Hetrick-Martin Institute Honors Monica Lewinsky


The annual Emery Awards benefitting the Hetrick-Martin Institute took place last Thursday, November 16th, at the Mercedes Benz showroom on the West Side of Manhattan. The school for LGBTQ+ youth raised lots of money via silent and public auctions, pledges, and donations. Guest of honor Monica Lewinsky was introduced to receive her award by Rufus Gifford, Finance Chair for Biden-Harris ‘24.

When Monica took the stage, she received a standing ovation. She gave a moving speech affirming her status as an LGBTQ+ ally, and spoke of understanding the kind of shame that LGBTQ+ youth live with. She, herself, lived with enormous shame while she coped with the aftermath of her affair with President Bill Clinton. She became the butt of jokes on late-night television, struggled with depression and thoughts of suicide, and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

At the time of the scandal, Monica Lewinsky was arguably the most famous woman in the world. And what was she famous for? Giving a blow job to the President of the United States. In her speech she acknowledged that she should not be seen as a role model. She admitted that she lived with a lot of shame after the affair was splashed all over the media. It is unfortunate that most voyeurs had lost sight of the most important thing as far as she was concerned -  that being that Monica Lewinsky was in love. Some may argue that she thought she was in love with Bill Clinton because he was the most powerful man in the world. Both of them had struggled with their weight, and as a White House intern, Monica chose the most important mentor she could find to help her maneuver within Washington politics.

You remember what it was like to be in your mid-twenties. At that time, Monica really thought that Bill would eventually divorce Hillary so the two of them could be together. Bill took advantage of her naivete in order to fulfill his sexual needs. Her love ran so deep that she submitted an affidavit in the Paula Jones case denying that she and Clinton had had an affair. It wasn't until the tapes of recorded telephone conversations with Linda Tripp came to the surface that we learned the truth about the affair. Tripp handed the tapes over to the Republican Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr, who was already investigating the Clintons and their participation in the Whitewater scandal.

Linda also convinced Monica not to dry clean that infamous blue dress.

Poor Monica didn't know what hit her. She was called to testify before a grand jury, and this time she admitted to the affair. She had been granted immunity in exchange for her testimony. Republicans were desperate to bring down the president, and Monica fell right into their trap.

Luckily, Monica's father was a very well-connected attorney. She had the best legal advice money could buy. Years later she received millions for a book deal, an interview with Barbara Walters, and appearances in commercials for Jenny Craig. She definitely landed on her feet, but she will always be known as the girl who blew the President.

Nina Kennedy and Monica Lewinsky


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