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Politics It's been 20 years since the Monica Lewinsky scandal — here's what she is up to now

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The scandal involving Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton rocked the nation 20 years ago this week. But Lewinsky had quite a career since then.

Monica Lewinsky play

Monica Lewinsky

(Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

This week marks 20 years since investigators began looking into the affair between former President Bill Clinton and White House intern Monica Lewinsky, ultimately leading to Clinton's impeachment in December 1998, changing American politics forever.

But while many Americans today only associate Lewinsky with her role in the high-profile scandal, she has made an impressive career for herself in retail, advertising, and most recently social advocacy. Last year, she joined hundreds of other women in the #MeToo campaign on Twitter.

Here's how Lewinsky went from reluctant celebrity to public activist, twenty years after she was thrust into the public spotlight:

The events that would eventually lead to Clinton's impeachment took place while Lewinsky was an unpaid White House intern between 1995 and 1996. Lewinsky reportedly had almost a dozen sexual encounters with the former president during this time.

Official White House photo taken Nov. 17, 1995 from page 3179 of Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr's report on President Clinton, showing President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky at the White House. play

Official White House photo taken Nov. 17, 1995 from page 3179 of Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr's report on President Clinton, showing President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky at the White House.

(The White House/AP)

Source: History Channel



After Lewinsky came forward to investigators in the summer of 1997, the story broke in January 1998. Responding to allegations made against him in the media, Clinton made his now-famous denial: "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."

Clinton shook his finger as he made his infamous comment denying an affair with Lewinsky play

Clinton shook his finger as he made his infamous comment denying an affair with Lewinsky

(Greg Gibson/AP)

Source: History Channel, CNN



Clinton was eventually impeached in December 1998, but was not found guilty for perjury. Meanwhile, Lewinsky's celebrity status was only just beginning to grow.

Clinton, minutes before the House Judiciary Committee voted to impeach him. play

Clinton, minutes before the House Judiciary Committee voted to impeach him.

(Greg Gibson/AP)

Source: History Channel, CNN



Lewinsky's stardom exploded in 1999. She cooperated on a book telling her side of the affair, got interviewed by ABC's Barbara Walters on "20/20," and was the focus of intense media scrutiny.

Lewinsky during her interview with Walters on ABC. play

Lewinsky during her interview with Walters on ABC.

(Youtube/aliot77)

Sources: New York Times, CNN



In September 1999 she also launched a line of handbags, and in 2000 she began appearing in commercials for weight loss company Jenny Craig that required her to lose 40 pounds. She had been bullied in the media for her weight on numerous occasions.

Monica Lewinsky shows one of the handbags from her spring collection to a customer at a New York department store Wednesday March 22, 2000. play

Monica Lewinsky shows one of the handbags from her spring collection to a customer at a New York department store Wednesday March 22, 2000.

(AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Sources: New York Magazine, New York Times, The Independent



In the years after the scandal, Lewinsky moved to the West Village in New York City and was a vibrant part of the Manhattan social scene. She reportedly attended galas, schmoozed with celebrities, and went on shopping trips in SoHo.

Lewinsky in 2002 play

Lewinsky in 2002

(AP)

Sources: New York Magazine, The Independent



She also briefly hosted a reality dating show on Fox called "Mr. Personality," for which she initially received high marks from critics. The show soon slid in ratings, however.

Lewinsky play

Lewinsky

(AP Photo/Soile Kallio))

Sources: Time, New York Times



In 2005 though, Lewinsky decided to leave the public spotlight to pursue a master's degree in social psychology at the London School of Economics. She remained absent from the public eye for years afterward.

In 2005 though, Lewinsky decided to leave the public spotlight to pursue a master's degree in social psychology at the London School of Economics. She remained absent from the public eye for years afterward. play

In 2005 though, Lewinsky decided to leave the public spotlight to pursue a master's degree in social psychology at the London School of Economics. She remained absent from the public eye for years afterward.

(AP Photo/Nick Ut)

Sources: Time



But in 2014, ten years after her self-imposed exile from public life, Lewinsky came back with a bang. She wrote a piece in Vanity Fair about the Clinton affair, and began a campaign to combat the kind of cyberbullying she went through during and after the scandal went public.

Lewinsky giving a TED talk on cyberbullying in 2015. play

Lewinsky giving a TED talk on cyberbullying in 2015.

(Screenshot/YouTube)

Sources: Vanity Fair, CNN



In 2017, she broadened her cyberbullying campaign and took part in the #MeToo movement that sheds light on sexual assault and harassment. Her tweet referenced the Women's March that took place in January 2017.

Lewinsky at an anti-cyberbullying rally in November 2017 play

Lewinsky at an anti-cyberbullying rally in November 2017

(STRMX2 via AP)

Sources: Twitter, Fox News



Despite the negative light in which she was initially portrayed after the Clinton scandal, Lewinsky has transformed herself into an advocate for women as well as an advocate for her own legacy. Her activism and impact continues to grow, but now it's on her own terms.

Monica Lewinsky in 2015 play

Monica Lewinsky in 2015

(Lionel Cironneau/AP)