Monica Lewinsky, the former White House intern who was shamed in a presidential scandal, returns to the limelight with the new FX series "Impeachment: American Crime Story."
Now 48, Lewinsky said that she's thankful for the chance to share her painful past on her terms.
"I am really proud of the show. Do I love everything in it? No, but I think if I loved everything, we didn't do our job right," said Lewinsky, in an article written by Liz McNeil for People Magazine.
Aside from the FX series, Lewinsky has also produced the upcoming documentary 15 Minutes of Shame for HBO Max.
Lewinsky was 22 when her affair with Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States, became a television drama.
She revealed she once thought of running away so that the people would forget that Monica Lewinsky.
"Watching the series has made for very intense viewings, like watching your past wash over you. But there are experiences I had (with Bill Clinton) that a lot of women relate to. There are a lot of people who might find themselves in those situations. It might be with a professor or the boss of your company, your supervisor at your first job," Lewinsky said.
She also recalled her stint at the White House.
"For me, at 22, there was this combination of the awe of being at the White House, the awe of the Presidency, and the awe that this man was paying attention to me.
"I was enamored with him like many others were. He had charisma, a lethal charm, and it was intoxicating.
"We think we're on this terra firma in our early 20s. We think we know everything, and yet we're really on this quicksand.
"I was 22 - I couldn't (even) get a rental car without a parental signature," she said.
Lewinsky believes that "you cannot escape the past, but you can move beyond it."
"I turned 48 last month, and it was bizarre to realize I had now marked half my life as a public person. My life was defined (by the scandal) for a very long time, and it still is in some ways. But I think it's diminishing. In the first few years, I ran away and went to graduate school. (She has a master's in social psychology from the London School of Economics.) I thought, 'I'll go to another country and get a master's degree and a job, and then I am going to get married and then have kids, and everybody will forget it." But that didn't work out. What had to happen was really an integration of myself and my past."
Lewinsky said that she remains single and goes out on a date, adding that he does not know if she'll ever get married.
She praised her mom for playing a major part in helping her get over the scandal.
"Her ability to say, 'It will get better. You'll be able to go outside one day and not wear a hat. You'll be able to walk down the street one day.' She was right," Lewinsky told People Magazine.