Monica Lewinsky (born July 23, 1973) is an American businesswoman who was caught up in an American political investigation when she was an intern working at the White House.
While at the White House she had a short-term sexual relationship with the President. President Clinton and Lewinsky both denied that the relationship involved sexual intercourse. The news of this affair, and the resulting investigation, and impeachment, became known as the Lewinsky scandal. Critics of the US media coverage sometimes note how it displaced news regarding the Cochabamba protests of 2000. (1 - p.54)
Friend and confidant Linda Tripp was, unbeknownst to Lewinsky, recording their telephone conversations regarding her affair with Clinton. Later Tripp would serve the tapes to Ken Starr (independent prosecutor), and would be the basis for his continued investigation.
Lewinsky admitted that her relationship with Clinton involved oral sex, including oral-anal contact, as documented in the well-known Starr report, which eventually led to President Clinton's Senate impeachment, on the allegation of perjury regarding the affair.
Clinton had denied having had sexual intercourse with Lewinsky while under oath in an unrelated trial. In a nationally televised clip from a White House news conference, Clinton claimed "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky." The line later became a punchline for its technical verity and deceptive nature. Later, though, Lewinsky's blue dress with Clinton's semen stain led to Clinton's apology for misleading the American people, and he admitted that he had had a sexual relationship with Lewinsky. Specifically, the pair had engaged in oral sex; Clinton denied having committed perjury on the basis that oral sex is not sexual intercourse. He soon faced impeachment hearings in Senate. Clinton was impeached, but not removed from office. Interestingly, Clinton saw his overall job approval ratings among the American people actually increase during and after the scandal.
The affair, and its sordid details, led to a period of cultural celebrity for Lewinsky; as an unlikely sex symbol, and as a younger-generation nexus of a political storm that was both lighthearted, and extremely serious at the same time. Some mild use of the name "Lewinsky" still exists as a term for oral sex, though Lewinsky references and jokes have long cooled in the public interest.
By her own account, Lewinsky survived the intense media attention by knitting. She now runs her own business, selling her own brand of handbags. She is also now the host of a new reality television dating program called Mr. Personality.