Monica Lewinsky Blames the Internet

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Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, probably due to growing Clinton nostalgia in politics and on Tumblr, broke her silence with a personal essay for Vanity Fair this month. In it, she posits, "thanks to the Drudge Report, I was ... possibly the first person whose global humiliation was driven by the Internet." 

The full essay will be available digitally on Thursday, but here are the highlights. Lewinsky, who is only 40 now, expresses regret: "I, myself, deeply regret what happened between me and President Clinton. Let me say it again: I. Myself. Deeply. Regret. What. Happened." She also says she's ready to move on: "It’s time to burn the beret and bury the blue dress." And she assures conspiracy theorists that the Clintons did not buy her silence up until now: "I can assure you that nothing could be further from the truth." 

Lewinsky also makes a point to note that her affair with President Clinton was consensual, and that he did not abuse her. The abuse she suffered was at the hands of the media, she says. Now, the Internet is a much more friendly place for Lewinsky, especially the teen Internet. As The Wire noted earlier this year, Lewinsky is a big part of the '90s nostalgia that permeates Tumblr and sites like Buzzfeed. Beyoncé put her in a song on her latest album. 

Lewinsky says she was motivated to go public with her story after she read about 18-year-old Tyler Clementi, who committed suicide after a video of him kissing another man was posted online. She writes, "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." She says her goal now "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."

Update: Everything has now come full circle. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.