Monica Lewinsky writes a new ending to her story

After reading excerpts of Monica Lewinsky’s piece in Vanity Fair, I felt relieved. She survived. After all these years, she seems okay.


First of all, it’s not an interview. Lewinsky isn’t leaving this version up to someone else.

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.


In the piece, she lays out her take of the damage done to her:

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.


On the rumor that Hillary Clinton called her a “narcissistic loony toon,” Lewinsky responds:

If that’s the worst thing she said, I should be so lucky…Hillary Clinton wanted it on record that she was lashing out at her husband’s mistress. She may have faulted her husband for being inappropriate, but I find her impulse to blame the Woman — not only me, but herself — troubling.”


Lewinsky takes control of the language of her story, refuting Beyonce’s lyrics in her song “Partition:”

Thanks, Beyoncé, but if we’re verbing, I think you meant ‘Bill Clinton’d all on my gown,’ not ‘Monica Lewinsky’d.


Now interested in helping victims of cyberbullying, Lewinsky writes:

Thanks to the Drudge Report, I was also possibly the first person whose global humiliation was driven by the Internet.

Citing the story of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi, who committed suicide after a video was released of him kissing another man, Lewinsky writes that she, too, was suicidal. She’s not anymore.

In these excerpts, Lewinsky comes off as smart and funny. I’m impressed with how she stays committed to writing/ creating her own story. That’s not an easy task for anyone, but it’s got to be epic for Lewinsky, whose narrative has been used and co-opted by the most powerful people in the world. Not to mention, of course, the thousand year old forces of our cultural imaginary– biblical, mythical, symbolic– casting Lewinsky as the young woman seductress along with her co-star, Clinton, the powerful man brought down by lust. Of course, Bill Clinton was able to resurrect himself on the public stage. I’d love to watch Lewinsky triumph as well.