Monica Lewinsky Reflects on Surviving Her Infamous "Mistake" During Hollywood Reporter Women in Entertainment Event

Lewinsky directed her speech at the 40 students in attendance who were being honored as part of The Hollywood Reporter's Mentorship Program.

At The Hollywood Reporter's Women in Entertainment event Wednesday, Monica Lewinsky opened up about her 1995 affair with President Bill Clinton and what she learned from the aftermath. 

Speaking to the room at Los Angeles' Milk Studios, Lewinsky directed her speech at the 40 students in attendance who were being honored as part of THR's Mentorship Program. She joked that while they were not born when her name was in the headlines, "some of you — if you know the music of Eminem, Kid Cuddy, G Eazy and, of course, Beyonce — may have probably heard of me in a couple of their songs."

She went on to reflect, saying, "we have each made a mistake in our career that has come with consequences. And probably everyone in this room can agree, that among all of us here today, when it comes to the worst mistake or mistake with the worst consequences, I definitely win. Hands down!"

Lewinsky recalled how 20 years ago, when she was in court in front of a grand jury, the foreperson on the jury gave her some valuable advice. The foreperson told her, "Monica, none of us in this room is perfect. We all fall and we fall several times a day. The only difference between my age and when I was your age is now I get up faster." 

She continued speaking to the teenagers, telling them she was only eight years their senior when she made headlines, and can now look back and say that the foreperson was right. "Get comfortable with the fact that at some point you will make a mistake in your career," Lewinsky concluded. "And know, from the deepest part of you, that you can move on from it, you can grow from it, and you can survive it." 

Lena Dunham, who served as guest editor for THR's Women in Entertainment issue, introduced Lewinsky at the event, saying "Let's give a hand for a woman who rises again and again, who refuses to allow labels and preconceptions to prevent her from using her big, beautiful voice." 

At the annual star-studded event, Viola Davis was honored with the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award and Nina Jacobson was the Equity in Entertainment Award honoree. 

The Power 100 Women in Entertainment Event Presented by Lifetime is sponsored by American Airlines, Cadillac, Fiji Water, eOne, Gersh, Loyola Marymount University and SAG-AFTRA, in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles and Entertainment Industry Foundation.