Monica Lewinsky was born in San Francisco, California on July 23, 1973. Her father, Bernard, was a well-to-do oncologist. Her mother, Marcia, was a writer of satirical humor.
Young Monica grew up with wealth in Beverly Hills. She attended Beverly Hills High School and then Bel Air Prep, from where she graduated in 1991. Lewinsky attended Santa Monica Community College and then transferred to Lewis and Clark University in Portland, Oregon, where she received her degree in psychology in 1995.
Later in 1995, with the help of a family friend, she began working as an unpaid intern at the White House. She was 21 years old. Monica was working in the Chief of Staff's office. After a few weeks, she made eye contact with then President, Bill Clinton. Clinton was 49 years old at the time.
After much denial from both sides, Lewinsky finally admitted that she and the President had carried on an affair. Between 1995 and 1997, the two had at least 9 sexual encounters. While many people did not want to believe the claims, Monica had proof, due to fellow White House employee, Linda Tripp.
The senior staffer had befriended Lewinsky early on. When Lewinsky began confiding in Tripp about the affair, Tripp began secretly recording their conversations.
She also convinced Monica to preserve a blue dress that contained Clinton's DNA. This left the president with no choice but to admit to "a critical lapse of judgement " and try to explain it away with his infamous, "I never had relations with that woman.."
It ended with Clinton being impeached (but ultimately not guilty) and Lewinsky gaining notoriety and a hefty net worth.
Monica Lewinsky Net Worth
Over the years, Monica Lewinsky has amassed a personal net worth of $1.5 million.
In 1999, Lewinsky sat down for a one on one interview with Barbara Walters. 70 million people tuned in and the show remains the second most watched televised interview ever. The number one spot belongs to Oprah and Michael Jackson. Lewinsky managed to obtain the international rights to the program and it earned her $1 million.
That same year, Monica teamed with Andrew Morton, (author of the famed Lady Diana tell all) to write "Monica's Story". She received a $500,000 advance for the book.
Lewinsky claims she has PTSD from her ordeal at the White House and the resulting media frenzy. So to help her with that, she began knitting. The therapeutic hobby led her to a business idea.
She opened The Real Monica, a handbag and accessory business. The handbags (more like totes) sold for between $80 and $150. People, of course, made fun of the designs, saying they "looked like two dish rags sewn together". But Lewinsky did get stores like Fred Segal and Henri Bendel to sell them. Monica also sold them from her own website, the now defunct therealmonica.com. The occasional bag can be found on eBay for around $30.
Her Career Progression
Monica's next job was working for a FOX news affiliate in the U.K. Here she worked as an anchor and the host of her own show, Monica's Postcards.
During this time, she was also offered a contract with the weight loss system, Jenny Craig. Monica signed on to lose 40 pounds and be the company's spokesperson for $1 million. All went well until several women complained and protested that Lewinsky was not a suitable representative for the company. Jenny Craig caved to the pressure and fired Monica, having paid her only $300,000 of the agreed upon amount.
In 2002, the former intern filmed an HBO special entitled "Monica: In Black and White. Here she gave her side of what transpired between her and Clinton. Tired of being portrayed by the media and Clinton himself, as the only guilty party, the "jezebel" who somehow lured Clinton into her web. She shared what really happened and the gifts that the president had given her. It was one of HBO's top rated shows of the year.
On the heels of the HBO special, Monica became the host of a FOX channel dating show called, Mr. Personality. The show was about a woman who must choose a date from a group of men wearing masks. The idea was to choose them based on personality and not looks. It's estimated Monica made about $125,000 from the show, which only lasted 5 episodes.
Leaving, Re-emerging, And Reinvented
Having grown tired of the grind of trying to find work, as well as the bullying she had been subjected to for years, Monica decided to change course. She left the public eye, and the United States entirely. She moved to London and enrolled in a masters program at the London School of Economics.
It was here that she earned her masters' degree in psychology. In 2014, Monica returned to the US. She was more mature and confident. She became involved with Bystander Revolution, an organization that educates people on the dangers of online bullying.
Lewinsky was one of the first well-known people to suffer constant online harassment and bullying. She was the subject of terrible skits on Saturday Night Live. Late night hosts like David Letterman and Bill Maher were relentless in their badgering (both have since apologized to her).
Feminists, like Betty Friedan, called her names, that no feminist should call a woman, and she received countless emails from strangers making fun friends of her weight.
In 2014, she wrote an opinion piece on the topic for Vanity Fair Magazine. The article was such a success, the magazine offered her a job as a regular columnist.
In addition to her writing, Monica has been making money giving TED talks, speaking engagements, and writing guest columns for other publications. In 2021, she was a producer on the FX limited series, Impeachment: An American Crime Story. The series chronicled the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal.
What's She Up to Today?
Today, Lewinsky is living a somewhat peaceful life in San Francisco, California. She has yet to be married and has no children. Friendships, she says, are more important to her at this point than boyfriends or thoughts of settling down.
She continues to write and make money with her flourishing producing ventures. However, she is an adamant supporter of the anti-cyber bullying cause. Believing that nobody should have to endure what she did as a 22-year-old woman.
As for the blue dress that almost took down the United States President. The Las Vegas Erotic Heritage Museum offered Monica $250,000 for it in 2014. She turned them down. A year later, they offered her $1 million. Again, she said no, stating it was time to bury the dress.
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Written by Garrett Parker
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