At just the age of 22, Monica Lewinsky became known by virtually everyone worldwide. For scandalous reasons, sure, but since 2014, Lewinsky has been a social activist. In fact, Lewinsky speaks out a great deal against cyberbullying – an abuse for which she is most intimately familiar with to this day. As a result, we decided to take a look at Monica Lewinsky’s life since the scandal – from name calling to memes to living life off the radar, Lewinsky is back with a bang and she’s not holding back.
The Lewinsky Scandal
Yes, we are going to start with the scandal. It’s unfortunately Monica Lewinsky’s defining moment. Furthermore, the details of the whole scandal are very well known: the little blue dress with President Clinton’s DNA, the taped exchanges with Linda Tripp, Bill Clinton’s impeachment, the long graphic report from Ken Starr an independent prosecutor, and most famously President Bill Clinton’s line, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”
After the whole “Lewinsky scandal”, Monica had a string of career choices. For some time, she knitted, designed handbags, and was also a spokesperson for Jenny Craig. According to ‘Celebrity Net Worth’, Lewinsky earned $1 million for her Jenny Craig gig and then she earned another $500,000 with a tell-all book. Currently, the site says her net worth is around $500,000.
Activist Against Cyber Bullying
As we mentioned, since 2014, Monica Lewinsky made a return to the public spotlight. However as a social activist who speaks out against cyberbullying. Via Twitter, Lewinsky openly calls herself, “social activist. public speaker. vanity fair contributor. ambassador @bystanderrev + @antibullyingpro. knitter of things without sleeves #clickwithcompassion.” Furthermore, she has candidly spoken about her own suffering from online bullying.
Not Many Interviews
Currently Monica Lewinsky avoids giving interviews, for reasons which make sense we suppose. With that being said, she appeared on The Guardian in a rare interview. Now The Guardian went on to call her “a respected and perceptive anti-bullying advocate. She gives talks at Facebook, and at business conferences, on how to make the internet more compassionate. She helps out at anti-bullying organisations like Bystander Revolution.” Additionally, Lewinsky told The Guardian, “The shame sticks to you like tar.”
While speaking at a Forbes conference, Monica Lewinsky opened up on online bullying, saying, “I lost my reputation… And I lost my sense of self.” When Lewinsky sat down with Vanity Fair in 2016, she said that she became an anti-bullying activist when her mother tearfully reacted to the tragic suicide of Tyler Clementi, a Rutgers freshman. Clementi jumped off of a bridge after he was being “secretly streamed via Webcam kissing another man.”
Across The Pond
Now if we take two steps back, in 2005 Monica Lewinsky would move to London. While in London, she studied social psychology at none other than the London School of Economics. Then in 2006, she graduated with a Master of Science, after she wrote her thesis. According to the Gazette Review, her thesis is called “In Search of the Impartial Juror: An Exploration of the Third-Person Effect and Pre-Trial Publicity.”
Undoubtedly you know that at just the age of 22, Monica Lewinsky landed that very famous White House internship. A role she earned after having just graduated from Lewis & Clark College in Oregon, with a BA in, well, psychology. During her 2016 Vanity Fair, she said, “I moved to England to study, to challenge myself, to escape scrutiny, and to reimagine my identity.”
Firstly, Monica Lewinsky had not been talking about the “Lewinsky-Clinton scandal” for nearly a decade. Until of course that famous Vanity Fair article, where Lewinsky penned the article herself. Furthermore that same Vanity Fair article wound up as a finalist for the National Magazine Award. Yup, you read that right. Entitled, “Shame and Survival,” the introduction of the essay went as follows, “After 10 years of self-imposed reticence, and now hoping to help victims of Internet shaming, she critiques the culture that put a 24-year-old through the wringer and calls out the feminists who joined the chorus.”
Going off of the last fact, in that same article, Monica Lewinsky criticized what she considers the “‘culture of humiliation’ which not only encourages and revels in Schadenfreude but also rewards those who humiliate others.” Lastly, she wrote, that it thrives online especially.
No Such Luck
Going back to the Vanity Fair interview in 2014, Lewinsky said that once she left grad school in London, “I moved between London, Los Angeles, New York, and Portland, Oregon, interviewing for a variety of jobs that fell under the umbrella of ‘creative communication’ and ‘branding,’ with an emphasis on charity campaigns.” However she continued to get turned down.
Guys, we have to mention that Monica Lewinsky even hit back at Beyonce! Yup, you read that right. She has requested one correction of Beyoncé, especially in regard to the lyrics to Beyonce’s hit song “Partition”. Monica said, “Thanks, Beyoncé, but if we’re verbing, I think you meant ‘Bill Clinton’d all on my gown,’ not ‘Monica Lewinsky’d.’”
Ahem, The Today Show has said that, “Lewinsky is teaming up with Vodafone to create anti-bullying emojis and GIFs.” Whereas The New York Times claims she has appeared at various New York benefits, has participated in an anti-bullying workshop, and has also “joined a feminist networking group.”
Put A Ring On It
In the 2016 interview with Vanity Fair, Monica opened up about her romantic life. While she does date, she has never married. One can only speculate as to why that is.
Monica Lewinsky gave an amazing 18-minute TED talk in Vancouver, Canada called “The Price of Shame.” In the TED talk, she recounted all of the painful consequences that she still faces because of the ‘Lewinsky scandal’. Furthermore she also believes that she was one of the very first victims of cyber bullying. Hmm. During the talk, she said, “Anyone who is suffering from shame and public humiliation needs to know one thing: You can survive it. I know it’s hard.”
American rapper G-Eazy was just named as 2017’s Favorite Hip-Hop Artist. So when his debut album dropped, These Things Happen, featuring a song titled “Monica Lewinsky,” heads spun. Only because it allowed the talented rapper to flaunt his ratchet side.
We really do have to talk about Monica Lewinsky’s parents! Bernard Lewinsky is an oncologist, while her mother, Marcia Kay Vilensky, is an author. An author who uses the pen name Marcia Lewis.
Speaking about her mother, she wrote her only book in 1996, which is a gossip biography, The Private Lives of the Three Tenors. When the Lewinsky scandal hit, the press actually compared Lewis’ unproven “hints” that she engaged in an affair with the opera star Plácido Domingo to her own daughter’s sexual relationship with Bill Clinton. HMM.
Not The First
Err, it is alleged that in 1992, Monica began a five year affair with Andy Bleiler. Bleiler was her very married former high school drama instructor. However, we will reiterate that this is just an allegation.
So Bill Clinton wrote and published his chronological autobiography in 2004, titled My Life. Now Monica Lewinsky was especially critical of Clinton’s autobiography! She declared that she believed he would correct the incredibly false statements of which he made when trying to protect the Presidency.
Here’s what she said to The Daily Mail about Bill Clinton’s book, “He could have made it right with the book, but he hasn’t. He is a revisionist of history. He has lied. […] I really didn’t expect him to go into detail about our relationship. […] But if he had and he’d done it honestly, I wouldn’t have minded. […] I did, though, at least expect him to correct the false statements he made when he was trying to protect the Presidency.” She adds, “Instead, he talked about it as though I had laid it all out there for the taking. I was the buffet and he just couldn’t resist the dessert. […] This was a mutual relationship, mutual on all levels, right from the way it started and all the way through. […] I don’t accept that he had to completely desecrate my character.”
Let’s Clear The Air
During an interview with Vanity Fair in 2014, Monica Lewinsky spoke about her affair with Bill Clinton, saying that it was a relationship with two consenting adults. Furthermore she said that it was down to the public humiliation which she suffered during the scandal that has permanently altered her life. “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.”
During all of the highly intense media attention when the Lewinsky scandal kicked off, Monica admitted that she only survived it all by…knitting. To each their own!
Well, in 2014 Monica Lewinsky finally spoke up about her affair with President Clinton. She wrote a piece in Vanity Fair for the first time in years! She said, “It’s time to burn the beret and bury the blue dress.” Then she adds, “I, myself, deeply regret what happened between me and President Clinton. Let me say it again: I. Myself. Deeply. Regret. What. Happened.”
Hillary Clinton Hitback
But Monica Lewinsky also responded to the reports which made public in February. The ones about Hillary Clinton. See, during the 90’s, Hillary characterized Monica as a “narcissistic loony toon” to her close friend, Diane Blair. “My first thought,” Monica wrote, “as I was getting up to speed: If that’s the worst thing she said, I should be so lucky. Mrs. Clinton, I read, had supposedly confided to Blair that, in part, she blamed herself for her husband’s affair (by being emotionally neglectful) and seemed to forgive him. Although she regarded Bill as having engaged in ‘gross inappropriate behavior,’ the affair was, nonetheless, ‘consensual (was not a power relationship).’”
Let’s not forget that in 2003, Monica hosted a reality TV dating program, Mr. Personality. Yeah, she did. In the show, she actually advised young women who were picking men whose faces were hidden by masks. Many viewers organized boycotts but the ratings were high anyways. However after a few weeks, ratings fell, and social media tore her apart. The New York Times reporter Alessandra Stanley said, “After years of trying to cash in on her fame by designing handbags and other self-marketing schemes, Ms. Lewinsky has finally found a fitting niche on television.”
The D Word
Remember how we said that Monica Lewinsky has dated but never married over the years? Well some believe that it is because of her parent’s messy divorce when she was in her teens. Well, it is plausible.
Recently, the whole #TakeTheKnee movement has taken life. Many celebrities and athletes are using the movement to raise awareness for race issues, most are even directed toward the new President, Donald Trump. Well it seems that this new movement has taken Monica’s name into effect, in a lewd way as Lewinsky said to People Magazine. “There are many ways that I have been able to move forward but there are certainly times [like] with that meme that was going around, where I’m still held frozen in amber from incidents from two decades past,” she explained
Going off the last tidbit, Monica also said, “It reminds me once again what it’s like to be on the other side. And it’s sometimes made worse when I know people I care about – especially my family—see these memes, too.”
Not A Punchline
One thing that Monica is making clear is, “I’m not a punchline, I’m a human being and I belong to people. I’m a daughter, I’m a step-daughter, I’m a sister, I’m a cousin, a niece, an aunt. I’m dimensional, not just a punchline.”
Revisiting The Scandal in 2017
HLN, the sister network of CNN, is revisiting “the shocking affair that nearly toppled a presidency” with a two-part special (airs on How It Happened With Hill Harper) on Monica Lewinsky and former President Bill Clinton. Basically HLN states that, “All [interviewees] share behind-the-scenes stories about how the affair began, how it was uncovered and how the investigation and impeachment unfolded. The episode also includes, from the vast CNN archive, the secret Tripp audio recordings and interviews with Lewinsky and Tripp.”
Going off the last message, Monica Lewinsky was not happy with the title the show chose, so she took to social media to make a few changes. She crossed out the title HLN wrote and offered her own suggestions such as: “The Starr Investigation” or “The Clinton Impeachment.” She ended the Twitter post by saying, “Fixed it for you. You’re welcome.”
And The List Includes
HLN have said, “It was the shocking affair that nearly toppled a presidency… The scandal would make household names of Linda Tripp and Ken Starr… and change how the media covers the president of the United States.” Some of the interviews include Clinton advisers, White House journalists, and others. The episode aired December 3, 2017.
So…was the title changed? HLN’s vice president of communications said, “Taking into account recent events, and to more accurately represent the storyline, the episode is now titled ‘The Clinton-Lewinsky Scandal.'” Cause that’s better?
When Monica Lewinsky penned that Vanity Fair article, she said something that stuck with many people. She spoke about the different names she’s taken on, “America’s B.J. Queen. That Intern. That Vixen. Or, in the inescapable phrase of our 42nd president, “That Woman.” Lewinsky said that often people forget she’s just a person, and name-calling can leave scars we can’t see. She’s dealt with a lot and knows she probably will for quite some time.
So where has Monica Lewinsky been since that sizzling Vanity Fair article? Well as she put it herself, “No longer. It’s time to burn the beret and bury the blue dress. And move forward.”
Time magazine actually ran a piece titled “Top 10 Mistresses” and yes, Monica Lewinsky makes the cut. She’s number eight actually. The magazine wrote, “Post-affair: Lewinsky summed it up well: ‘I’m well-known for something that isn’t great to be well-known for.'” Well thanks for that Time.
Due to Monica’s immunity agreement, she was restricted on what she could actually talk about publicly. However she was allowed to work with Andrew Morton when he wrote her biography, called Monica’s Story, which included Monica’s side of the entire Clinton affair.
If you recall in June 1999, Ms. Magazine published a series of articles which were written by three prominent female figures at the time. Writer Susan Jane Gilman, the sexologist Susie Bright, and author-host Abiola Abrams – these three women argued via three generations of women on whether Lewinsky’s behavior had meaning for feminism. Only when Lewinsky wrote her Vanity Fair piece did she talk about how much those articles hurt her, the vulgar way they depicted her was shocking.
Black and White
In March 2002, Lewinsky was no longer tied to the terms of her immunity agreement. Therefore she appeared on the HBO special, “Monica in Black and White”, which was a part of the America Undercover series. While on the show, she answered numerous questions from a studio audience’s about her personal life and naturally the Clinton affair. Of course one question absolutely floored Lewinsky and the viewers….
That terrible question? “How does it feel to be America’s premier blow-job queen?” To which Lewinsky was absolutely thunderstruck. Other people in the audience shouted out, ““Don’t answer it!” But Monica answer the question, to the audience, she said, “It’s hurtful and it’s insulting. And as insulting as it is to me, it’s even more insulting to my family. I don’t actually know why this whole story became about oral sex. I don’t. It was a mutual relationship.… The fact that it did is maybe a result of a male-dominated society.” To what she replied to the man who asked the question was different…
To the man in the audience, Monica Lewinsky instead said, “‘I looked straight at the smirking guy who had asked the question. ‘You might be better poised to answer that.’ After a pause, I added, ‘That’s probably cost me another year of therapy.’”