Monica Lewinsky of White House intern fame — and presidential mistress infamy — told a reporter that she would never change her last name, no matter how tarnished her reputation.
“No one else in the investigation had to change their name,” she recently told Porter magazine, the New York Post reported. “Why should I? I use aliases at times to protect my privacy, but I’m not ashamed of who I am.”
In the interview, she said she spent 16 years in hiding after her sexual dalliances with former President Bill Clinton led to his impeachment over lying. And she also seemed to suggest that it was the Internet, rather than her actions, that ruined her reputation and made her post-White House life difficult.
Ms. Lewinsky, 41, is now an advocate against cyber-bullying, and in October at a Forbes Under 30 Summit referred to herself as “Patient zero — the first person to have their reputation completely destroyed worldwide via the Internet.”
“For a long time, I didn’t realize the implication of simple things, like looking for an apartment,” she told Porter. “Now when I fill out a form I have to think, ‘Will somebody go to the press with my private information?’ … I graduated from the London School of Economics with a master’s in social psychology. I had been job-hunting with little — really, no — success. It was at that point … that I began to realize how much damage had been done to my reputation — what had been taken from me.”