- The Washington Times - Monday, March 18, 2019

Monica Lewinsky said her experience with public shaming following the exposure of her affair with President Bill Clinton in 1998 was “an avalanche of pain and humiliation.”

In a candid interview on HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” for a segment on public shaming that aired Sunday, Ms. Lewinsky said it was “bizarre” watching the media circus while amid the scandal.

“It was a s—-storm, it was an avalanche of pain and humiliation,” she said. “At 24 years old, it was hard to hold on to a shred of dignity or self-esteem when you’re just the butt of so many jokes.

“I was watching myself, or this version of myself, running away from me. … My identity was stolen in a different way,” she said.

Ms. Lewinsky, 45, now an activist speaking out against cyberbullying, told host John Oliver the internet has made public shaming worse.

“I wish people would not say s——y things, but they do,” she said. “I think with the advent of the internet and, of course, social media, we now have situations where it’s exacerbated beyond what anybody could have imagined initially. The anonymity that comes with that sort of unleashed these whole new personas within people.”

Ms. Lewinsky said while that she is “lucky” social media wasn’t around during her scandal, the internet also could have been a source of support.

“It might have been worse in the sense there would have been more opinions that were out there, but where it may have been better would have been that, I think, I would have heard some support from people, so it might have been a little more balanced,” she said.

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