Monica Lewinsky is putting her beret behind her — and her blue dress too.
Now 40, Lewinsky speaks out in the June edition of Vanity Fair. The time has come, she writes, “to burn the beret and bury the blue dress.”
After nearly 10 years of silence, the question is: why now?
Lewinsky explains following the tragic suicide of Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi in 2010 — after the 18-year-old was secretly shown kissing another man via Webcam) — ”my own suffering took on a different meaning.”
“Perhaps by sharing my story,” she explained, “I might be able to help others in their darkest moments of humiliation. The question became: How do I find and give a purpose to my past?”
The article, a preview of which is available on VanityFair.com, serves up nuggets of gossip on a silver platter (and promises a lot more to come).
On Bill Clinton:
“I, myself, deeply regret what happened between me and President Clinton. Let me say it again: I. Myself. Deeply. Regret. What. Happened.”“Sure, my boss took advantage of me, but I will always remain firm on this point: it was a consensual relationship. Any ‘abuse’ came in the aftermath, when I was made a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful position… . The Clinton administration, the special prosecutor’s minions, the political operatives on both sides of the aisle, and the media were able to brand me. And that brand stuck, in part because it was imbued with power.”
She requests one correction of Beyoncé, regarding the lyrics to her recent hit “Partition”: “Thanks, Beyoncé, but if we’re verbing, I think you meant ‘Bill Clinton’d all on my gown,’ not ‘Monica Lewinsky’d.’”
On finding jobs:
“I turned down offers that would have earned me more than $10 million, because they didn’t feel like the right thing to do.” After moving between London (where she got her master’s degree in social psychology at the London School of Economics), Los Angeles, New York, and Portland, Oregon, she interviewed for numerous jobs in communications and branding with an emphasis on charity campaigns, but, “because of what potential employers so tactfully referred to as my ‘history,’” she writes, “I was never ‘quite right’ for the position.
On her future:
It is time to stop “tiptoeing around my past—and other people’s futures. I am determined to have a different ending to my story. I’ve decided, finally, to stick my head above the parapet so that I can take back my narrative and give a purpose to my past. (What this will cost me, I will soon find out.)
Anne Cohen was the Forward’s deputy digital media editor. When she’s not looking for the secret Jewish history of Voodoo in New Orleans, or making lists about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, she writes for The Assimilator. She graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism with an M.S. magazine concentration in 2012.
Monica Lewinsky Puts Blue Dress Behind Her