Monica Lewinsky has hired Dini von Mueffling — a public relations hand, philanthropist, and society figure about town in New York City — to help advise her transition back into public life and promote a campaign to fight cyber-bullying.
After her affair from 1995 to 1996 with President Bill Clinton, Lewinsky tried different paths, some more disastrous than others, to a career as a public figure: She was a handbag designer, television personality, diet supplement spokeswoman. Then in 2005, she moved to London for privacy, earning a masters degree in social psychology.
This year, Lewinsky is back again. In May, she wrote a widely-read essay in Vanity Fair, in which she promised to stop "tiptoeing" around her past. "I've decided, finally, to stick my head above the parapet so that I can take back my narrative and give a purpose to my past," she said.
Lewinsky hired von Mueffling to do her PR about five months ago, according to von Mueffling, who was reached by phone late on Tuesday afternoon.
She did not go into the specifics of her work for Lewinsky.
"I'll let Monica's actions speak for themselves," von Mueffling said. "She's working really hard at what she's doing. And she has a lot of things coming down."
"You'll see. They'll be wonderful."
Von Mueffling said she did not take on Lewinsky as a client until after her story landed in the pages of Vanity Fair. (Lewinsky first appeared in the magazine in 1998, and friendships she developed soon after with its editor, Graydon Carter, and other members of the staff, helped make the essay this spring happen.)
But since working with Lewinsky through her Manhattan-based PR firm, HvM Communications, von Mueffling helped arrange for her client to appear at Forbes's first "30 Under 30" summit in Philadelphia earlier this month.
She also coordinated with officials at Twitter to roll out Lewinsky's debut on the social media platform. Lewinsky's account bore the blue "verified" checkmark the day she logged in to fire off her first tweet: "#HereWeGo," it read.
Von Mueffling said that she is Lewinsky's "sole representative" at the moment. But she added that Lewinsky has "a wonderful network of friends who are very accomplished, and I'm sure she gets advice from a lot of people."
Outside her PR practice, von Mueffling has held a bevvy of titles: She has worked as a columnist, writing a "Dear Dini" manners series in Gotham magazine; produced a show on Broadway; and co-founded the AIDS education nonprofit, Love Heals. The biography on HvM's website notes that von Mueffling sits on a number of boards.
Lewinsky has reemerged at a time when Clinton, the former first lady, is back on the campaign trail for Democrats this fall and weighing another run for president.
She has indicated that cyber-bullying will be the focus of the public campaign she is planning with von Mueffling. Lewinsky wrote in Vanity Fair that she was the "first person to have their reputation completely destroyed" on the Internet.
And at the Forbes summit this month, Lewisnky came back to the point. "There was no Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram back then. But there were gossip, news, and entertainment websites replete with comment sections and emails which could be forwarded," Lewinsky said, calling her affair and the impeachment hearings it precipitated "a viral phenomenon," the "first moment of truly 'social media.'"
Lewinsky has not yet announced her next public event.
This article has been updated.
Ruby Cramer is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Ruby Cramer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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