This week in nostalgia history: Drew Barrymore for Playboy, the birth of the Beckhams and more!
BY SAM CASS
Welcome to the latest edition of ‘This week in nostalgia history,’ a new weekly column that delves into the wildest nuggets of news from the 90s, 2000s and beyond. We’re equal opportunists, which means the Bill Clinton scandal and that time Drew Barrymore flashed David Letterman are given equal weight. At a time when reality feels like something you’d like to turn away from, here’s a chance to look back at a time when a virus was just something you’d get after using LimeWire. This week in nostalgia history: Drew Barrymore for Playboy, David and Victoria Beckham get engaged and more!
President Bill Clinton says the famous words, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman,” January 26, 1998
On January 26, 1998, then U.S. president Bill Clinton spoke the infamous line, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.” Months later in August, Clinton denied the alleged affair between himself and 21-year-old unpaid intern Monica Lewinsky while testifying as the subject of a grand jury investigation into the Whitewater real estate venture and the suspected cronyism in the firing of White House travel agency personnel.
On December 19th of the same year, Clinton, under charges of lying under oath to federal judges and the obstruction of justice (approved after nearly 14 hours of debate) became the second president in U.S. history to be impeached by the House Judiciary Committee. He survived the impeachment because the Senate was unable to achieve two-thirds majority on the charge of obstruction of justice and voted Clinton “not guilty” of perjury.
Just one day after her husband’s infamous words, then First Lady Hillary Clinton spoke out in defence against the allegations of the affair in an interview with Today’s Matt Lauer. She expressed concerns for an “intense political agenda” driving the allegations, stating that she herself would “wait patiently until the truth comes out.”
Posh Spice Victoria and David Beckham are engaged, Jan 25, 1998
It’s hard to believe that there was ever a time when David and Victoria Beckham were not a packaged deal, but the two iconic Brits officially joined forces in January 1998, when the all-star athlete proposed to Posh Spice, nee Victoria Adams with a marquise-cut engagement ring valued at $85,000. The couple had been dating for less than a year, after meeting at a Manchester United soccer game in 1997 before Beckham was a household name. “While the other football players stand at the bar drinking with their mates, you will see David standing aside with his family. (He’s not even in the first team at this stage—you are the famous one),” she chronicles in a 2016 issue of British Vogue. “And he has such a cute smile. You, too, are close to your family, and you will think how similar he feels to you.”
The duo has been married since 1999, has four children, and has withstood rumours of infidelity, first when David was spotted with his assistant, Rebecca Loos, at a nightclub in Madrid one evening in 2004, before she revealed sexts between the two. Model Sarah Marbeck added her name to Beckham’s list of lovers in a story for News of the World— a claim Beckham denied, and one the couple pressed charges against alongside another similar story by the same publisher.
Family Guy premieres, Jan 31, 1999
With 19 seasons and counting, Family Guy is one of the longest-running shows to come out of the ‘90s. Since premiering January 31, 1999, the hit show makes obvious references to The Simpsons, and even featured a cross-over titled, “The Simpson Guy: Part 1 & 2” in its thirteenth season. Right now, you can binge on seasons 9 through 18 on Netflix for hours of COVID-friendly entertainment.
Drew Barrymore Poses for Playboy Magazine at 19, January 1995
Drew Barrymore’s wholesome new daytime talk show couldn’t be further from the actress’s persona in 1995, a year which saw her star as a series of baddies in Batman Forever, Mad Love and Boys on the Side, flash David Letterman on live television and pose for the nude for the January issue of Playboy Magazine. It was a wild time for the former child star and scion of the legendary Barrymore family (fun fact: her godparents include Steven Spielberg and Sophia Loren), who was only 19 when she posed for shoot with photographer Ellen Von Unwerth. Despite her young age though, the actress had lived large and complicatedly – she reportedly spent up to five nights a week clubbing at spots like Studio 54 at age 9, sought rehab for drug and alcohol addiction at age 13, the same year she was hospitalized for attempted suicide. By age 14, she was emancipated from her parents and living on her own. It’s all catalogued in her autobiographical memoir, Little Girl Lost, a book she released at just 15 years old
Years later, during an interview with ABC News’ Amy Robach, Barrymore said that despite having “no regrets,” she would never let her daughter pose for the magazine at such a young age, insisting, “I would influence her not to, because my life choices are supposed to be the gateway to somebody else’s. That’s my journey.”