Monica Lewinsky returned to the public eye on Monday, Oct. 20, but her appearance was not without controversy. The famed former White House intern, 41, participated in Forbes' Under 30 Summit and spoke to the public for the first time in 13 years, drawing criticism from the likes of television star Piers Morgan.
During the gig, Lewinsky opened up about her fall from grace and her experience with public shaming.
"I was Patient Zero," she said in her speech. "The first person to have their reputation completely destroyed worldwide via the Internet."
Her words elicited a strong response from fans and critics alike, with some applauding her outspoken stance, and others, including polarizing personality Morgan, taking issue with her view of the past.
While he did agree that Internet bullying is a rampant issue, saying Lewinsky was "100 percent right" on that front, Morgan did not absolve the former mistress of former President Bill Clinton of all blame.
"I fear the egg has rather raced past the chicken here," Morgan wrote in a Mail Online column about Lewinsky's stance that the Internet shamed her. "If you're a 22-year-old intern working at the White House and you embark on an affair with your married President, then most people would probably say the shame-ometer probably starts right there and then."
Explaining that he doesn't "give a monkey's cuss" what happened behind closed doors with Lewinsky and Clinton, Morgan added, "My objection to Monica Lewinsky's speech is not based on any moral outrage over her deceitful behaviour 20 years ago. It's based on her extraordinary self-deceit now."
The former CNN host went on to call out Lewinsky for what he saw as her role in the affair.
"It wasn't the Internet that shamed you, Monica; it was your predilection, like Bill Clinton's, for illicit cigar-fuelled lust in the world's most powerful room," Morgan wrote. "You were 22, not 16. And you both knew you were playing with the kind of fire that destroys forests in the Californian summer. He should shoulder the lion's share of responsibility because he was a much older man and unlike you, he was married. But you're not blameless and in your heart, you know that."
Lewinsky has yet to comment on Morgan's words. She did, however, join Twitter for the first time on Monday, and gave her thanks for the positive reactions she received to her speech. "#gratitude," she wrote. "#overwhelmed #thankyou."
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