After years of keeping silent over the infamous affair with president Bill Clinton that led to his eventual impeachment back in 1998, Monica Lewinsky adressed the dramatic turn of events in her interview with “Vanity Fair”.
Now Lewinsky, who turned 40, explained that “it’s time to burn the beret and bury the blue dress” and vowed to stop “tiptoeing” around her past.
“I am determined to have a different ending to my story,” she writes. “I’ve decided, finally, to stick my head above the parapet so that I can take back my narrative and give a purpose to my past. (What this will cost me, I will soon find out.)”
The woman revealed that the affair with Bill Clinton, who was married at that time and served as the U.S. president, while she was a 22-year-old White House intern, occurred between two consenting adults. However, she admitted she “deeply” regretted the relationship.
“Sure, my boss took advantage of me,” she continued, “but I will always remain firm on this point: It was a consensual relationship. Any ‘abuse’ came in the aftermath, when I was made a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful position.”
“The Clinton administration, the special prosecutor’s minions, the political operatives on both sides of the aisle, and the media were able to brand me. And that brand stuck, in part because it was imbued with power.”
“I, myself, deeply regret what happened between me and President Clinton,” she insisted. “Let me say it again: I. Myself. Deeply. Regret. What. Happened.”
Lewinski rushed to name Tyler Clementi, the 18-year-old Rutgers student who was bullied to death for being gay, as the inspiration behind her decision to speak out after so many years, citing her own feelings of suicide after news of Clinton’s infidelity hit the media.
Her mother, she says, was particularly harrowed by Clementi’s death. “She was reliving 1998, when she wouldn’t let me out of her sight.”
“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.”
However, in the wake of the student’s death, her “own suffering took on a different meaning,” she said.
“Perhaps by sharing my story, I reasoned, I might be able to help others in their darkest moments of humiliation. The question became: How do I find and give a purpose to my past?”
The Republicans have recently indicated that Clinton’s relationship with the White House intern will be fair game should Hillary Clinton indeed run.
Republican Senator Rand Paul – also is expected to run for the presidency in 2016 – said this year that “bosses shouldn’t prey on young interns in their office”.
Mr Clinton “took advantage of a girl that was 20-years-old and an intern in his office”, he added. “There is no excuse for that and that is predatory behaviour.”
In her piece, Monica signals now she aims “to get involved with efforts on behalf of victims of online humiliation and harassment and to start speaking on this topic in public forums”.