Recently, the famous talk show host John Oliver interviewed Monica Lewinsky, who is best known for her infamous affair during the late 1990s with the President of the United States of America at the time, Bill Clinton. During those years, she worked as a White House intern. On a recent episode of the HBO show, “Last Week Tonight”, Oliver included a segment in the episode on public shaming that featured Lewinsky as the guest, who is now an anti-bullying advocate.
What did she say?
After she discussed online bullying, Lewinsky talked about how she got through the fallout after the affair with Clinton, calling the situation as a “sh** storm”.
She told John Oliver, “It was an avalanche of pain and humiliation.” She then said that having her friends and family at her side at all times really helped her.
However, she also revealed that all of her sense of self-esteem diminished. “I think at 24 years old, it was really hard to hold onto a shred of dignity or self-esteem when you’re just the butt of so many jokes.”
Her ‘identity was stolen’ as well
Monica Lewinsky continued, “It was, I say, extraordinary — not with any positive connotation — not only just the slut-shaming, not only just having had an intimate relationship with someone who was now describing me in a way that no young woman would want to be described. My identity was stolen in a different way.”
She added, “Not to say that I wasn’t flawed and that I didn’t make terrible mistakes or do stupid things or say stupid things because of course, I did. I watched this sort of deconstruction of me and rebuilding of me.”
She even considered changing her name
Since she was not able to find a job after this major scandal. Lewinsky then considered legally changing her name. However, she decided against it on a “principle.”
She said on the matter, “Bill Clinton didn’t have to change his name. Nobody’s ever asked him did he think he should change his name and so I think that was an important statement.”
The ex-White House employee then added, “I’m not proud of all of the choices I’ve made in my life, but I’m proud of the person I am. As hard as it has been to have that last name sometimes and the pain that I have felt of what it’s meant for other people in my family who have that last name, I am glad I didn’t change it.”
Oliver called out Jay Leno for ‘civility’ comment
During the same segment of his show, Oliver took a shot at Jay Leno, more specifically his recent interview on NBC’s “Today show”. During this interview, Leno talked about how late-night TV lost its “civility”, due to the current political state in America.
Oliver also mentioned multiple jokes Leno made about Monica Lewinsky, with one involving Leno saying that the humidity outside made people’s clothes “stickier than Monica Lewinsky.” Another over the top joke involved a video of Leno laughing at a headline that reads “Lewinsky Gets Back on Her Feet.” Yet another joke involved a book inspired by Dr. Suess’ “The Cat in the Hat”, named “The Sl** in the Cat”.
Oliver said at the end of the segment, “If that’s what he means by civility, may I offer my new book: Oh the Places You Can Go Fu** Yourself, Jay Leno.”
Is Monica Lewinsky still getting publicly shamed?
Sadly, the shortest and least complicated answer is “yes.” She is still shamed for the decades old affair. On the other hand, people seemed to get over Clinton’s role. After more than two decades, Lewinsky pokes fun at herself, as well as the infamous affair. She said this happened in “stages”, while wearing a beret, which she was known for when the scandal broke. This happened during a ‘90s themed party she attended, which helped her make light of the incident.