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 March 1, 2024

Monica Lewinsky has rebuilt her life 26 years after her affair with Clinton and rise to infamy

Monica Lewinsky has been building a life and career apart from the fame her affair with former President Bill Clinton brought her, People reported. The 50-year-old continues to deal with the aftermath of her notoriety as she and Clinton are linked forever.

Lewinsky met Clinton during his first term as president. The pair began an adulterous relationship, which made national headlines in 1998 after a series of court cases revealed their dalliances.

"At the age of 22, I fell in love with my boss. And at the age of 24, I learned the devastating consequences," Lewinsky said during a 2015 Ted Talk.

The Rest Is History

The sordid details of Lewinsky's trysts with the president soon became fodder for the media, from late-night talk shows to conservative media. It would culminate in her July 1998 testimony, where Lewinsky received immunity in exchange for her story and a particular blue dress that carried evidence of a sexual encounter.

"Not a day goes by that I am not reminded of my mistake, and I regret that mistake deeply. In 1998, after having been swept up in an improbable romance, I was then swept up into the eye of a political, legal, and media maelstrom like we had never seen before," Lewinsky shared.

It surely stung when Clinton, who was her former sexual partner, referred to Lewinsky as "that woman" while denying their relationship. That was only the beginning of her ordeal of having her name smeared in public.

"In 1998, when news of my affair with Bill Clinton broke, I was arguably the most humiliated person in the world. Thanks to the Drudge Report, I was also possibly the first person whose global humiliation was driven by the internet," Lewinsky said.

She attempted to escape the public eye, eventually by moving across the pond and enrolling in the London School of Economics. "I had more anonymity in London, perhaps due to the fact that I spent most of my waking hours in class or buried in the library," Lewinsky said of her time in England.

Rebuilding Respectability

Lewinsky attempted many economic endeavors over the years, from selling her own brand of purses to roles in public relations and marketing. Still, she shied away from the spotlight until 2014, when she realized her experience could be valuable to others.

After the death of Tyler Clementi, a college freshman who committed suicide after his kiss with another man was broadcast on the internet, Lewinsky wanted to help. "In the wake of Tyler’s tragedy, my own suffering took on a different meaning," Lewinsky recalled.

"Perhaps by sharing my story, I reasoned, 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?"

Since then, Lewinsky has found herself embracing her past and participating in creating the narrative around her own experience. She collaborated with the making of Ryan Murphy's Impeachment: American Crime Story and produced content of her own.

Lewinsky is forever linked with Clinton even decades after their relationship has ended. However, she has built a new life that has turned out relatively well in spite of her connection with Clinton while the once-adored ex-president fades into old age and obscurity.

Written By:
Christine Favocci

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