Monica Lewinsky Relates To Tyler Clementi, Reacts To Becoming A Beyonce Lyric


1990's meme Monica Lewinsky is back and looking gorgeous in a new Vanity Fair spread titled "Shame and Survival." In the piece, one half of the most famous affair in American presidential history says that Internet bullying became a cause close to her heart after learning about Tyler Clementi, the gay Rutgers student who died by suicide following online harassment.

When Tyler Clementi, the 18-year-old Rutgers freshman who was secretly streamed via Webcam kissing another man, committed suicide in September 2010, Lewinsky writes, she was brought to tears, but her mother was especially distraught: “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. 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.” Lewinsky clarifies that she has never actually attempted suicide, but had strong suicidal temptations several times during the investigations and during one or two periods after.

Lewinsky writes that following Clementi’s tragedy “my own suffering took on a different meaning. Perhaps by sharing my story, I reasoned, I might be able to help others in their darkest moments of humiliation. The question became: How do I find and give a purpose to my past?” She also says that, when news of her affair with Clinton broke in 1998, not only was she arguably the most humiliated person in the world, but, “thanks to the Drudge Report, I was also possibly the first person whose global humiliation was driven by the Internet.” Her current goal, she says, “is to get involved with efforts on behalf of victims of online humiliation and harassment and to start speaking on this topic in public forums.”

Monica goes on to talk with VF about achieving the Holy Grail of relevance: becoming a Beyonce lyric. In "Partition," Beyonce immortalizes Monica with the lyric, "He Monica Lewinsky'd all on my gown." An honor, right? 

At least Monica has fun with it. "Thanks, Beyonce, but if we're verbing, I think you meant 'Bill Clinton'd all on my gown,' not 'Monica Lewinsky'd."