Monica Lewinsky announces #monthofaction anti-bullying campaign

By Liz McNeil Sheila Cosgrove Baylis
September 29, 2015 08:30 AM
Francois G. Durand/Getty

Monica Lewinsky is fighting to stop bullying, and showing others how they can, too.

Lewinsky, 42, strategic advisor and ambassador for Bystander Revolution, is teaming up with celebrities like Olivia Wilde, Salma Hayek, Lily Collins, Michael J. Fox, Rashida Jones, Jamie Lee Curtis and Alan Cumming to launch #MonthOfAction, featured exclusively in PEOPLE.

“Bystander Revolutions’s focus is on the right now,” Lewinsky told PEOPLE. “Simple, practical actions that each of us can do right away to relieve suffering and shift the culture.”

Throughout October, Bystander Revolution will pose daily anti-bullying challenges and actions on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr, as well as by email and text for those who sign up on the organization’s website.

“I am thrilled to be a part of launching Month of Action,” Monica Lewinsky tells PEOPLE in a statement. “Engaging in the daily challenges will help transform our online world into a safer and more compassionate space for everyone. Even just one action is a step in the right direction towards ending bullying and can save a life.”

Lewinsky has talked openly about the bullying she suffered nearly two decades ago. She has called herself “patient zero,” the first private person to publicly lose her reputation internationally.

“I was branded as a tart, slut, whore, bimbo, floozy and of course ‘that woman,’ I was seen by many but truly known by few It was hard to remember ‘that woman’ had a soul and was once unbroken,” she said in June. “In 1998 I lost my reputation and my dignity, I lost almost everything, and I almost lost my life.”

Lewinsky was inspired to break her silence by Tyler Clementi, the 18-year-old Rutgers student who committed suicide in 2010 after he was bullied for being gay. His death brought back her own suicidal feelings from the Clinton scandal, and “my own suffering took on a different meaning,” she wrote in Vanity Fair last year. “Perhaps by sharing my story, I reasoned, I might be able to help others in their darkest moments of humiliation. The question became: How do I find and give a purpose to my past?”

Read more about Lewinsky and the #MonthofAction project in this week’s PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

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