Monica Lewinsky
“A lot of vicious things that happen online to women and minorities do happen at the hands of men,” says Monica on cyberbullying.

Monica Lewinsky is best known as the shameless intern who had an affair with former US president Bill Clinton and almost broke up his family. In her own words, Monica Lewinsky, now 42 and still single, says the aftermath of the scandal as the worst days of her life: “I felt like every layer of my skin and my identity were ripped off of my back in 1998 and 1999. I felt incredibly raw and frightened. And the shame stuck to me like tar.”

The Scandal
18 years earlier, Monica was arrested by FBI agents after an older colleague, Linda Tripp, who worked with her at the Pentagon and was her confidante, secretly taped their conversations and exposed the affair. It took Bill seven months to finally admit his “inappropriate relationship” with her.

“I was branded as a tramp, tart, slut, whore, bimbo, and that woman. It was easy to forget that woman was dimensional, had a soul and was once unbroken.”

Monica kept a low profile for 10 years while she was branded as a “slut”, “tart”, “tramp”, “whore”, “bimbo”, and “that woman” on the Internet and mass media. “The public humiliation was excruciating. Life was almost unbearable,” she said at a TED Talk last year. She thinks her case was probably the first great Internet shaming, now known as cyber bullying.

Shame As A Valuable Lesson
Two years ago, Monica wrote an essay for Vanity Fair, headlined “Shame and Survival”. That led her to invitations to speak at a Forbes conference, Facebook and business conferences on how to make the internet more compassionate. She also helps out at anti-bullying organisations like Bystander Revolution, a site with video advice on what to do if you’re a victim of cyberbullying. The TED Talk she gave last year now gets taught in American schools. This year, she launched Vodafone’s #BeStrong Anti-Bullying Emoji Keyboard App, which is now available for free download on the iTunes App store. “Looking at them feels like a hug,” says Monica.

Monica Lewinsky in a lace red gown
“We need to return to a long-held value of compassion – Compassion and empathy. Online, we’ve got compassion deficit, an empathy crisis.”

Don’t Bully The Bullies
Her advice to bystanders: “Don’t bully the bully. It doesn’t move the conversation forward. I see bullying as similar to cutting. People who cut are trying to localise their pain. I think with bullying, people are suffering from myriad reasons and are projecting it. Instead of cutting themselves, they’re cutting someone else.”

10 Surprising Facts About Queen Elizabeth II
10 Ways To Love Your Husband Again
5-Min Foreplay Ideas To Make Him Want You More