May 8, 2014

Donna Rice: ‘My Heart Really Goes Out to Monica Lewinsky’

The Daily Beast, Keli Goff interviews Donna Rice Hughes about how Monica Lewinsky can rebuild a life when the entire worlds has judged her.

Below are excerpts from the article, click here  to read the entire article.

"...With her Vanity Fair essay Monica Lewinsky is firmly back in the spotlight, which she has alternately sought out and run from in the 16 years since her name became synonymous with scandal. 

Donna Rice Hughes may have the answer.Countless women, and men, have endured scandals but many have bounced back. What is it about Monica Lewinsky that seems to have prevented her from enjoying the seemingly fulfilled life that other scandalized women have been able to carve out for themselves?

“...My heart really goes out to Monica Lewinsky or anyone who gets caught in an international scandal,” Hughes said in an exclusive interview with The Daily Beast."  

"...Nick Ragone, a partner in global PR firm Ketchum Inc,. cited Hughes’s story as demonstrative of one effective strategy of two for bouncing back from a major scandal."

"...The other route is to run in the opposite direction and create an entirely new public identity—think Donna…and work diligently at rebranding themselves.” This second tack, the one that has worked for Hughes, is probably the most viable for Lewinsky, he thinks. “Perhaps this is the first step for Monica Lewinsky in figuring out what her post-scandal identity is going to be.”

"...“For me faith has been the key,” she said. Following the eruption of Hughes’ scandal, as she contemplated what career and media moves to make, her mother and grandmother told her: “Donna, don’t make any decisions until you get your life straight with God.”

"...That in turn led Hughes to decide not to pursue any opportunities that may help her in the short term, but hurt others in the long run, such as an embarrassing tell-all. Instead, she stepped away from the public glare and re-emerged years later as an anti-pornography and anti-cyber-bullying activist. Her image makeover was so effective that she regularly worked with members of Congress and the Senate who never realized she was that Donna Rice. Hughes celebrated her 20th wedding anniversary this week and recalled that when she got married her mother was excited she’d be able to change her scandal-linked name, something plenty have said Lewinsky should do. But Hughes says she wants others—like Lewinsky—to see someone like her scandal-scarred name and all, and know there is hope." 

“...I knew I had a platform because I’d had a public platform ever since the scandal but I wanted it to be used for good not for evil and not for Donna but to help other people so my own pain and suffering and that of my family would be for good,” Hughes says of her current work with “Otherwise it’s for nothing. If you go through all that and if you can’t grow through it and also give back and make a difference, then what’s the point?” Click here to read the entire article.