Monica Lewinsky is working on turning one of the worst days of her life into something inspirational.
The activist and former White House intern commemorates Jan. 16 as “Survivor’s Day,” an annual celebration of making it through the “unimaginable.” It was 21 years ago that Lewinsky was grilled by the FBI and the Office of Independent Counsel (OIC) over her affair with President Bill Clinton.
On the 20th anniversary last year, Lewinsky shared on Twitter how she marks this “as the day I survived another year from 1998.” She retweeted her message Wednesday, asking if her original post made “more sense now” after many people watched A&E’s The Clinton Affair documentary or listened to Season 2 of the Slow Burn podcast.
Lewinsky has been open before about the terrifying meeting she experienced over two decades ago. Here is an anecdote from a 2014 essay she wrote for Vanity Fair titled “Shame and Survival.”
You might remember that just five days before the world had ever heard my name the F.B.I.—after my friend Linda Tripp approached Special Prosecutor Kenneth Starr’s office with information about my affair with the president—entrapped me in a terrifying “sting” in the Pentagon City mall. At age 24, cornered in a hotel room on January 16, 1998, with mainly male interrogators taking orders from Starr, I was discouraged from contacting my attorney and threatened with 27 years in jail for filing an affidavit denying the affair with Clinton, among other alleged crimes. I was offered immunity from that threat if I agreed to place monitored calls and wear a wire in conversations with two of the president’s confidants and possibly the president himself. I refused. Confiding in Linda Tripp turned into an unintended betrayal. But this? The mother of all betrayals. That, I couldn’t do.
Starr eventually filed the Starr Report, which led to the impeachment of Clinton on grounds of perjury and obstruction of justice.
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