Monica Lewinsky, the former White House intern widely known for her affair with former President Bill Clinton, was asked about possibly changing her name as a way to get out of the spotlight. But she had a very simple question.
Why didn't Clinton change his?
"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver sat down with Lewinsky for an interview as part of his segment Sunday on people shaming.
Lewinsky, 45, said she had a difficult time getting jobs following the scandal that led to Clinton's impeachment by the House of Representatives in 1998. Lewinsky said employers either wanted her to attend company events because of who she was, or they were concerned about how their company might be treated by the government if Hillary Clinton were to be elected president.
When it was suggested she consider changing her name, Lewinsky indicated lying about who she was would not be a good way to start a professional relationship, particularly since she's so recognizable.
But there was another consideration.
"I think it was also a principle," Lewinsky said, "in the sense that Bill Clinton didn't have to change his name. Nobody's ever asked him, did he think he should change his name. And so I think that that was an important statement."
Lewinsky said she remains proud of who she is despite the difficulty that comes with her last name, not only for her but for her family. She also said the notoriety is something she'll never be able to escape from, implying that the episode in history is often referred to as the "Lewinsky scandal."