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Monica Lewinsky speaking up for people trashed online

By Calvin Woodward

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 09:51 a.m. HST, May 06, 2014

WASHINGTON >> Monica Lewinsky says there's no question her boss -- Bill Clinton -- "took advantage" of her when he was president.

But she says their affair was consensual and if there was any abuse involved, it came afterward, when Clinton's inner circle tried to discredit her and the president's opponents used her as a political pawn.

The former White House intern, now 40, writes about her life in the next issue of Vanity Fair magazine, out this month. In released excerpts, she says she's perhaps the first Internet era scapegoat and wants to speak out on behalf of other victims of online humiliation.

Her willingness to step forward may come at an inopportune time as former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton considers running for president. Republicans have signaled they don't consider her husband's scandal from the late 1990s out of bounds in the realm of 2016-style political dialogue.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a likely GOP presidential contender, answered criticisms of the Republican record on women's issues by saying in January that the last Democratic president engaged in "predatory behavior" with a woman, Lewinsky, who was 22 when her liaisons with Clinton began in 1995. Clinton's lies about the relationship contributed to his impeachment by the House in 1998; the Senate acquitted him.

Lewinsky writes that she deeply regrets the affair and made a point of staying silent through several presidential campaigns to avoid becoming a distraction. Now, she writes, it's time to stop "tiptoeing around my past -- and other people's futures. I am determined to have a different ending to my story. I've decided, finally, to stick my head above the parapet."

Invoking her headwear from endlessly repeated TV clips and the stained garment considered as evidence against Clinton, she writes: "It's time to burn the beret and bury the blue dress."

But these aren't her first public words on the scandal. Lewinsky broke her silence in 1999 with a blockbuster interview with Barbara Walters, gave several subsequent interviews and cooperated with author Andrew Morton on his book the same year, entitled "Monica's Story."

"Sure, my boss took advantage of me," she writes now, "but I will always remain firm on this point: it was a consensual relationship. Any 'abuse' came in the aftermath, when I was made a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful position."

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Ronin006 wrote:
Any guy (or gal) who kisses Lewinsky is doing to Clinton by proxy what Lewinsky did to him personally.
on May 6,2014 | 09:35AM
livinginhawaii wrote:
It would be much better for the victims to have a spokesperson who is either completely innocent or a clear victim. In the end, she chose to have an affair with a married man so there is some personal responsibility here.
on May 6,2014 | 10:09AM
st1d wrote:
"I've decided, finally, to stick my head above the parapet."

close, but no cigar.

on May 6,2014 | 10:35AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
I have much higher regard for her than I do for old Slick Willy.
on May 6,2014 | 10:56AM
serious wrote:
Me too, I glad she is finally spitting it out!!!
on May 6,2014 | 12:19PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Yeah, the story is that she is voting Republican because the Democrats left a bad taste in her mouth.
on May 6,2014 | 01:05PM
mokebla wrote:
People just don't get it, He had sex on our dime. The head of our country, having it at our taxpayers expense and Ronin006 you're a sick man.
on May 6,2014 | 12:15PM
Ronin006 wrote:
At taxpayer expense and in a US government building. I thought my comment was quite funny. I guess you don't like humor.
on May 6,2014 | 03:25PM
jmarie wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on May 6,2014 | 01:06PM
Ronin006 wrote:
Watch what you say. Mokebla might think you are a sick person.
on May 6,2014 | 03:26PM
jmarie wrote:
Yea isn't that funny the commander in chief scores a header in the white house from his intern and were the sicko's, something is wrong!
on May 6,2014 | 03:54PM
jmarie wrote:
Monika looking a bit chunky monkey but I but good old emperor Barry O would hit that. Just ask his pal Bobby T. Go Buff and Blue!
on May 6,2014 | 01:30PM
residenttaxpayer wrote:
She looks worst for wear.....
on May 7,2014 | 06:17PM
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