Questions & answers

Monica Lewinsky says she’s just now ‘coming into who I am as a woman’

Monica Lewinsky. (Damon Winter/The New York Times)

InStyle magazine is highlighting “badass women” in its latest issue and Monica Lewinsky is one of those women who is profiled. Lewinsky met with InStyle editor in chief Laura Brown for a Q&A that touched on a range of topics, including how she’s been thrust back into the national spotlight amid the #MeToo movement. She also reflected on the turns her life has taken and how that has influenced who she is today.

“I don’t know how to answer that,” Lewinsky, 45, responded when Brown asked, “Who do you think you’ve become?”

“I am very grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had over the past few years. I now identify as a writer, a social activist, and someone who has a voice on various topics. But in many ways I feel like I’m still just coming into who I am as a woman, having been delayed in many ways.”

Monica Lewinsky in New York. (Damon Winter/The New York Times)

In an interview with the Today show, Brown talked about the devastating impact the outing of her affair with then-President Bill Clinton had on her 20 years ago. “Her confidence was absolutely shattered. She was razed. She was crushed — publicly crushed.”

And because of the nature of the #MeToo movement, her name often resurfaces in the media — like it did when Bill Clinton was asked during an appearance on the Today show if he’d every personally apologized to Lewinsky, and those occurrences can be unsettling.

“Despite the amount of trauma work I’ve done for the past 20 years, there’s still a pattern that gets tapped into or triggered. I’m really lucky that I have tools I can use,” Lewinsky said. “When that doesn’t work, I’ll resort to calling someone or using one of the healing modalities called EFT, or Emotional Freedom Technique. It’s like a tapping thing. And worst-case scenario: There’s always Xanax,” she added, laughing. “As long as you’re not somebody who has issues around those types of things, I think that can be a really effective tool too.”

Brown says, though, that Lewinsky has proved adept at turning her trauma “into grace” and made herself an example for other traumatized women to follow.

Below watch Brown’s interview with the Today show.

Read the full interview at InStyle.

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