More than 15 years after her affair with President Bill Clinton dominated headlines, former White House intern Monica Lewinsky is finally breaking her silence.
Writing for Vanity Fair, Lewinsky denies rumors that the Clintons paid her to keep quiet all this time ("nothing could be further from the truth"). She says she decided to speak out so that other people who have experienced public "humiliation" could find comfort in her story. " I am determined to have a different ending to my story," Lewinsky, 40, writes. "I've decided, finally, to stick my head above the parapet so that I can take back my narrative and give a purpose to my past."
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Lewinsky also clarifies the nature of her dalliance with President Clinton. (Watch Clinton admitting to the affair here.)
"I, myself, deeply regret what happened between me and President Clinton," she notes. "Sure, my boss took advantage of me, but I will always remain firm on this point: it was a consensual relationship. Any 'abuse' came in the aftermath, when I was made a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful position."
Lewinsky says she believes the scandal has cost her several job opportunities, but notes that she also turned down lucrative "tell-all" offers "because they didn't feel like the right thing to do." She says she is still recognized daily and referenced in pop culture, including in Beyonce's recent song "Partition." But she seems to maintain a good humor about the attention, for the most part. "Thanks, Beyoncé," Lewinsky writes, "but if we're verbing, I think you meant 'Bill Clinton'd all on my gown,' not 'Monica Lewinsky'd."
Read more of Lewinsky's statements here. What do you think of her comments?