Monica Lewinsky became an infamous household name virtually overnight in the late 1990s when news broke of her inappropriate relations with President Bill Clinton. But it took more than two decades for her to feel comfortable enough to speak fully about her experiences in the White House. The now 44-year-old talks about how she suffered and survived the biggest political and sex scandal of the ’90s and its aftermath, and how she is using her experience of public shame to help others.
Monica Samille Lewinsky was born to an authoress mother and oncologist father in San Francisco on July 23, 1973. She grew up in rich neighborhoods of Los Angeles. After graduating from Beverly Hills High School, Lewinsky studied at Santa Monica College before gaining a psychology degree from Portland’s Lewis and Clark College. Her early jobs included working in retail at a tie emporium and acting as an assistant in her former high school’s drama department.
It was during this time at Beverly Hills High School that Lewinsky allegedly embarked on her first extra-marital affair, and one that far outlasted the duration of her dalliance with President Clinton. She is reported to have forged a five-year romantic relationship with the married man who once taught her drama, Andy Bleiler. Lewinsky was later described by his wife Kathy as a Fatal Attraction-type character, akin to the manipulating and obsessed anti-heroine of the 1987 psychological thriller starring Glenn Close.