The former White House intern revealed she ‘considered suicide’ after her sexual relationship with Bill Clinton was made public.
In an interview for the Guardian, Lewinsky described the pain she still suffers nearly two decades after being humiliated in the world’s press.
But the media weren’t the only ones condemning Lewinsky back in the 90s – unexpected public figures including some feminist writers also took part in the backlash against her, reports Mashable.
She told the Guardian:
The shame sticks to you like tar. I think it’s fair to say that whatever mistakes I made, I was hung out to dry by a lot of people – by a lot of the feminists who had loud voices.
Though Lewinsky never attempted suicide, she told the Guardian she came very close to it – even working out how she would have ended her life.
Lewinsky also explained how she is now trying to face up to her past and ‘reclaim it’ by sharing her story:
There’s shame about the shame. So there’s a tendency to not want to tell someone what’s going on.
She first broke her decade of silence in 2014 when she wrote a story called ‘Shame And Survival’ for Vanity Fair and last year she gave a TED talk in which she said: “If I’m stuck with my past, giving it purpose feels meaningful to me.”
When asked by the Guardian if she thinks she would’ve received the same treatment if the scandal broke today, Lewinsky said she hopes it would’ve been different – but she’s uncertain.
But it does seem that attitudes have changed for the better.
Following the latest interview, the Internet has responded very sympathetically – even from some people who admitted they had given her a hard time in the 90s:
Monica Lewinsky is such a goddamn inspiration. I regret not thinking of her as a human in the 1990’s. https://t.co/WAAFa7muK2
— Julia Gumm (@jujubee_84) April 16, 2016
Monica Lewinsky was in her early 20s. It disgusts me how the media destroyed her overnight. She is owed an apology she’ll never get.
— Charles Clymer (@cmclymer) April 16, 2016
Monica Lewinsky is honestly a beautiful soul who doesn’t deserve the shame that follows her https://t.co/N1tAAXvlLp
— NireMalyw (@ErinWylam) April 16, 2016
— Cheryl Strayed (@CherylStrayed) April 16, 2016
The disproportionate vilification of women involved with an affair – like Monica Lewinsky – is the epitome of misogyny.
— Khaled Beydoun (@KhaledBeydoun) April 16, 2016
And it seems that people’s support has meant a great deal to Lewinsky:
— Monica Lewinsky (@MonicaLewinsky) April 16, 2016
It’s nice to know that people can revise their opinions over time.