Monica Lewinsky has revealed how watching Tasmanian comedian Hannah Gadsby’s award-winning show helped heal some of the pain she still felt from the scandal that rocked the White House.
Lewinsky presented Gadsby with an award at the Australians in Film gala on Hollywood’s historic Paramount Pictures studio lot on Wednesday.
It was Lewinsky’s mid-1990s White House sexual encounters with then US president Bill Clinton that almost ended his presidency.
Lewinsky, 45, told the ceremony she found special meaning in Gadsby’s Netflix special, titled Nanette, where the Australian addressed how the scandal made the former White House intern an “easy punchline”.
“As Hannah so eloquently says, there is nothing stronger than a broken woman who has rebuilt herself,” Lewinsky told the high-powered audience of Australian and Hollywood filmmakers and executives.
Gadsby details in the show her life growing up gay in Tasmania, the sexual and physical assaults she suffered and other social issues.
“Her show was surprisingly the only comedy show I have ever bawled my eyes out in and, given my history, that was shocking,” Lewinsky said.
Gadsby, in her honest and deadpan way, confessed it was “not my dream to be here” on stage in Hollywood winning an award.
“I have been overwhelmed how positively this show has been received and how connected I am to the world in a way I honestly did not know how disconnected I was,” Gadsby said.
The other award winners were former Home and Away actor Eliza Scanlen, who just starred with Oscar nominee Amy Adams in the HBO TV mini-series Sharp Objects.
Academy Award-winning Australian film editor Lee Smith (Dunkirk and Inception) and producer Mark Johnson (Rain Man, Breaking Bad, Breath) were also honoured.
Australians in Film is a Los Angeles-based, non-profit organisation supporting Australians in Hollywood and the annual ceremony is its major fundraiser.
Guests at the ceremony included Big Little Lies producer Bruna Papandrea and actors Sam and Lara Worthington, Luke Bracey and Teresa Palmer.