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Monica Lewinsky on the impeachment inquiry: 'We're all affected'

The speaker and activist spoke about how the impeachment inquiry against President Trump has brought comparisons to President Clinton's impeachment.
/ Source: TODAY

The impeachment inquiry launched against President Donald Trump last month has brought the past rushing back for Monica Lewinsky.

"Impeachment is a constitutional crisis, so obviously it's much bigger than me, but am I affected personally? Sure, of course,'' Lewinsky told Savannah Guthrie on TODAY Wednesday.

Monica Lewinsky
Monica Lewinsky opened up about how the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump has affected her after she was embroiled in the 1998 impeachment of President Bill Clinton. Nathan Congleton/TODAY

"People are making comparisons to when Bill Clinton was impeached. I've become a punchline of a joke a little bit more than normal."

The activist and speaker was at the center of the investigation surrounding the 1998 impeachment of President Clinton after she had an affair with him while working as a White House intern.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi initiated the inquiry against Trump on Sept. 24 for allegedly pressuring leaders of Ukraine for help in undermining political rival Joe Biden.

The action by Pelosi conjured memories of the '90s impeachment hearings against Clinton in which his sexual encounters with Lewinsky were examined in tawdry detail.

However, Lewinsky sees the current crisis as much bigger than any effect it has had on her.

"I found myself the last few weeks — I'm certainly more sensitive,'' she said. "Some people in my world might say cranky. Needed more self-care. The truth is if we're talking seriously about impeachment, it actually means we're all affected in the country."

Lewinsky has since become an activist fighting against public shaming and online bullying by drawing on her own experiences with it.

"I eventually kind of came to this point where I realized that I couldn't run away from what happened to me,'' she said. "I had to integrate it.

"What it also means is that anybody can do this. This can happen for anybody, you don't have to have go through a global scandal. I think that no matter what your humiliations are or setbacks, you can find a way to have a different ending to your story. "

Lewinsky appeared on TODAY Wednesday to unveil a powerful new interactive public service announcement about what she called the "silent epidemic" of online bullying.

She also spoke about her return to public life in recent years to fight against bullying and public shaming.

"It was terrifying. I think that it really could've gone differently, and I'm so incredibly grateful for how things have changed,'' she said. "I can't even begin to tell you what it feels like to be able to give a purpose to my past and to use these painful experiences to help other people."