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Political Household Name Monica Lewinsky Is The Daughter Of A Latin American immigrant, And Other Facts

Although Monica Lewinsky became a household name in 1998 due to the revelation of her affair with President Bill Clinton and the subsequent media circus surrounding the scandal, few know Lewinsky’s personal story. For example, it’s hardly common knowledge that Monica Lewinsky is a Latina. Her father, Bernard Lewinsky, was born in El Salvador and emigrated to the U.S. when he was 14 years old. As a daughter of a Latin American immigrant, Lewinsky’s appointment to the White House was especially important to her family–a culmination of the American Dream her father had fantasized about when he moved to the U.S.

In light of the changing attitude towards Lewinsky’s role in the affair with President Bill Clinton and her current occupation as an anti-bullying activist, we decided to explore the little-known life of Monica Lewinsky. Read on to discover both her life before and after the pivotal affair that made her famous.

1. Lewinsky’s father, Bernard Lewinsky was born in San Salvador, El Salvador

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Bernard Lewinsky’s family were German Jews who fled Nazi Germany in the 1930s to escape persecuation.

2. Lewinsky’s father emigrated to the United States when he was fourteen.

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Lewinsky and his family moved from El Salvador to make a life for themselves in the United States. They settled in the San Francisco area.

3. Monica’s mother, Marcia Kay Vilensky, married Bernard Lewinsky when he was 26 and she was 20 years old

via A&E

Monica Lewinsky was born in San Francisco in 1973. Soon, the Lewinsky family relocated to the affluent neighborhood of Beverly Hills in Los Angeles. By this time, her father was a successful Oncologist with a thriving practice.

4. The Lewinsky family enjoyed an affluent lifestyle

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Due to Dr. Lewinsky’s substantial salary from his succesful oncology practice, the Lewinsky family lived an enviable life, complete with first-class travel and private tennis lessons.

5. Monica’s parents had a contentious marriage that ended in divorce.

@monicalewinsky/Twitter

During the divorce proceedings, Lewis claimed that her husband had been verbally abusive to both her and her children. The acrimonious nature of the divorce reportedly profoundly impacted the young Monica.

6. Lewinsky attended a series of private schools in her youth.

@monicalewinsky/Twitter

Lewinsky’s family spared no expense in her education, sending her to private grade schools and eventually, the prestigious private school, Bel Air Prep.

7. Teachers later described Lewinsky as a “hard worker who put in long, long hours in the theater department”

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According to friends and teachers who knew her in high school, Lewinsky was sweet, outgoing, energetic, ambitious and driven. She was involved in choir, her theater’s tech department, and often baby-sat for neighbors. By all means, she was a normal young girl who some described as “unremarkable”.

8. Accounts from friends and family also describe Monica as “starving for love” as a teenager with an “inner hunger” for male attention

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Close friends from Lewinsky’s childhood also revealed to reporters that her teen years were wracked with obsessive crushes that would foreshadow her approach to future relationships. She was also known to struggle with over-eating and body image issues.

9. While she was a college student, Lewinsky engaged in an illicit affair with her former high school Drama teacher

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Lewinsky’s relationship with her married former Drama teacher later came back to haunt her when he revealed he revealed their affair to the press during the height of the Clinton affair media frenzy. Her former lover revealed private details of their love life while his lawyer claimed that teenage Lewinsky has been “sex-obsessed”.

10. After high school, Lewinsky enrolled in community college and soon transferred to Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon

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After graduating high school, Lewinsky first attended a two-year community college, and then transferred to Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.

11. Through a family connection, Lewinsky landed an internship at the White House

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According to Lewinsky’s parents, her placement at the White House had been extremely validating for them–especially to her father. ‘‘I’m an immigrant from El Salvador,” said Bernard Lewinsky. “It was awesome and unbelievable that she would be working at the White House.”

12. Lewinsky moved to Washington, D.C. in the summer of 1995 where she settled in quickly to the local social scene

@Joes_DC/Twitter

Lewinsky was described by friends and colleauges as being extremely outgoing, warm and friendly. She was also known for possessing a certain L.A. glamour that many staffers in D.C. were lacking. She loved to go out for drinks, shop, and talk about men.

13. According to contemporary sources, Lewinsky was attracted to relationships with older people

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According to friends that knew her at the time, Lewinsky gravitated towards romantic relationships with older men and mentor-mentee relationships with older women. Her friends speculate that her pursuit of these relationships stemmed from underlying issues she had with her parents’ traumatic divorce.

14. Lewinsky said her “crush” on President Clinton started when she was in his presence for the first time

In the documentary “The Clinton Affair”, Lewinsky revealed she was “struck” by Clinton when she first met him. “He had this ability to hold everybody who was there,” she said. “Not just young women, not just older women, but young men, older men, gay straight–everybody is sort of starry-eyed in his presence.”

15. Lewinsky and Clinton allegedly began their affair in November 1995

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Their sexual relationship lasted from November 1995 and March 1997 where they engaged in nine sexual encounters in the Oval Office. According to evidence uncovered during the investigation into Clinton’s actions, they also exchanged gifts.

16. News of the scandal catapulted Lewinsky into notoriety and the international spotlight

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After news of their affair broke in January 1998, the 24-year-old Lewinsky experienced intense media scrutiny. The White House staffer hid in her mother’s D.C. apartment to hide from the barrage of cameras and reporters.

17. After the scandal, Lewinsky experienced a celebrity-like status

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After President Clinton’s impeachment trial, and its corresponding media circus, Lewinsky became somewhat of a pop culture icon. She was regularly spotted hanging with other celebrities like Tom Green and Alan Cumming and attended exclusive events.

18. In order to pay her extensive legal fees, Lewinsky accepted gigs hawking everything from diet plans to handbags

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In 1999, Lewinsky designed and sold a line of handbags under the self-created designer label “The Real Monica, Inc”. Lewinsky credited the line with helping her “cope during an almost unendurable time in [her] life”. In 2000, she signed a $1 million endorsement deal with Jenny Craig.

19. In the years since she left the Clinton scandal behind her, Lewinsky has since dedicated her life to educating the public to the dangers of bullying.

@Newsweek/Twitter

Lewinsky now uses her notoriety to discuss issues that are close to her heart–namely, presenting cyber-bullying. In fact, she has even given a Ted Talk on the dangers of bullying and the negative effects it can have on the victim’s mental health.

20. Now, in the post- #MeToo era, the public’s perception of Monica Lewinsky’s role in the affair with President Clinton has shifted

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Back in the 1990s, much of the public thought of Lewinsky as a young homewrecker who seduced a married man. But, after the #MeToo reckoning, many people believe that President Clinton abused his power when he engaged in a relationship with Lewinsky. As for Lewinsky, she’s revealed that although she suffers PTSD from the ordeal, she insists that her relationship with President Clinton had been “consensual”. “Any ‘abuse’ came in the aftermath,” she said. “When I was made a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful position”.

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This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

Entertainment

This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

On a recent episode of ABC’s game show To Tell The Truth, three celebrity panelists were tasked to uncover the identity of a real mariachi singer.

Each contender embodied “non-traditional” attributes of mariachi culture either through physical appearance or language barriers, leaving the panelists stumped.

When it came time for the big reveal, with a humble smile 53-year-old Timoteo “El Charro Negro” stood up wowing everyone. Marveled by his talents, Timoteo was asked to perform unveiling his smooth baritone voice.

While not a household name in the U.S., his career spans over 25 years thriving on the catharsis of music.

Timoteo “El Charro Negro” performing “Chiquilla Linda” on Dante Night Show in 2017.

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Timoteo, born Timothy Pollard, moved to Long Beach, California with his family when he was eight years old. The move to California exposed Pollard to Latin culture, as the only Black family in a Mexican neighborhood.

As a child, he recalled watching Cantinflas because he reminded him of comedian Jerry Lewis, but musically he “got exposed to the legends by chance.”

“I was bombarded by all the 1960s, ’70s, and ’50s ranchera music,” Timoteo recalls to mitú.

The unequivocal passion mariachi artists like Javier Solis and Vicente Fernandez possessed heavily resonated with him.

“[The neighbors] always played nostalgic music, oldies but goodies, and that’s one thing I noticed about Mexicans,” Timoteo says. “They can be in their 20s but because they’ve grown up listening to the oldies it’s still very dear to them. That’s how they party.”

For as long as he can remember, Pollard “was born with the genetic disposition to love music,” knowing that his future would align with the arts.

After hearing Vicente Fernandez sing “Lástima Que Seas Ajena,” an awakening occurred in Pollard. While genres like hip-hop and rap were on the rise, Pollard’s passion for ranchera music grew. It was a moment when he realized that this genre best suited his big voice.

Enamored, Pollard began to pursue a career as a Spanish-language vocalist.

El Charro Negro
Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

At 28, Timoteo began learning Spanish by listening and singing along to those artists he adored in his youth.

“When I decided that I wanted to be a mariachi, I didn’t think it was fair to exploit the culture and not understand the language,” he says. “If I’m going to sing, I need to be able to communicate with my audience and engage with them. I need to understand what I’m saying because it was about honor and respect.”

Pollard began performing local gigs after picking up the language in a matter of months. He soon attracted the attention of “Big Boy” Radio that adorned him the name Timoteo “El Charro Negro.”

Embellishing his sound to highlight his Black heritage, Pollard included African instruments like congas and bongos in his orchestra. Faintly putting his own spin on a niche genre, Pollard avoided over-saturating the genre’s sound early in his career.

Embraced by his community as a beloved mariachi, “El Charro Negro” still encountered race-related obstacles as a Black man in the genre.

“There are those [in the industry] who are not in the least bit thrilled to this day. They won’t answer my phone calls, my emails, my text messages I’ve sent,” he says. “The public at large hasn’t a problem with it, but a lot of the time it’s those at the helm of decision making who want to keep [the genre] exclusively Mexican.”

“El Charro Negro” persisted, slowly attracting fans worldwide while promoting a message of harmony through his music.

In 2007, 12 years into his career, Pollard received a golden ticket opportunity.

El Charro Negro
Pollard (left) seen with legendary Mexican artist Vicente Fernandez (right) in 2007. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In a by-chance encounter with a stagehand working on Fernandez’s tour, Pollard was offered the chance to perform onstage. The singer was skeptical that the offer was legit. After all, what are the chances?

The next day Pollard went to his day job at the time and said, “a voice in my head, which I believe was God said, ‘wear your blue velvet traje tonight.'”

That evening Pollard went to a sold-out Stockton Area where he met his idol. As he walked on the stage, Pollard recalls Fernandez insisting that he use his personal mic and band to perform “De Que Manera Te Olvido.”

“[Fernandez] said he did not even want to join me,” he recollects about the show. “He just was kind and generous enough to let me sing that song on his stage with his audience.”

The crowd applauded thunderously, which for Pollard was a sign of good things to come.

El Charro Negro
Timoteo “El Charro Negro” with Don Francisco on Don Francisco Presenta in 2011. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In 2010, he released his debut album “Me Regalo Contigo.” In perfect Spanish, Pollard sings with great conviction replicating the soft tones of old-school boleros.

Unraveling the rollercoaster of relationships, heart-wrenchingly beautiful ballads like “Me Regalo Contigo” and “Celos” are his most streamed songs. One hidden gem that has caught the listener’s attention is “El Medio Morir.”

As soon as the track begins it is unlike the others. Timoteo delivers a ’90s R&B love ballad in Spanish, singing with gumption as his riffs and belts encapsulate his unique sound and story.

Having appeared on shows like Sabado Gigante, Don Francisco Presenta, and Caso Cerrado in 2011, Timoteo’s career prospered.

Timoteo hasn’t released an album since 2010 but he keeps his passion alive. The singer has continued to perform, even during the Covid pandemic. He has high hopes for future success and original releases, choosing to not slow down from his destined musical journey.

“If God is with me, who can be against me? It may not happen in a quick period of time, but God will make my enemies my footstool,” he said.

“I’ve continued to be successful and do some of the things I want to do; maybe not in a particular way or in particular events, but I live in a very happy and fulfilled existence.”

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Exclusive: Luis Fonsi Talks Working with Rauw Alejandro, Christina Aguilera, and Demi Lovato

Entertainment

Exclusive: Luis Fonsi Talks Working with Rauw Alejandro, Christina Aguilera, and Demi Lovato

Luis Fonsi is kicking off 2021 with a new single. The Puerto Rican superstar premiered the music video for “Vacío” on Feb. 18 featuring rising Boricua singer Rauw Alejandro. The guys put a new spin on the classic “A Puro Dolor” by Son By Four.

Luis Fonsi throws it back to his románticas.

“I called Omar Alfanno, the writer of ‘A Puro Dolo,’ who is a dear friend,” Fonsi tells Latido Music. “I told him what my idea was [with ‘Vacío’] and he loved it. He gave me his blessing, so I wrote a new song around a few of those lines from ‘A Puro Dolor’ to bring back that nostalgia of those old romantic tunes that have been a part of my career as well. It’s a fresh production. It sounds like today, but it has that DNA of a true, old-school ballad.”

The world got to know Luis Fonsi through his global smash hit “Despacito” with Daddy Yankee in 2017. The remix with Canadian pop star Justin Bieber took the song to new heights. That was a big moment in Fonsi’s music career that spans over 20 years.

There’s more to Fonsi than “Despacito.”

Fonsi released his first album, the fittingly-titled Comenzaré, in 1998. While he was on the come-up, he got the opportunity of a lifetime to feature on Christina Aguilera’s debut Latin album Mi Reflejo in 2000. The two collaborated on “Si No Te Hubiera Conocido.” Luis Fonsi scored multiple Billboard Hot Latin Songs No. 1s in the years that followed and one of the biggest hits was “No Me Doy Por Vencido” in 2008. That was his career-defining romantic ballad.

“Despacito” remains the second most-viewed music video on YouTube with over 7.2 billion views. The hits did not stop there. Later in 2017, he teamed up with Demi Lovato for “Échame La Culpa,” which sits impressively with over 2 billion views.

He’s also appearing on The Voice next month.

Not only is Fonsi working on his new album, but also he’s giving advice to music hopefuls for the new season of The Voice that’s premiering on March 1. Kelly Clarkson tapped him as her Battle Advisor. In an exclusive interview, Fonsi talked with us about “Vacío,” The Voice, and a few of his greatest hits.

What was the experience like to work with Rauw Alejandro for “Vacío”?

Rauw is cool. He’s got that fresh sound. Great artist. Very talented. Amazing onstage. He’s got that great tone and delivery. I thought he had the perfect voice to fit with my voice in this song. We had talked about working together for awhile and I thought that this was the perfect song. He really is such a star. What he’s done in the last couple of years has been amazing. I love what he brought to the table on this song.

Now I want to go through some of your greatest hits. Do you remember working with Christina Aguilera for her Spanish album?

How could you not remember working with her? She’s amazing. That was awhile back. That was like 1999 or something like that. We were both starting out and she was putting out her first Spanish album. I got to sing a beautiful ballad called “Si No Te Hubiera Conocido.” I got to work with her in the studio and see her sing in front of the mic, which was awesome. She’s great. One of the best voices out there still to this day.

What’s one of your favorite memories of “No Me Doy Por Vencido”?

“No Me Doy Por Vencido” is one of the biggest songs in my career. I think it’s tough to narrow it down just to one memory. I think in general the message of the song is what sticks with me. The song started out as a love song, but it turned into an anthem of hope. We’ve used the song for different important events and campaigns. To me, that song has such a powerful message. It’s bigger than just a love song. It’s bringing hope to people. It’s about not giving up. To be able to kind of give [people] hope through a song is a lot more powerful than I would’ve ever imagined. It’s a very special song.

I feel the message is very relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic we’re living through.

Oh yeah! I wrote that song a long time ago with Claudia Brant, and during the first or second month of the lockdown when we were all stuck at home, we did a virtual writing session and we rewrote “No Me Doy Por Vencido.” Changing the lyrics, kind of adjusting them to this situation that we’re living now. I haven’t recorded it. I’ll do something with it eventually. It’s really cool. It still talks about love. It talks about reuniting. Like the light at the end of the tunnel. It has the hope and love backbone, but it has to do a lot with what we’re going through now.

What do you think of the impact “Despacito” made on the industry?

It’s a blessing to be a part of something so big. Again, it’s just another song. We write these songs and the moment you write them, you don’t really know what’s going to happen with them. Or sometimes you run into these surprises like “Despacito” where it becomes a global phenomenon. It goes No. 1 in places where Spanish songs had never been played. I’m proud. I’m blessed. I’m grateful to have worked with amazing people like Daddy Yankee. Like Justin Bieber for the remix and everyone else involved in the song. My co-writer Erika Ender. The producers Mauricio Rengifo and Andrés Torres. It was really a team effort and it’s a song that obviously changed my career forever.

What was the experience like to work with Demi Lovato on “Echáme La Culpa”?

She’s awesome! One of the coolest recording sessions I’ve ever been a part of. She really wanted to sing in Spanish and she was so excited. We did the song in Spanish and English, but it was like she was more excited about the Spanish version. And she nailed it! She nailed it from the beginning. There was really not much for me to say to her. I probably corrected her once or twice in the pronunciation, but she came prepared and she brought it. She’s an amazing, amazing, amazing vocalist.

You’re going to be a battle advisor on The Voice. What was the experience like to work with Kelly Clarkson?

She’s awesome. What you see is what you get. She’s honest. She’s funny. She’s talented. She’s humble and she’s been very supportive of my career. She invited me to her show and it speaks a lot that she wanted me to be a part of her team as a Battle Advisor for the new season. She supports Latin music and I’m grateful for that. She’s everything you hope she would be. She’s the real deal, a true star, and just one of the coolest people on this planet.

What can we expect from you in 2021?

A lot of new music. Obviously, everything starts today with “Vacío.” This is literally the beginning of what this new album will be. I’ve done nothing but write and record during the last 10 months, so I have a bunch of songs. Great collaborations coming up. I really think the album will be out probably [in the] third or fourth quarter this year. The songs are there and I’m really eager for everybody to hear them.

Read: We Finally Have A Spanish-Language Song As The Most Streamed Song Of All Time

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