Monica Lewinsky says she never considered changing her name following the media firestorm over her relationship with then-President Clinton because she’s “not ashamed” of who she is.
“There were several reasons I didn’t,” Lewinsky told John Oliver, when asked by the “Last Week Tonight” host.
“First of all, I don’t think that it really would’ve even worked,” Lewinsky said to the HBO host in a Sunday interview focused on public shaming.
“When I was job hunting, people even suggested, ‘Well, why don’t you put a different name on your CV?’” Lewinsky revealed.
“Then I thought, so I’m going to walk into an office for an interview and that person’s going to be like, ‘Why does that person look like Monica Lewinsky?’ and be wondering. And you’re starting out a professional relationship on a lie,” Lewinsky, 45, added.
Lewinsky was a 22-year-old White House intern when she became romantically involved with Clinton in the 1990s. She’s since become a vocal anti-cyber bullying advocate.
“I think there was also a principle,” Lewinsky told Oliver about not wanting to change her name — which she notes, in a “sexist” move, was used to reference the scandal in the news — “in the sense that Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonBusiness coalition aims to provide jobs to Afghan refugees Biden nominates ex-State Department official as Export-Import Bank leader Obamas, Bushes and Clintons joining new effort to help Afghan refugees MORE didn’t have to change his name.”
“Nobody’s ever asked him did he think he should change his name. So I think that’s an important statement,” Lewinsky said.
“I’m not proud of all of the choices I’ve made in my life, but I’m proud of the person I am,” Lewinsky continued.
“I’m not ashamed of who I am. And I think as hard as it has been to have that last name sometimes — and the pain of what I’ve felt, of what it’s meant for the other people in my family who have that last name — I’m glad I didn’t change it.”