Monica Lewinsky, the onetime White House intern whose 1990s
affair with Bill Clinton nearly brought down his presidency,
broke a long silence today, saying she regretted what
Writing in Vanity Fair magazine, Lewinsky, 40, said it
was time to stop "tiptoeing around my past -- and other
people's futures. I am determined to have a different ending
to my story."
Her affair with Clinton was one between consenting adults and
the public humiliation she suffered altered the direction of
her life, she wrote.
"Any 'abuse' came in the aftermath, when I was made a
scapegoat in order to protect his powerful position," she
said in excerpts of the article published on the magazine's
Lewinsky added, "I, myself, deeply regret what happened
between me and President Clinton. Let me say it again: I.
Myself. Deeply. Regret. What. Happened."
The affair led to Clinton's being impeached by the House of
Representatives in 1999. The Senate acquitted him and Clinton
completed his second term in 2001.
Lewinsky dropped from sight after the scandal. She got a
master's degree in social psychology from the London School
of Economics and has lived in Los Angeles, New York and
"I turned down offers that would have earned me more than $10
million, because they didn't feel like the right thing to
do," she said.
Lewinsky said she was strongly tempted to kill herself
several times during the investigations and in one or two
Her name resurfaced in U.S. political discourse in February,
when former first lady and Democratic presidential
front-runner Hillary Clinton was quoted as calling her "a
narcissistic loony toon" in an article based on the papers of
a Clinton friend.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, a likely Republican presidential
contender, accused Democrats of "hypocrisy" for claiming to
back women's rights while giving Bill Clinton a pass for his
"predatory" behavior towards Lewinsky.
Spokesmen for the Clintons and the Clinton Foundation in New
York had no immediate comment on the article.
Lewinsky said she was motivated to speak out by the 2010
suicide of a Rutgers University student who killed himself
after a video of him kissing a man was streamed online.
"I was also possibly the first person whose global
humiliation was driven by the Internet," Lewinsky wrote.
Her goal "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."