Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky was catapulted to international infamy over her affair with former US President Bill Clinton in 1998 - now she has broken her 10-year silence on the scandal.
Writing in the June issue of Vanity Fair, the 40-year-old says that although the affair may have been an "abuse of power" by her former boss, their relationship was consensual - and it was the actions of both Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary after the affair was revealed that Lewinsky takes issue with:
“Sure, my boss took advantage of me, but I will always remain firm on this point: it was a consensual relationship. Any ‘abuse’ came in the aftermath, when I was made a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful position," she writes.
Referring to Hillary Clinton, the former Secretary of State who may run for president in 2016, she added: “She may have faulted her husband for being inappropriate, but I find her impulse to blame the Woman - not only me, but herself - troubling.”
Lewinsky, who was just 25 when she was revealed to the world as Clinton's mistress, said she has spoken out in order to "take back my narrative and give a purpose to my past."
“It’s time to burn the beret and bury the blue dress,” she said,Vanity Fair referring to just some of the iconic items associated with her three-year relationship the then-President.
While she's able to joke about memorable items of clothing she wore during her more famous encounters with Clintont, Lewinsky says that her infamy, which was boosted by a burgeoning internet age, has led her to consider suicide over the years.
“Thanks to the Drudge Report, I was also possibly the first person whose global humiliation was driven by the internet,” she wrote, adding that she now aims "to get involved with efforts on behalf of victims of online humiliation and harassment and to start speaking on this topic in public forums.”
While the affair saw Clinton impeached by Congress - after first lying that he “did not have sexual relations with that woman," then admitting he had engaged in an “improper physical relationship” with Lewinsky - he did not lose his job and remains a hugely popular presidential figure.
Critics have claimed that Lewinsky's essay is timed to work against Hillary Clinton in the coming weeks if she does go ahead with a bid to be the Democrats’ next presidential candidate.
The full column will appear in the June issue of Vanity Fair, available digitally on 8 May and in print format from 13 May.