Monica Lewinsky may always be remembered for her infamous affair with Bill Clinton, but she's not hiding from her past.
In a new interview with Porter magazine (via New York Post), the former White House intern is opening up about the fallout from the scandal and re-emerging into public life after 16 years in hiding.
Lewinsky reveals that she never considered changing her name. "No one else in the investigation had to change their name. Why should I? I use aliases at times to protect my privacy, but I'm not ashamed of who I am."
While she recently joined Twitter and began contributing to Vanity Fair last year, the 41-year-old admits to staying under the radar for over a decade.
"For a long time, I didn't realize the implication of simple things, like looking for an apartment," she tells the mag. "Now when I fill out a form I have to think, 'Will somebody go to the press with my private information?'"
Now, Lewinsky is sharing her story to help stop Internet bullying.
"I was Patient Zero," she said during her a speech at Forbes' inaugural 30 Under 30 Summit. "The first person to have their reputation completely destroyed worldwide via the Internet."
"There was no Facebook, Twitter or Instagram back then," she explained. "But there were gossip, news and entertainment websites complete with comment sections and emails which could be forwarded. Of course, it was all done on the excruciatingly slow dial up. Yet around the world this story went. A viral phenomenon that, you could argue, was the first moment of truly 'social media.'"
Lewinsky also described what is was like to read the details of Clinton's affair online ... and the public humiliation that followed her for years.
"Staring at the computer screen, I spent the day shouting: 'Oh my god!' and 'I can't believe they put that in' or 'That's so out of context,'" she recalled. "And those were the only thoughts that interrupted a relentless mantra in my head: 'I want to die.'"
"Having survived myself, what I want to do now is help other victims of the shame game survive, too," she said. “I want to put my suffering to good use and give purpose to my past."
Check out Lewinsky's full interview with Porter, on newsstands Friday and also in a digital edition.