I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time lately thinking about Monica Lewinsky. Okay, not inordinate — just every time I hear Partition, which is played an inordinate amount of times on the radio. But I digress.
I think of Lewinsky every time I hear that part in Partition where ‘Yonce sings of how her husband “Monica Lewinsky’d all on my gown.” I laugh and wonder something like, “Geez, can you imagine what it must be like to have your name be synonymous with performing a blow job … forever?” That is, until yesterday.
Lewinsky, a woman still best known publicly for those occasions nearly two decades ago where she, ahem, serviced then-President Bill Clinton, is back.
In the latest issue of Vanity Fair, she breaks her 17-year silence, writing, “It’s time to burn the beret and bury the blue dress,” allusions, respectively, to the hideous hat she wore in a widely circulated picture and the dress she saved after her lover, Clinton, um, sullied it.
The full article, “Shame and Survival” won’t be released until Thursday, but Vanity Fair’s excerpts promise a story that’s pretty by-the-book as far as ‘Where Are They Now?” stories go. Lewinsky’s admissions are predictable in that, surprise, surprise, she “deeply regrets” her presidential affair and considers “what happened” to be “consensual,” though she does feel “my boss took advantage of me.”
She also believes she was made a “scapegoat” in order to protect the President. Perhaps the most striking admission thus far is that Lewinsky contemplated suicide multiple times — but never attempted it — which isn’t so shocking given her worldwide ridicule but still alarming to read how her mother sat by her bed at night afraid that her daughter “would be literally humiliated to death.”
It was an unexpectedly sad read. Lewinsky made a profoundly bad decision at 23, and at 40, she still pays the price for it. She’s never held a real job, despite her master’s degree from the London School of Economics, she’s recognized daily, and after all this time, she’s still a pop culture punch line. (Lewinsky goes on record correcting Beyonce’ for that “Monica Lewinsky-ed” line in “Partition.” Apparently “Bill Clinton-d” would be more accurate.) She’s never been permitted the chance to move on from the scandal.
As I was reading, I kept wondering, “Why is she telling us this now?” especially after I got to the part about Lewinsky not being paid to be silent all this time. In the Vanity Fair excerpts, she explains her motives a few different ways.
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