Former home secretary Jacqui Smith - who claimed on expenses for pornographic films watched by her husband - has revealed she doubts she will ever be able to restore her reputation.
In her first newspaper interview since resigning ahead of last month's Cabinet reshuffle, she also claimed Tony Blair would have handled the whole expenses scandal better than Gordon Brown.
Of her notorious claims for the adult films, she told The Guardian: "It was part of the reason I resigned."
"The whole of my life has been about trying to do the right thing, trying to be somebody people can respect - and then this is hung around my neck, and I don't know if it will ever go away."
Ms Smith's husband, Richard Timney, who she also employed as her parliamentary aide, was forced to apologise after details of the claim were made public.
She faced other expense embarrassment when it emerged she had registered her sister's London home as her main residence, allowing her to claim £116,000 in allowances for the family home in Redditch, Worcestershire. She also charged taxpayers for an 88p bath plug and a £500 sink.
Ms Smith - who was Britain's first female home secretary - told The Guardian she did not regret claiming allowances on her family home.
But she said: "I did wrong with the claims for the films. It shouldn't have got within a million miles of being a claim.
"I probably did wrong in some of the things I claimed for on my accommodation allowance. There are some things I look at now and think, 'No it wasn't justified to charge that much to the taxpayer.'"
She said the expenses scandal has been handled "appallingly badly" by politicians. "Given that this has happened at a time when people are thinking, 'Just a minute, I'm worried about losing my job,' that juxtaposition is absolutely toxic."