When the June issue of Vanity Fair magazine arrives on newsstands on May 13, it’ll include an article penned by former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Lewinsky, now 40, is breaking her long-held silence on the affair and subsequent cover-up that ultimately got President Bill Clinton impeached and nearly booted as Commander-in-Chief.
A seemingly regretful Lewinsky tries to take ownership of her role in the infamous 1998 affair and believes it’s “time to burn the beret and bury the blue dress” — a reference to the semen-stained clothing she didn’t even try to dry-clean (Eek!) after a sexual encounter with Mr. President.
“Perhaps by sharing my story, I reasoned, I might be able to help others in their darkest moments of humiliation…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. 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.”
Armed a master’s degree in social psychology, Lewinsky — who enjoyed a brief stint as a Jenny Craig spokesmodel in the late ’90s — claims her…er…high-profile has made holding down steady employment a struggle. Even tougher, she claims, is watching the political rise of Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Lewinsky recalls being “virtually reclusive despite being inundated with press requests” during Mrs. Clinton’s 2008 run for president. The prospect of another White House bid for the former First Lady in 2016 threatens to send Monica further into her shell.
“Recently I’ve found myself gun-shy yet again, fearful of “becoming an issue” should she decide to ramp up her campaign. But should I put my life on hold for another 8 to 10 years?”
Now, we all know dinner doesn’t buy itself, but Monica insists the troubling bullying epidemic sweeping America — not money — was her biggest motivator for piping up now. The 2010 suicide of Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi was particularly emotional for Lewinsky.
Clementi threw himself off Manhattan’s George Washington Bridge after his roommate secretly video-streamed an intimate encounter between the talented musician and another man. The gravity of the young man’s humiliation resonated with Monica. Lewinsky has purposely led a private life in the wake of the sex scandal, but she now feels she can be an advocate for others who have the Internet partially to blame for their problems.
“Perhaps by sharing my story, I reasoned, I might be able to help others in their darkest moments of humiliation.”