"At the age of 22, I fell in love with my boss," Lewinsky said in a speech at the Ted2015 conference in Vancouver

By Mariah Haas
Updated March 19, 2015 07:55 PM
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Credit: James Duncan Davidson/TED

After breaking her decade-long silence last May about her two-year affair with President Bill Clinton, Monica Lewinsky continues to share her story.

“At the age of 22, I fell in love with my boss,” Lewinsky, now 41, said at the TED2015 conference in Vancouver Thursday, according to the TED blog. “At the age of 24, I learned the devastating consequences.”

“Not a day goes by that I am not reminded of my mistake, and I regret that mistake deeply,” added Lewinsky, who now works on behalf of victims of online humiliation and harassment.

Recalling the public’s perception of her during that time she said, “I was branded as a tramp, tart, slut, whore, bimbo and, of course, ‘that woman.’ I was known by many, but actually known by few. I get it. It was easy to forget ‘that woman’ was dimensional and had a soul.”

The former White House intern – who also spoke at Forbes‘s Under 30 Summit in October – called herself “Patient Zero of losing a personal reputation on a global scale almost instantaneously.”

“In 1998, I lost my reputation and my dignity I lost my sense of self,” she said. “When this happened to me, 17 years ago, there was no name for it. Now we call it cyberbullying.”

Lewinsky – who says, “public humiliation as a blood sport has to stop” – acknowledges that her loved ones‘ support is what helped her.

“I’ve seen some very dark days in my life,” she said. “It was empathy and compassion from friends, family, coworkers, even strangers, that saved me. Empathy from one person can make a difference.”

As for why Lewinsky has been continuing to speak out for the past year?

“The top-note answer was and is: Because it’s time. Time to stop tiptoeing around my past Time to take back my narrative,” she explained.