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Monica Lewinsky Speech at the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit

Monica Lewinsky Got a Standing Ovation With Her Speech on Cyberbullying

Monica Lewinsky delivered a speech on cyberbullying at the Forbes 30 Under 30 event in Philadelphia on Monday, speaking out to announce her campaign against Internet bullying after more than a decade since the 1998 Clinton sex scandal that put her in the global spotlight. Now 41, she said, "My name is Monica Lewinsky, though I've often been advised to change it." Lewinsky talked about her experience dealing with the spotlight, calling herself "Patient Zero" and "the first person to have their reputation completely destroyed by the Internet." Referencing the scandal, she said:

"There was no Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram back then. But there were gossip, news, and entertainment websites replete with comment sections and emails which could be forwarded. Of course, it was all done on the excruciatingly slow dial-up. Yet around the world the story went. A viral phenomenon that, you could argue, was the first moment of truly 'social media.'"

Lewinsky also opened up about her new campaign to end cyberbullying, saying, "Having survived myself, what I want to do now is help other victims of the shame game survive, too." According to tweets, her speech drew a standing ovation, and people took to social media to share quotes and reactions:

Hours before her speech, Lewinsky joined Twitter, writing, "#HereWeGo," before tweeting, "Excited (and nervous) to speak to #Under30Summit." Although the speech marked her first public delivery, she's definitely opened up over the past year. Lewinsky wrote in the June issue of Vanity Fair about her experience with the media and what it was like to deal with the aftermath of her public shame in private. "Sure, my boss took advantage of me," she said, "but I will always remain firm on this point: it was a consensual relationship. Any 'abuse' came in the aftermath, when I was made a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful position." Watch the full speech above and read the transcript here.

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