Linda Tripp, Bill Clinton Scandal Whistleblower, Dead at 70

Less than 24 hours after Linda Tripp's daughter Allison Tripp Foley announced her mother was on her death bed, the 70-year-old died Wednesday. While it's not been confirmed just yet what the cause of death was, her daughter did confirm with TMZ that it is not COVID-19 as a result of contracting the coronavirus. "My mommy is leaving this earth," Foley wrote in a Facebook post Tuesday evening. "I don't know myself if I can survive this heartache." She continued by asking for prayers for "a painless process for the strongest woman I will ever know in my entire lifetime."

Tripp was the woman who ignited the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. When she was working at the Pentagon, she befriended Monica Lewinsky — a White House intern at the time. Tripp recorded a conversation with the then 24-year-old, who was talking about her affair with Clinton. In 1997, she combined 22 hours worth of recordings and then handed it over to special prosecutor, Ken Starr.

Despite the fact that Tripp became a villain among Clinton supporters, she refused to apologize about what she did. Instead, defending her actions saying that Clinton's behavior were "unacceptable" and what she did was "a conscious choice to say this is unacceptable, completely unacceptable for anyone, let alone the leader of the free world in the Oval Office," Tripp told Leon Neyfakh in 2018 on the Slate podcast "Slow Burn" according to Variety.

When Lewinsky heard the news, she chose to leave the past in the past and show concern for Tripp and her family, writing: "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." Lewinsky mentioned to Barbara Walters in an interview that she "wanted to die" when she found out that she had been secretly recorded and exposed for the world to see. She mentioned feeling, "gutted and violated and betrayed," and mostly "scared" before saying she had "never been so afraid" in her entire life. "I wanted to die," she said.

Tripp believed that "we'd be in a different place today" had Clinton been censured: "I think #MeToo would have been history and we would have been so much further along with ensuring that none of this happened in the workplace, making it the exception rather than the rule." Clinton famously denied the affair in 1998 by saying "I did not have sex with that woman." After denying the allegations in a sworn deposition, it led to his impeachment on charges of obstruction of justice and perjury. Following a 21-day trial, he was acquitted by the Senate.