Now 48, she made headlines in 1998 when news broke that she and President Bill Clinton had engaged in an affair, which contributed to his impeachment proceedings the same year.
In recent years, Lewinsky has been vocal about the scandal and scrutiny she faced, as well as the effect it had on her life after the impeachment was nixed.
During an appearance on “The Daily Show” on Wednesday night, the public figure addressed the struggles she faced.
WARNING: Graphic language
“It was not a straight line to that and it was not a linear process at all,” she said when asked how she came to reclaim her narrative. “It happened in stages.”
“My ability to even see and understand what had happened to me and the consequences of some of those things didn’t become apparent for years – for a decade,” she continued. “It wasn’t until I got out of graduate school, I had a master’s in social psychology from the London School of Economics and I couldn’t get hired.”
Such experience made her realize that the scandal had done “a lot more damage” to her life than she initially realized.
Monica Lewinsky said she began to ‘heal’ after the Clinton scandal broke when she realized that telling her story might be helpful to others who have been publicly shamed.
“I didn’t set out to reclaim my narrative, I set out to heal,” Lewinsky explained. “… I did a lot of consciousness and energy work, but I’ve also had a lot of therapy, so I think it was this process and as I changed, the world was also changing.”
Eventually, after seeing others being publicly shamed as she had been, Lewinsky said she felt that there might be “some validity or some help if I’m the poster child for having been publicly shamed, and my life might not be great right now, but I’m still here. That might help someone.”