Monica Lewinsky: Suicide of gay teenager moved me to speak out

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Monica Lewinsky, the presidential aide who famously had an affair with Bill Clinton, has said the suicide of a gay teenager moved her to finally break her silence.

News of Lewinsky’s sexual activity with then-President Clinton was infamously broken online by the Drudge Report in 1998, but Lewinsky had maintained a long-standing silence over the issue.

She yesterday wrote in Vanity Fair that the suicide of gay teenager Tyler Clementi, who was also humiliated online, moved her to finally speak out.

Clementi, a student at Rutgers University in New Jersey, jumped from the George Washington Bridge in 2010, after his roommate streamed secretly-recorded webcam footage of him kissing another man.

Dharun Ravi was in 2012 found guilty on 15 counts, but served just 20 days in jail.

She wrote:”[My mother] 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.

“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?

“Thanks to the Drudge Report, I was also possibly the first person whose global humiliation was driven by the Internet.

“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.”

She told the magazine her aim “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.”