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Monica Lewinsky speaks out, says she was made ‘scapegoat’

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Monica Lewinsky is shown in this Dec. 5, 2006 file photo at an event in New York.AP

Monica Lewinsky, now 40 and 17 years removed from her affair with then-President Bill Clinton, is speaking out -- offering what could be uncomfortable details as Hillary Clinton is thought to be preparing a White House run. 

Lewinsky has penned an account for Vanity Fair, excerpts of which were published Tuesday. In it, she recalls the humiliation she endured and accuses the Clinton administration and others of making her a "scapegoat." 

"The Clinton administration, the special prosecutor's minions, the political operatives on both sides of the aisle, and the media were able to brand me," she wrote. "And that brand stuck, in part because it was imbued with power." 

Still, Lewinsky wrote that the affair was consensual. 

"Sure, my boss took advantage of me, but I will always remain firm on this point: it was a consensual relationship. Any 'abuse' came in the aftermath, when I was made a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful position," she said. 

Lewinsky said she "deeply" regrets what happened between her and the leader of the free world. As for her silence all these years, she acknowledged "buzz" that she was paid off but insisted "nothing could be further from the truth." 

Lewinsky said her notoriety for years has hurt her ability to get the kind of job she wants. She said she interviewed for communications jobs but was often told she wasn't "quite right" for the position, or was courted just to help companies get media attention. 

Lewinsky revealed that she was "suicidal" during the height of the Clinton administration scandal, though never actually tried to kill herself. As for why she's coming forward, she said she wants to "get involved with efforts on behalf of victims of online humiliation and harassment and to start speaking on this topic in public forums."