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Linda Tripp, Whistleblower in Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky Sex Scandal, Dies at 70

Tripp had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, the Daily Mail reported

Linda Tripp, the whistleblower whose secret recordings of her conversations with White House intern Monica Lewinsky led to the Bill Clinton sex scandal in the 1990s, died on Wednesday after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, according to multiple reports. She was 70.

The Daily Mail, which first published the news, reported that Tripp received the diagnosis less than a week ago after going to the hospital for stomach pains. Late on Tuesday, Tripp’s daughter Allison Tripp Foley shared on Facebook that her mother was seriously ill and “leaving this earth,” according to the New York Post.

Tripp, a former civil servant for the Pentagon, became a key figure in the Clinton-Lewinsky sex scandal after she made secret recordings of her private conversations in which Lewinsky detailed her affair with the president. Tripp shared the tapes with then-Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr, who expanded his investigation into Clinton, eventually leading to the president’s impeachment in 1998 on perjury charges for his statements about his relationship with Lewinsky; he was acquitted by the Senate the following year.

In a public address made in 2018, Tripp said she only regretted “not having the guts to do it sooner.” “It was always about right and wrong, never left and right,” Tripp said at the time. “It was about exposing perjury and the obstruction of justice. … It was never about politics.”

On Wednesday, Lewinsky responded to earlier reports of Tripp’s declining health and said she hoped for her recovery despite their public falling out. “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 tweeted.

Tripp is survived by her husband, Dieter Rausch, and her two children.