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After keeping out of the spotlight for more than a decade, Monica Lewinsky was back in the headlines Tuesday (May 6th) in a surprise new essay in Vanity Fair. In excerpts out yesterday, the former White House intern, who's now 40, writes that it's time to stop, quote, "tiptoeing around my past -- and other people's futures," saying she'd made a point of staying quiet during Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential run. She states, "I am determined to have a different ending to my story. I've decided, finally, to stick my head about the parapet."

Some of what Lewinsky writes:

  • "Sure my boss [President Clinton] 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."
  • "I, myself, deeply regret what happened between me and President Clinton. Let me say it again: I. Myself. Deeply. Regret. What. Happened."
  • "It's time to burn the beret and bury the blue dress."
  • "I was . . . possibly the first person whose global humiliation was driven by the Internet."

Lewinsky, who despite earning a master's degree in social psychology from the London School of Economics, said she's had trouble finding work because of the scandal, says she was motivated by the 2010 suicide of gay Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi, who killed himself after a video of him kissing a man was streamed online as a "joke." She says she remembers contemplating suicide during the Clinton scandal and in its aftermath, and wants to get involved in efforts to help victims of online humiliation and harassment, and to start speaking publcly about it. She said, "Perhaps by sharing my story, I might be able to help others in their darkeset moments of humiliation.

  • Clinton first broke her silence in a March 1999 interview with Barbara Walters, one month after Clinton was acquitted in the Senate following his impeachment. She also cooperated with Andrew Morton on his book, Monica's Story, the same year.