Monica Lewinsky just gave a very rare interview about the aftermath of the President Clinton sex scandal.
Now 42, the former White House intern is speaking out about the "shame" that followed after the explicit details of their affair went public.
"I felt like every layer of my skin and my identity were ripped off of me in '98 and '99," she tells The Guardian. "It's a skinning of sorts. You feel incredibly raw and frightened. But I also feel like the shame sticks to you like tar."
And while Lewinsky was a common target on the late night shows back in the day, she says it wasn't just men who came after her when it came to slut-shaming.
"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," she continues. "I wish it had been handled differently. It was very scary and very confusing to be a young woman thrust on to the world stage and not belonging to any group. I didn't belong to anybody."
When asked if she thinks the media would react different now, she replies, "I hope so. I don't know."
Monica tells the reporter that she never attempted suicide, but "came very close." When pressed on whether she "worked out" how she'd do it, she says, "Yes. I think some young people don't see suicide as an ending, but as a reset."
She's since turned her life around, moved to London and has recently become a social activist against cyberbullying.
"To be able to give a purpose to my past, if I'm stuck with my past, feels meaningful to me," she says now.
"Integrate what has happened to you. Integrate the experience, the faster the better," she advises. "There's shame about the shame. So there's a tendency to not want to tell someone what's going on."
As for if she's worried about Donald Trump bringing her up during his campaign against Hillary Clinton, she choses her words very carefully.
"How's this? I'm affected by what happens on the world stage. But I don't let it deter me," she says. "I'm incredibly grateful for the movement I have in my life right now."
Read more over at The Guardian. And check out the gallery above to see more '90s Scandals' stars!
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