Monica Lewinsky Says She Empathized with Tyler Clementi Over Public Online Humiliation


Monica Lewinsky is talking about her affair with Bill Clinton in a new Vanity Fair profile, and talks about why she's going public:

When Tyler Clementi, the 18-year-old Rutgers freshman who was secretly streamed via Webcam kissing another man, committed suicide in September 2010, Lewinsky writes, she was brought to tears, but her mother was especially distraught: “She was reliving 1998, when she wouldn’t let me out of her sight. She was replaying those weeks when she stayed by my bed, night after night, because I, too, was suicidal. The shame, the scorn, and the fear that had been thrown at her daughter left her afraid that I would take my own life—a fear that I would be literally humiliated to death.” Lewinsky clarifies that she has never actually attempted suicide, but had strong suicidal temptations several times during the investigations and during one or two periods after.

Lewinsky writes that following Clementi’s tragedy “my own suffering took on a different meaning. Perhaps by sharing my story, I reasoned, I might be able to help others in their darkest moments of humiliation. The question became: How do I find and give a purpose to my past?” She also says that, when news of her affair with Clinton broke in 1998, not only was she arguably the most humiliated person in the world, but, “thanks to the Drudge Report, I was also possibly the first person whose global humiliation was driven by the Internet.” Her current goal, she says, “is to get involved with efforts on behalf of victims of online humiliation and harassment and to start speaking on this topic in public forums.”

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  1. Hey Darlin' says

    We are left to wonder if it’s purely coincidence that she disappeared until another Clinton might run for president. Is it purely interest in the Clinton’s that has renewed interest in her or is it something more, a reminder perhaps?

  2. pete n sfo says

    The best way to avoid the scorn of public criticism is by not continuing to include the public.

    I feel for her, we all make mistakes. However, as they say, we really can’t miss you if you won’t go away.

  3. Derrick from Philly says

    Did they let her keep her navy blue dress I hope she didn’t send to the cleaners. It’ll be worth millions one day.

  4. kdknyc says

    This is republican revenge for Chris Christie’s scandals.

    And are we to be subjected to the tiresome melodrama again? She should just go away, but sees that she’s “relevant” again.

    Drawing parallels to Clementi is insulting to his memory–she went in with eyes open. He did not.

  5. oncemorewithfeeling says

    Tyler Clementi didn’t do anything wrong. She did.

    He was just a young gay man at his college campus doing what young gay men do and hurting nobody. She enthusiastically engaged in an adulterous affair with the most famous person on Earth in the most famous place on Earth.

    Tyler Clementi was a responsible, respectable human being who had his whole life ahead of him. She is a whore who is now a famewhore who threw her whole life away.

    Yet we lost Tyler Clementi but we still have her, whether we want her or not.

    That she would compare herself to Tyler Clementi only cements her status as a trivial, stupid, worthless human being.

  6. CPT_Doom says

    ONCEMOREWITHFEELING sums up my thoughts exactly. Clinton only “took advantage” of her after she threw herself at him, and she could have stopped the affair at any point. I blame Bill Clinton equally, don’t get me wrong (I still think he should have resigned in 1999), but Lewinsky is again proving that even Beverly Hill can produce white trash.

  7. June says

    This whore admittrd to Barbera Walters that she lifted up her skirt in the oval office to show Clinton her thong and that was how the affair started…

  8. robroy says

    In her defense- she did not take her story public- someone else did. And if Bill Clinton was too horny to spot an emotionally needy young woman with boundary issues that is on him. Neither is entirely in the right & part of me wished Hilary had simply had the balls to explain they had an open marriage instead of donning the mantra of scorned woman.

    And lets get real- the problem wasn’t that Bill Clinton got some on the side its that he had horrible taste- Monica is actually probably top three in terms of class/intelligence for his side pieces.

  9. MP says

    Monica managed a horrible situation with grace. The girl was young and impressionable, she did not deserve to be made out the way she was. I’m glad she’s moved on and while I like Hillary’s professional credentials, I’m equally interested in her sorted relationship with Bill. Power is a powerful tool. I’d like Bill to be scorned this time around.

  10. MP says

    And she requests one correction of Beyoncé, regarding the lyrics to her recent hit “Partition”: “Thanks, Beyoncé, but if we’re verbing, I think you meant ‘Bill Clinton’d all on my gown,’ not ‘Monica Lewinsky’d.’”

  11. Felix says

    Tyler is dead while she’s glamorously posing for a magazine. The comparison is in poor taste.

  12. bicurious says

    Who are the people posting here? Since when did the gays start thinking it is ok to shame people for having sex? Do you people really believe there is something wrong with consenting adults having sex? And come on, she was barely even an adult. What was she 20 years old when this happened? Do people really think she should have committed suicide for having had sex with a man when she was in his 20’s?

  13. JMC says

    How shameless do you have to be to do a photo shoot and interview to get your name back in the media right as the woman whose husband you played mistress to is gearing up for a presidential campaign? Just go away!

  14. John says

    Jesus, she’s just saying she empathized with Tyler with respect to humiliation and it leading to suicide—nothing beyond that. No matter what the cause of the humiliation was, it’s painful to be humiliated. It’s pretty disgusting to say that she should’ve killed herself even if you don’t agree with what she did. I didn’t agree with her affair, but I also think her life was ruined over one mistake, and the fact that many of you are still reacting to her like it’s 1998 is mind-boggling.

    I often ask myself why I read these toxic comments from incredibly unhappy people. As much as I enjoy reading Towleroad, the comments section really is an inaccurate representation of the gay community. Andy, I hope you get rid of the comment section altogether, or at least implement a system to discourage trolls.

  15. GB says

    Think you scooped me on this one. Didn’t make it to your comments quick enough. Same nose for news Toxic comments are not from “Incredibly unhappy people”-John Don’t let the thought police edit this site. We are proud, unique, intelligent, independent and sometimes professional bitches. We call it as we see it and have the right to. Long may we wave! Sorry, you don’t have a copyright on “The Gay Community” John.

  16. Gary Bebout says

    Democrats suffer from “Chappaquiddick Amnesia.” They will let nothing short of drowning, or blow jobs in the Oval Office get in the way of their chosen candidates. Monica is coming out at the perfect time for retrospective analysis of the parties involved. The hope is the birth of Chelsea’s baby will provide the “Prince George” diversion. And where were all the Hillary lovers in 2008??

  17. Grant says

    Derrick-no. Oddly the blue gap dress is in your national archives as it was state’s evidence. The same area as Jackie kenneys’s dress ( but not the mysterious missing pillbox hat her secretary likely has) resides.

  18. Patrick says

    Monica Lewinsky: another hetero slag. Of course she’s being trotted out by,surprise, the republithugs, so she can try to derail Hillary’s 2016 presidential bid. The republithugs are so much more sleazier.But they threaten and pay people off way more than the Dems do. One thing Bill Clinton did when he ran for his second term was he dug up a LOT of dirt of the slimy republithugs( which is most ,if not all of the scumbags) and he let them know he’s would go public with what he knew. Hopefully Hillary will do the same thing. @John: get rid of the comments section because of comments /thoughts that you DON’T agree with. This isn’t Iran,Syria,N.Korea, China or some other repressive backwater country. We American DO have rights and we use them all the time. One of which is the intellectual exchange of different view points. Even yours. But Andy Towle is NOT going to shut down the comments boards because a few people like you are uncomfortable /and/or don’t agree with /nor approve of opposing beliefs/ideas/opinions/thoughts. With DEMOCRACY comes the good /bad /ugly and in some cases ,repulsive /repugnant opinions. Because people like you DO NOT get to be all infantile and make everyone else suffer. GET the over yourself. And John, how do you know,based on reader’s comments ,they’re incredibly unhappy? Are you psychic? I and the other readers don’t think so. I and the other readers probably are more level headed & happy than you and KNOW the majority of readers ARE happy. Maybe you’re projecting YOUR unhappiness onto everyone else.

  19. Rafael says

    Wow, look at these insane comments. So much venom spilled over partisan loyalty, and to a person that, when it mattered, presented himself as the top 1 enemy of the gay community. F*ck this, I don’t want to be a part of this community anymore.