Monica Lewinsky, the one-time White House intern whose affair with Bill Clinton in the 1990s nearly brought down his presidency, vowed on Monday to help others survive the "shame game" of public humiliation.
In a rare public appearance, Lewinsky spoke at Forbes' inaugural 30 Under 30 summit in Philadelphia, saying her depiction in the media - as a constant punch line for late-night comedians and fuel for Internet gossip - destroyed her sense of self.
"That's what happened to me in 1998 when public Monica, that Monica, that woman was born, the creature from the media lagoon. I lost my reputation. I was publicly identified as someone I didn't recognize. And I lost my sense of self --- lost it --- or had it stolen, because in a way it was a form of identity theft," she said.
Lewinsky said she was the first person to have their reputation destroyed over the Internet and she would now use her experience to help others deal with cyber-bullying and online violations of privacy.