Why Is Monica Lewinsky Famous?
Monica Lewinsky is famous (or infamous) for her alleged affair with the 42nd President of the United States of America, Bill Clinton. The Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton Affair became one of the most publicised scandals in the world, to the point where the press was even criticized for over-coverage.
What is the Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton Affair?
The affair, often called the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, was the improper relationship between the married and then 49-year old president, Bill Clinton, and the then 22-year old, entry-level government worker, Monica Lewinsky.
The relationship was seen as improper for many reasons: Bill Clinton’s infidelity to his wife (Hillary Clinton), Monica’s sexual advances to a married man, and President Bill Clinton being predatory to a woman who is 27 years his junior.
Let’s take a deeper look at what caused the event, what happened when the affair was revealed, and what the aftermath was with the timeline below.
The President and the Intern
Lewinsky and Clinton started their relationship in November of 1995 and it ended By March 1997. With Lewinsky fawning over the powerful and handsome Clinton. She understood that the President was much older than herself, but at that time, for Monica Lewinsky, age was just a number.
They started by flirting and giving gifts to each other until one thing led to another and it led to a sexual affair.
The Supposed Friend
Lewinsky understood that she had to keep her relationship with the President a secret, but she mistakenly confided in Linda Tripp. Through phone calls, Lewinsky told Tripp about her interactions with Clinton and how she feels about him, without sparing any details.
Linda Tripp realised that she could use this information at some time in the future, so she started to record their phone conversations. Tripp had also persuaded Lewinsky to keep a blue dress that was stained.
Tripp convinced Lewinsky by telling her that it could be used as evidence in the event that Clinton would turn on her, that for Monica Lewinsky the blue dress could protect her.
In the spring of 1998, Bill Clinton was being investigated for a sexual harassment case for exposing himself to the then Governor of Arkansas, Paula Jones.
Lewinsky, who was a member of Clinton’s constituents, was in line for interrogation. Although authorities questioned her relationship with the president, she understood the weight of the catastrophe that could happen if she told them, so she denied everything.
Lewinsky knew that Linda Tripp was also going to be questioned in court, so she asked Tripp to lie and commit perjury. Tripp was completely outraged by this suggestion she sent the tapes and the stained dress to the Office of Special Counsel.
The President’s Denial and Acquittal
Now turned into nothing but a soundbite, Bill Clinton’s quote, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” rang through so many televisions and radios throughout the world. His denial proved useless later on, thanks to the stained blue dress.
He later testified in court and was charged for obstruction of justice and perjury. Lucky for him, after a 21-day hearing, he was then acquitted of all charges and remained the President of the United States.
The Patient Zero of Internet Shaming
As news of her affair with the president broke, budding news websites and gossip tabloids started to monetise the scandalous event. She was criticised for public appearance and every choice, even fashion choices.
For example: back then, for Monica Lewinsky, berets were nothing but a fashion statement, but for tabloids, it would be a new angle to attack her from.
The scandal then started to fizzle down as the hearing with the grand jury ended. She was granted transactional immunity.
Where is Monica Lewinsky Now?
Now at 45 years old, Monica Lewinsky is an activist against cyber-bullying. Her most notable work as an activist was her Ted Talk, titled: The Price of Shame. In the speech, she talks about the dangers of public humiliation in the age of information. She also jokes about how one of her worst mistakes was wearing that beret.
She was also briefly a fashion designer and a TV personality, where she decided to turn the tables around and capitalized on her affair with the former president. She is said to have a net worth of around 500,000 USD.
She never married, so she does not have a husband and children.
Let’s end the article with a quote from Monica Lewinsky herself:
“If I have learned anything, it is that you cannot run away from who you are or from how you’ve been shaped by your experiences. Instead, you must integrate your past and present”
Despite the controversy, Monica Lewinsky is clearly a resilient woman.