Monica Lewinsky recalls her ‘terror’ at stepping back into the public eye after years of hiding in the wake of the Bill Clinton scandal – as she opens up about her ‘long journey’ to finding joy in 25 years since her affair with then-President was revealed
- The activist, 50, opened up about getting to ‘reclaim’ the narrative about her life
- She and President Bill Clinton had an affair while she was a White House intern
- Lewinsky retreated from the limelight before making a return in 2014
Monica Lewinsky has revealed how making the ‘terrifying’ decision to step back into the public eye has helped her to ‘reclaim’ the narrative about her life, following the infamous fallout over her affair with then-president Bill Clinton.
The American activist, who recently turned 50, spoke candidly on the Today show about how the ‘younger generations’ played a huge part in helping to change the attitudes about her story, resulting in her 40s being the ‘best decade’ of her life.
Opening up to host Savannah Guthrie on Tuesday, Monica admitted that she felt ‘incredibly grateful’ to now be seen as a respected writer after initially having to shy away from the limelight in the years after her part in the political scandal that sent shockwaves across the globe.
‘I was so overwhelmed with gratitude in that people see me for my true self now,’ she said. ‘That I have been able to find a purpose to my past, that my narrative has been revisited, and I was able to reclaim it – in large part [with help] from younger generations.’
Monica Lewinsky has revealed why taking a step back into the public eye helped her to ‘reclaim’ the narrative about her life
Monica noted that she had been nervous to step back into the spotlight like she did in 2014, but explained that it had been the best move to make.
‘It was terrifying. I mean, and I find doing this [interview] hard. It’s not natural to me,’ she explained. ‘But it was a long journey from 1998. It’s been 25 years now. And I am really grateful for where things are now.’
Lewinsky famously had an affair with Clinton from 1995 until 1997, with their relationship beginning when she was a 22-year-old unpaid White House intern. It eventually led to his impeachment.
On August 17, 1998, after multiple denials, the former President appeared on television and finally confessed, insisting he was ‘solely and completely responsible’ for the relationship.
The affair and its fallout became known as the Clinton–Lewinsky scandal.
After spending time away from the public, Monica made a grand return in 2014 with a personal essay for Vanity Fair.
She has since dedicated a large portion of her time to advocating against online bullying and working to help create a safer social media environment.
In 2019, she then signed on as a producer on Impeachment: American Crime Story, Ryan Murphy’s series chronicling her affair with Clinton and his impeachment trial.
Monica famously became tabloid fodder in the late 1990s after her two-year affair with then-president Bill Clinton in the 1990s came to light
The American activist spoke candidly on the Today show about how the ‘younger generations’ played a part in helping to change attitudes about her story
She stated that it all led to her 40s being the ‘best decade’ of her life so far as she’s now become a respected writer, activist and producer
She went on to launch her own production company, Alt Ending Productions, in 2021 – signing a first-look deal for scripted dramas with 20th Television.
Reflecting on her experiences over the past ten years, Monica gushed: ‘It has been the best decade for me. I’m incredibly grateful. Turning 40 was horrible and turning 50 was very empowering.’
Savannah then noted that Monica appeared to have found her purpose and passion during that time, adding that the star was already working on a new TV project following the success of her collaboration with Ryan Murphy.
Monica teased: ‘I wish it were announced already, but I’m executive producing a series on another young woman who found her life decimated and ripped apart on the world stage, but she somehow managed to survive.
‘I think it’s going to be really powerful and hopefully they will announce it soon.’
25 years ago, the world was gripped by the intimate details of President Clinton’s affair with White House intern Monica; pictured together in Oval Office in 1997
Monica worked as a producer on Impeachment: American Crime Story, the Ryan Murphy series chronicling her affair with Clinton and his impeachment trial
Monica had appeared on the morning show to promote a new PSA about the dangers of self-bullying.
‘Self-bullying is bullying,’ Monica noted. ‘This year’s campaign was really personal for me, so I had an experience about ten years ago or so where I had taken these four seminars anonymously.’
She continued: ‘In the course of hearing myself say these [inner thoughts] out loud, I realized how cruel I was being to myself and I would never say those things to someone else.
‘I think for me and what I found is, first of all, we have to recognize the likelihood we’re going to eradicate the negative voice in our head is not very high.’
The writer added: ‘It is about catching yourself and course correcting. Whether that course correcting is to something positive, and if you can’t do that, then try going neutral.’
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