Linda Tripp — the former White House aide who exposed Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky’s affair that led to his impeachment in 1998 — died on April 8. She was 70 years old.
Linda Tripp, who was best known as Monica Lewinsky‘s friend and the former White House aide who exposed Monica’s affair with then-President Bill Clinton in 1998, died on Wednesday morning, April 8, her family told TMZ. It’s unclear how Tripp died, as no other details or an autopsy report were provided. The report comes just one day after Tripp’s daughter Allison Tripp Foley revealed that her mother’s serious condition was unrelated to COVID-19. Tripp was 70 years old when she passed.
Two decades before her death, Linda recorded Monica admitting to an affair with Bill Clinton, and later shared those recordings with and testified to independent counsel Kenneth Starr. Starr’s investigation into the affair led to impeachment hearings on Bill Clinton’s presidency.
1. How did she become the “whistleblower?” — Tripp was known for her prominent role in the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal in 1998. The White House aide was the one who uncovered the intimate relationship between the then-52-year-old president and the then-24-year-old-White House intern. When Tripp was a civil servant at the Pentagon, Lewinsky, who also worked in the public affairs office, confided in her. She even told Tripp about the significant blue dress, which Lewinsky said was covered in the president’s semen. Tripp began to record their conversations and later turned the tapes over to then-independent Counsel Kenneth Starr in exchange for immunity from illegal wiretapping charges. Tripp was also the one who encouraged Lewinsky to carefully document her relationship with the president. Tripp’s actions led to Clinton’s impeachment, although he denied the affair in his now viral statement, “I did not have sex with that woman.” Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives in December 1998, but he was acquitted by the Senate in 1999.
2. Lewinsky reacted to news of Tripp’s ailing condition. — “No matter the past, upon hearing that Linda Tripp is very seriously ill, I hope for her recovery. I can’t imagine how difficult this is for her family,” she tweeted on the date on which Tripp later died.
3. Linda Tripp was a former United States civil servant. — Born on November 24, 1949 in Jersey City New Jersey, Linda went on to become an Army Intelligence secretary at Fort Meade before she transferred to the Pentagon in the late 1980s. That’s when she developed a close relationship with Monica Lewinsky, a White House intern, who also worked in the public affairs office at the time.
4. In 2003, Tripp revealed that she had breast cancer. — She discussed her diagnosis on Larry King Live in December of that year. The interview was her first since being diagnosed with breast cancer.
5. Her story will play out in a television series. — The Clinton-Lewinsky affair will be the subject of Ryan Murphy‘s new FX series, Impeachment: American Crime Story. Tripp will be portrayed by Sarah Paulson.