Monica Lewinsky has been basically unheard from in a decade—but the 40-year-old is now writing about her 1990s affair with Bill Clinton (rumors in 2012 of a coming tell-all never materialized). The full story appears in Vanity Fair's digital edition Thursday, but the magazine has a preview. Highlights:
- Why she's writing: "It’s time to burn the beret and bury the blue dress" and stop "tiptoeing around my past—and other people’s futures. I am determined to have a different ending to my story. 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."
- Why now: After Tyler Clementi's suicide, Lewinsky's mother was devastated: "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." Lewinsky says she never attempted suicide, but was strongly tempted at times.
- What she hopes to achieve: "Perhaps by sharing my story, I reasoned, I might be able to help others in their darkest moments of humiliation." She specifically wants to advocate for victims of "online humiliation and harassment" because, as she notes, "thanks to the Drudge Report, I was also possibly the first person whose global humiliation was driven by the Internet."
- On the affair itself: "I, myself, deeply regret what happened between me and President Clinton. Let me say it again: I. Myself. Deeply. Regret. What. Happened," she writes. She adds that the relationship between her and Clinton was absolutely consensual, despite the fact that he was her boss. "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."
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