Monica Lewinsky is opening up about her affair with former President Bill Clinton for the first time in years, sharing how the Internet has driven her and others to "global humiliation."
Lewinsky, who penned an essay for Vanity Fair that will be available digitally on May 8 and on newsstands May 13, said she finally came forward about her experience because of Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old who committed suicide after video of him kissing another man was broadcast online.
“[T]hanks to the Drudge Report, I was also possibly the first person whose global humiliation was driven by the Internet," Lewinsky said.
Lewinsky said she and her mother were both disturbed by the circumstances surrounding Clementi's death.
“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," Lewinsky said of her mother. "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.”
She hoped by telling her story, she "might be able to help others in their darkest moments of humiliation."
Lewinsky also put to rest some rumors that have followed her since news broke of her affair with Clinton, saying she was not offered a $12 million "for a salacious tell-all book" but noting she did turn down "offers that would have earned me more than $10 million, because they didn’t feel like the right thing to do."
“It’s time to burn the beret and bury the blue dress," Lewinsky said.
“I, myself, deeply regret what happened between me and President Clinton. Let me say it again: I. Myself. Deeply. Regret. What. Happened," she added.
Read more excerpts from the Lewinsky interview at Vanity Fair.
Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.