WATCH: Monica Lewinsky, 'the creature from the media lagoon,' vows to help others

In a rare public appearance, Lewinsky spoke at Forbes' inaugural 30 Under 30 summit in Philadelphia, saying her depiction in the media destroyed her sense of self.

October 21, 2014 08:43
1 minute read.

Monica Lewinsky makes rare appearance

Monica Lewinsky makes rare appearance


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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.

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"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.

"Having survived myself, what I want to do now is help other victims of the shame game survive too," she said.

The affair led to Clinton being impeached by the House of Representatives in 1999. The Senate acquitted him and Clinton completed his second term in 2001.

Lewinsky largely dropped from sight after the scandal died out but her name resurfaced in US political discourse in February, when former first lady and Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton was quoted as calling her "a narcissistic looney-tune" in an article based on the papers of a Clinton friend.

Lewinsky broke her long silence in an article for Vanity Fair magazine in June, in which she said she deeply regretted what had happened and was "determined to have a different ending" to her story.

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