Whenever Monica Lewinsky is in the news, it triggers a lot of emotions for me. I feel a certain camaraderie with her; a bizarre sisterhood. She and I were both 22 years old when we made mistakes that would haunt us for the rest of our lives. No, I didn’t perform oral sex on a sitting president. But I did engage in a sexting relationship with disgraced congressman Anthony Weiner, who then chose to run for mayor of the largest city in the country. How many of you can say that the decisions you made at 22 were all great life choices? Choices that you’d be fine with having plastered all over the internet for eternity?
People ask me things like, “Why did you choose to become a media whore instead of hiding and regaining your dignity like Monica?” The answer is quite simple really: I was poor. When I was outed by Buzzfeed, I was forced to quit my job. As someone who was connected to a huge media scandal, I knew that it would be very difficult for me to get another position. I knew that whatever amibitions I had were crushed and that I would have to take my life in a very different direction if I planned on paying my bills. Unlike Monica, I did not have the socioeconomic means to hide away from the public, as nice as that sounded. My family loves me, but they aren’t wealthy and couldn’t offer a financial safety net when I was disgraced and unemployed. My parents divorced before I was 2. Eventually, my mother left, and my father was forced to take on the role of single dad while he also busted his ass for next to nothing working in a factory. I realized at a very young age that I was going to have to take care of myself. So that’s what I’ve done.