Key Words: Monica Lewinsky says Trump impeachment inquiry made her a ‘punchline’ again

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‘Impeachment is a constitutional crisis, it’s much bigger than me. But am I affected personally? Sure. Of course … I’ve become the punchline of a joke a little bit more than normal.’

Monica Lewinksy

As Monica Lewinsky revealed her new cyberbullying PSA video on the “Today” show on Wednesday, she also discussed her own experiences being harassed, shamed and ridiculed since 1998. That’s when her sexual relationship with President Clinton while she was a 22-year-old intern in the mid-90s came to light, leading to his impeachment.

And a lot of that personal trauma is being stirred up again in light of the Trump impeachment inquiry, she said, as people compare the current political turmoil to when Clinton was impeached.

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“And I’ve found myself the last few weeks — I’m certainly more sensitive. Some people in my world might say ‘cranky,’” said Lewinsky, now 46. “I’ve needed more self-care.”

She said something similar to People, admitting that, “I’ve been a little more on edge,” but also telling the magazine that impeachment is “bigger than anyone one person.”

“Yes, this is hard for me, but I don’t want to give anyone the impression that in the scheme of things I think that matters … It’s far bigger and greater than me,” she said.

And that’s where her new campaign comes in. Lewinsky has become an antibullying advocate and public speaker, pushing for a safer social-media environment in particular. And her new, interactive “The Epidemic” PSA is her latest campaign against online bullying.

It begins with a trigger warning that some content and imagery could be upsetting to some viewers. And it depicts a “mysterious virus sweeping the country” through the eyes of a teen girl named Hailey, who struggles to eat and sleep, throws up and stays home sick from school. It climaxes as she reaches for a bottle of pills, and gets rushed to the emergency room.

Viewers are then told to visit and enter their phone number. They are then sent a link to watch an extended version of the video — but this time, the viewer receives a flurry of slut-shaming and bullying text messages that Hailey had been getting throughout the story. This puts her physical and emotional suffering into greater context. And extended scenes show her attempting to overdose on the pills, and her mother rushing her to the hospital.

“It’s incredibly devastating and powerful,” said Lewinsky on “Today.” She created the video with the BBDO New York ad agency and her PR firm, Dini von Mueffling Communications.

“The bullying crisis has become a global epidemic. It can be hard to see the signs of when someone’s going through this,” she added. “Even though [cyberbullying] takes place online, there are offline consequences, and these consequences can range from bad to grave.”

Watch the PSA below.

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