In 1998 she became a household name, vilified by the media for an affair with then-President Bill Clinton. Now, more than a decade later, Monica Lewinsky has launched her anti-bullying campaign with the support of celebrities including Salma Hayek, Michael J. Fox, Olivia Wilde and Jamie Lee Curtis.
The former White House intern made international headlines for the high-profile affair that propelled her to infamy. Lewinsky is now behind the #MonthOfAction campaign as an ambassador and strategic advisor for Bystander Revolution, an anti-bullying organization.
Throughout the month of October, the group will post daily anti-bullying challenges and actions on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr. Those who sign up for the newsletter will also be sent daily messages via email and text messages.
"I am thrilled to be a part of launching Month of Action," Monica Lewinsky told People in a statement. "Engaging in the daily challenges will help transform our online world into a safer and more compassionate space for everyone. Even just one action is a step in the right direction towards ending bullying and can save a life."
After disappearing from the public eye for years, Lewinsky recently returned with a strong motivation — to prevent others from being publicly bullied, taunted and humiliated like she was.
Earlier this year, Lewinsky gave a TED Talk that touched on her experience as "Patient Zero of losing a personal reputation on a global scale almost instantaneously." She added:
I was branded as a tart, slut, whore, bimbo, floozy and, of course, "that woman." I was seen by many but truly known by few … It was hard to remember "that woman" had a soul and was once unbroken. In 1998, I lost my reputation and my dignity, I lost almost everything and I almost lost my life.
Lewinsky revealed last year that she was compelled to make something useful of her painful history after hearing of the death of 18-year-old Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers student who was humiliated online by his peers after being secretly filmed kissing another man in 2010. Clementi later committed suicide.
"In the wake of Tyler's tragedy, my own suffering took on a different meaning," Lewinsky wrote in Vanity Fair. "Perhaps by sharing my story, I reasoned, I might be able to help others in their darkest moments of humiliation. The question became: How do I find and give a purpose to my past?"
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