Monica Lewinsky Breaks Silence: It’s Time To “Bury The Blue Dress”
“It’s time to burn the beret and bury the blue dress,” says the former White House intern, whose indiscretions with Clinton led to his impeachment.
Lewinsky emphasizes her deep remorse, writing, “I, myself, deeply regret what happened between me and President Clinton. Let me say it again: I. Myself. Deeply. Regret. What. Happened.”
But after years of silence, she’s decided to speak, explaining that she’s done “tiptoeing around my past.”
“I am determined to have a different ending to my story,” writes Lewinsky. “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.)”
She says that the public fallout from the Clinton situation was far worse than the affair itself.
Lewinsky writes, “Sure, my boss took advantage of me, 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.”
She says, “I turned down offers that would have earned me more than $10 million, because they didn’t feel like the right thing to do.”
But because of her reputation, Lewinsky’s professional life was destroyed for years.
Potential employers told her that because her of “history,” she was “never ‘quite right’ for the position. In some cases, I was right for all the wrong reasons, as in ‘Of course, your job would require you to attend our events.’ And, of course, these would be events at which press would be in attendance.”
As for what made Lewinsky want to go public after all this time, she highlights the 2010 suicide of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi, who killed himself after he was secretly filmed kissing another man — and Lewinsky’s mother’s reaction to the story.
“She was reliving 1998, when she wouldn’t let me out of her sight,” recalls Lewinsky. “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.”
In the wake of the Clementi saga, “my 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. The question became: How do I find and give a purpose to my past?”
Lewinsky, whose scandal was broken by the Drudge Report, says she was “possibly the first person whose global humiliation was driven by the Internet.”
She says her new goal “is to get involved with efforts on behalf of victims of online humiliation and harassment and to start speaking on this topic in public forums.”
What do you think about what Lewinsky has to say?