Monica Lewinsky appeared in Vancouver Thursday for a TED Talk and went straight to the point.
“At the age of 22, I fell in love with my boss. And at the age of 24, I learned the devastating consequences,” began Monica Lewinsky.
Monica Lewinsky’s TED Talk appearance and sharing details of her famed affair with former president Bill Clinton seems to coincide suspiciously with Hillary Clinton’s ramp-up to a presidential run.
Lewinsky once again acknowledged her role in the affair and shared how the aftermath has affected the rest of her life.
“Now I admit I made mistakes — especially wearing that beret — but the attention and judgment that I received — not the story, but that I personally received — was unprecedented,” said Monica Lewinsky. “I was branded as a tramp, tart, slut, whore, bimbo and, of course, ‘that woman.’ I was known by many, but actually known by few. I get it. It was easy to forget ‘that woman’ was dimensional and had a soul.”
For many years, Lewinsky remained in the background, but she has emerged of late with a new image and very outspoken against cyberbullying, which was the subject of her TED Talk.
— TED Talks (@TEDTalks) March 19, 2015
Because of the timing of the affair, Lewinsky was one of the first to be harassed by internet trolls, even before the term became commonplace.
However, Monica Lewinsky said that early harassment was nothing compared to what some experience today.
“Public humiliation as a blood sport has to stop,” said Lewinsky. “We need to return to a long-held value of compassion and empathy.”
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 20, 2015
Monica Lewinsky offered encouragement to those who are bullied on the internet, reminding them that there is always a future, despite the pain and devastation.
“Anyone who is suffering from shame and public humiliation needs to know one thing: you can survive it,” she said. “I know it’s hard. It may not be painless, quick or easy, but you can insist on a different ending to your story.”