Monica Lewinsky: 'I Was The First Person Destroyed By the Internet'

by Rosalyn Oshmyansky 12:02 PM PDT, October 20, 2014
Photo: Forbes Magazine

We all remember it — those infamous words from Bill Clinton, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."

"That woman," Monica Lewinsky knows all about public shaming after being on the receiving end of her 1998 sex scandal with President Bill Clinton.

Now, 16 years later, Lewinsky is making her first public address to launch a "cultural revolution" and put an end to cyberbullying.

The 41-year-old opened up about how the internet impacted her life at Forbes' "30 Under 30" summit in Philadelphia. She said, "I was the first person to have their reputation completely destroyed worldwide via the Internet."

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Times have certainly changed though with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram that allow for more sharing of unkind words, but she says that her experience was the "first moment of truly 'social media.'"

Although those social media sites did not exist back then, she points out that the "gossip, news and entertainment web sites replete with comment sections and emails which could be forwarded" added to her pain. She says the thought, "I want to die" went through her mind.

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Lewinsky spoke to Vanity Fair this past May about her affair with the former president that resulted in his impeachment by the House of Representatives and acquittal from the Senate saying, "I am determined to have a different ending to my story. 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."

She's putting actions to her words now by raising awareness to her campaign, and she even joined Twitter and we all know how mean those users can be.

You can follow her @MonicaLewinsky.

"Having survived myself, what I want to do now is help other victims of the shame game survive, too," she said.

Watch Monica Lewinsky speak out on how she was a virgin to humiliation in the video below.

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