Linda Tripp, whose secret phone recordings of Monica Lewinsky eventually led to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, died on Wednesday. She was 70.

Details of her death have not been revealed, but acquaintances said she had been hospitalized for breast cancer.

Tripp worked at the White House and Pentagon. She worked under President George H.W. Bush‘s administration and the Clinton administration. While working for the Clinton administration, she met Lewinsky, an intern, and the two became friends despite their age difference. Lewinsky confided in her that she had a sexual relationship with the president, and Tripp thought it was her “patriotic duty” to speak out about the scandal. She was also working on a book about how the president treated women, and found this story interesting while working with literary agent Lucianne Goldberg.


Tripp suplied her tapes of Lewinsky to Kenneth Starr, who was an independent counsel already investigating the Clintons’ investments in Whitewater. From there, Lewinsky was taken in for questioning, and after his grand jury testimony, the president was charged with obstruction of justice and lying under oath. He was impeached by the House in 1998, but acquitted by the Senate in 1999.

In the past, some hailed Tripp as a hero and whistleblower, but others labeled her as a back-stabber with a political agenda. John Goodman famously portrayed her on Saturday Night Live.

“I’m an average American who found herself in a situation not of her own making,” Tripp said in a rare public appearance at the time.

Lewinsky herself, who once said “I hate Linda Tripp,” in her testimony in front of the grand jury, wrote on Twitter:

“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.”

Tripp is survived by her husband, Dieter Rausch, and her children Ryan Tripp and Allison Tripp Foley.

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