It’s been over two decades since former President invoice Clinton’s affair through 22-year-old White home intern Monica Lewinsky pertained to light. In those 2 decades, Lewinsky has gone from a politics punchline come anti-bullying advocate. Now, she’ll be help to retell her story together a producer on Ryan Murphy’s forthcoming TV series on Clinton’s impeachment.

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The affair in between Clinton and Lewinsky was an initial reported by media outlets in January the 1998, however Clinton didn’t admit having actually an “inappropriate relationship” with Lewinsky till that August, as soon as he apologized because that what he called “a an essential lapse in judgment and a an individual failure top top my part for which ns am exclusively and fully responsible.”


A photograph showing former White residence intern Monica Lewinsky conference President invoice Clinton in ~ a White House role submitted as proof in documents by the Starr investigation and released by the house Judiciary committee September 21, 1998.

Though Clinton to be a famous president also at the elevation of the scandal, during which he was impeached yet not gotten rid of from office, and his reputation has actually largely recovered.

But Lewinsky, currently 46, has said she to be bullied and also slut-shamed by the media for years after ~ the affair was made public. She was portrayed as a ditz on Saturday Night Live, while late-night master made sexual jokes at her expense. The new York buzzpatterson.coms’ columnist Maureen Dowd dubbed her “a ditsy, predatory White home intern who can have lie under oath because that a task at Revlon.” The wall Street Journal labeled her a “little tart,” when the brand-new York Post opted for “portly pepperpot.” Fox News ran a poll questioning whether Lewinsky to be an “average girl” or “young tramp in search of thrills,” through 54% rating her as a tramp.

Public opinion about Lewinsky is an altering too. The 20th anniversary of Clinton’s impeachment in 2018 fell amid a nationwide conversation around sexual harassment in the workplace. In one essay for the march 2018 issue of Vanity Fair, Lewinsky claimed that the #MeToo movement prompted her to start to grapple v the strength dynamics in ~ play in her partnership with Clinton. In a June 4, 2018, interview, NBC’s Craig Melvin inquiry Clinton whether he owed Lewinsky one apology in the wake of the #MeToo movement. Clinton said he go not, including that the apologized publicly yet never reached out to her personally.

“No. I have actually never speak to her. But I did say publicly on more than one occasion that ns was sorry. That’s very different,” Clinton said. “The apology to be public.”

Here’s how Lewinsky responded to the backlash and emerged native the scandal end the past two decades, and also what she’s act now.

Lewinsky claimed she had been “unfairly” portrayed

In a in march 1999 interview, Barbara Walters provided that Lewinsky had actually been defined as a “bimbo, a stalker, a seductress.” as soon as asked to describe herself, Lewinsky claimed she was “very loving, I’m an extremely loyal, ns think I’m smart … ns think I absolutely feel that I have been misportrayed in the previous year, and unfairly so.”

Later that year, writer Andrew Morton published Monica’s Story, a story of the previous White residence intern based upon interviews with Lewinsky. “It’s the story of exactly how an emotionally needy young woman sought come assuage she low self-esteem with eating binges and affairs through unavailable men,” the brand-new York buzzpatterson.coms’ Michiko Kakutani composed in a testimonial of the book.

As the scandal faded from the headlines, Lewinsky kept her head down. According to a 2001 interview through New York Magazine, Lewinsky moved to brand-new York City and started to run a handbag company. She claimed that the was challenging for she to uncover a job, informing the magazine: “People aren’t jumping to rental me.”

She moved to London in 2005 and also began functioning on her Master’s level in society psychology in ~ the London institution of Economics. Her former publicist called in 2009 the she was trying to stop publicity.

Lewinsky re-emerged with a an effective essay


Monica Lewinsky come at the TrevorLIVE Los Angeles advantage event in ~ the Hollywood Palladium top top December 7, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

In 2014, Lewinsky created an essay because that Vanity Fair, detailing she life ~ the affair and also the windy humiliation she endured. She said that she tried come look for tasks after graduating from the London college of Economics, but she was always turned away since of her past.

“Me, America’s B.J. Queen. The Intern. That Vixen. Or, in the unpreventable phrase of ours 42nd president, ‘That Woman,’ Lewinsky wrote. “It may surprise friend to discover that I’m actually a person.”

But she said that she found a purpose once she heard around the fatality of Tyler Clementi, who jumped off a leg in September 2010 after ~ his university roommate allegedly exit a video of him having sex with another man. She stated that Clementi’s fatality gave her own suffering a new meaning, as she realized that her example might aid others get through the suffer of being humiliated.

“I would never ever be therefore presumptuous as to equate my own story v Tyler Clementi’s. ~ all, my public humiliation had actually been the an outcome of my involvement v a world-renowned windy figure—that is, a an effect of my own bad choices,” she wrote. “I wished I had actually been able come say come him that i knew a small of exactly how it can have felt for him to be exposed before the world. And, as difficult as it is to imagine surviving it, that is possible.”

Lewinsky ended up being an advocate

Lewinsky, who has referred to as herself the “first to have my identity and also reputation savaged by the virality the the Web” has come to be an outspoken anti-cyberbullying advocate. In march 2015, she offered a powerful TED Talk about cyberbullying, receiving a was standing ovation.

In June 2015, she announced she would end up being a strategic advisor because that anti-bullying organization Bystander Revolution. She’s since launched an anti-cyberbullying emoji initiative and also unveiled an anti-bullying PSA.

Lewinsky obtained a couple of apologies

In her 2014 Vanity Fair essay, Lewinsky, who has constantly said the her partnership with Clinton was consensual, provided that she didn’t receive much support native feminists at the height of the scandal.

“Given the issues at play—gender politics, sex in the workplace — you’d think they would have spoken up,” Lewinsky wrote. “It likewise didn’t help that my instance was not one of conventional ‘sexual harassment."”

As Barbara Ehrenreich provided in a 1998 op-ed, couple of prominent feminists speak up in defense that Lewinsky, perhaps due to the fact that of their assistance of president Clinton’s politics. The Feminine Mystique author Betty Friedan referred to as her “some tiny twerp.”

In the years since, however, some who retained silent have expressed regret. For example, throughout a 1998 panel discussion, several influential women criticized and poked funny at Lewinsky — consisting of Fear that Flying author Erica Jong, that in 2015 apologized for making vital comments about Lewinsky. And it hasn’t simply been women: Comic bill Maher stated in 2014 the he “literally felt guilty” around his jokes around Lewinsky, and David Letterman said in 2014 the felt bad around making “relentless jokes around the poor woman.”

Lewinsky took on brand-new relevance


Writer Monica Lewinsky attends the 2017 Vanity fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg center for the Performing art on February 26, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Dave M. Benett/VF17/WireImage)

Some have viewed the situation as an especially relevant amid the #MeToo movement. For example, in November 2017, Pulitzer prize winner kathleen Parker composed in a tower for the Washington Post that Clinton — no Lewinsky — to be at fault because that the affair.

“It doesn’t issue if Lewinsky, then 21, pursued the president and also ‘knew’ what she was doing,” Parker wrote. “Obviously, given the long-term effects of this episode on she life, she didn’t.”

A spokesperson for Lewinsky called in 2018 that she wasn’t accessible for interview. In October 2017, Lewinsky tweeted #MeToo — the hashtag millions of human being used to indicate that they had experienced sex-related harassment and assault. It was unclear what specifically Lewinsky was referring come in she tweet.

In one essay for Vanity Fair’s march 2018 issue, Lewinsky said the #MeToo motion made her start to grapple with the strength dynamics at play in her connection with Clinton.

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“Now, in ~ 44, I’m beginning (just beginning) to consider the implications of the strength differentials that were so vast between a president and a White house intern. I’m start to game the id that in together a situation the idea the consent could well be rendered moot,” she wrote. “But it’s also complicated. Very, really complicated.”

“But I know one thing for certain: part of what has enabled me to shift is understanding I’m no alone anymore,” she added. “And because that that i am grateful.”

In recent years, Lewinsky has participated in popular music culture’s re-examination of the relationship. She sat for interviews because that the A&E docuseries The Clinton Affair, i beg your pardon aired in November 2018. ~ above Aug. 6, Lewinsky announced that she signed on to develop the upcoming season of Murphy‘s acclaimed American Crime Story, which will certainly be focused on the Clinton impeachment. Murphy had previously stated he would just do the display with Lewinsky’s participation. Beanie Feldstein will certainly play Lewinsky in the series.

“People have been co-opting and also telling my part in this story because that decades,” Lewinsky told Vanity Fair on Aug. 6. “In fact, that wasn’t until the past few years the I’ve been fully able to reclaim my narrative.”