, who sued Clinton for sexual harassment.

It will premiere on 27 September next year. The US election is scheduled for 3 November.

The limited series will be based on Jeffrey Toobin's book A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President.

The second season of _ACS, _covering the 1997 murder of Versace, was dismissed as a "work of fiction" by his family.

The family said in a statement they had "neither authorised nor had any involvement whatsoever" in the series and reacted with particular fury to claims that Versace was HIV-positive.

The first two instalments won a total of 16 Emmys. Production on season three starts in February.