After a decade of silence, Monica Lewinsky, the former White House employee who had an affair with President Bill Clinton, speaks out about her experiences.
In an upcoming issue of Vanity Fair, Lewinsky voices her feelings of regret and humiliation and the effect that the scandal has had on her career.
In a preview excerpt from the article, Lewinsky writes that she decided to go public after hearing about Tyler Clementi — a gay Rutgers freshman who committed suicide in November 2010 after his roommate secretly streamed him and another man kissing via Webcam.
While the suicide made Lewinsky cry, it impacted her mother more strongly.
“She was reliving 1998, when she wouldn’t let me out of her sight,” writes Lewinsky in the Vanity Fair article. “She was replaying those weeks when she stayed by my bed, night after night, because I, too, was suicidal. The shame, the scorn, and the fear that had been thrown at her daughter left her afraid that I would take my own life — a fear that I would be literally humiliated to death.”
Lewinsky expressed that she had suicidal thoughts, but never acted upon them. According to Vanity Fair, after the tragedy, Lewinsky’s “own suffering took on a different meaning.”
“Perhaps by sharing my story, I reasoned, I might be able to help others in their darkest moments of humiliation,” Lewinsky writes. “The question became: How do I find and give purpose to my past?”
Lewinsky writes that she hopes she can “get involved with efforts on behalf of victims of online humiliation and harassment and to start speaking on this topic in public forums."