It seemed the name "Monica Lewinsky" would always be shorthand for sleaze, lewd jokes, and the sordid sex scandal that got President Clinton impeached by the House. For a full decade after the scandal broke, Lewinsky's life seemed ruined. Her reputation was so toxic that she was unemployable (charities would not even give her volunteer work).
Since 2014 she has written for Vanity Fair about shame and survival, given a Ted talk on being "Patient Zero" of worldwide Internet humiliation, and worked to raise awareness of cyber harassment and online bullying. In an April 16 Guardian interview Lewinsky spoke eloquently about using her painful past to help others who are being shamed and victimized.
Has Monica Lewinsky earned the public's respect? Or will her sordid past prevent her from becoming anything more than a cheap punchline?