Sixteen years after her name was indelibly tainted with the stigma of a presidential affair, Monica Lewinsky broke her silence in an article she penned for Vanity Fair magazine. Though the full article will not be published until later this week, the magazine released a preview of Lewinsky’s comments Tuesday.
The 40-year-old former White House intern wrote that she has been living with the baggage of her affair with Billl Clinton and the media circus that followed since it first became public in 1998.
“I, myself, deeply regret what happened between me and President Clinton,” she wrote.
While she maintains that she was an adult and responsible for her actions with Clinton, Lewinsky concludes that doesn’t mean there was no abuse – it just wasn’t of a sexual nature.
“Sure, my boss took advantage of me, but I will always remain firm on this point: it was a consensual relationship,” she explained. “Any ‘abuse’ abuse came in the aftermath, when I was made a scapegoat to protect his powerful position….”
She blamed the entire Clinton administration – as well as the prosecutorial forces out to convict the former president – of irrevocably changing her life by dictating the public’s perception of her.
“And that brand stuck, in part because it was imbued with power,” she wrote.
Lewinsky also cited the Drudge Report for making her “possibly the first person whose global humiliation was driven by the Internet.”
Her lengthy silence on the matter, Lewinsky admitted, strikes many as proof she was paid off by the Clintons.
“I can assure you that nothing could be further from the truth,” she explained. However, she does express concern over how her current candidness might negatively affect her.
Nevertheless, she said it is important to take back her life by bringing that chapter of her life into the open.
“I’ve decided,” she wrote, “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.)”
Lewinsky, who has since earned a master’s degree in social psychology, said she has had a difficult time finding legitimate work because of her association with the Clinton scandal. Though she has received many lucrative offers to capitalize on her notoriety, she said she has declined them all.
“I turned down offers that would have earned me more than $10 million, because they didn’t feel like the right thing to do.”
In addition to her own personal reasons, Lewinsky said she wanted to speak out publicly in an effort to comfort others who find themselves in a similar position.
“Perhaps by sharing my story, I reasoned, I might be able to help others in their darkest moments of humiliation,” she concluded. “The question became: How do I find and give a purpose to my past?”
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom