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Biography

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Overview (3)

Date of Birth 24 November 1949Jersey City, New Jersey, USA
Birth NameLinda Rose Carotennuto
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

For a short time, Linda Tripp became a central figure in one of the biggest Presidential scandals in American history, and was cast as one of the villains in a spectacle that had no heroes. She had lived her life in anonymity and returned to it a short time later. Her parents were brought together by World War II. Her father, Albert Carotenuto, was an American soldier stationed in Germany and her mother, Inge, was a German national whose family home was destroyed during Allied bombings. They married in Frankfurt, Germany, and they moved to Whippany, New Jersey, 30 miles from New York City. Her father was a high school math and science teacher and her mother was a homemaker. She was close to her mother but her relationship with her father was testy. He was a stern disciplinarian, despite the best efforts of her mother persuade him to not be so quick with corporal punishment, and she to this day has few happy memories of him. She was larger than most girls and very sensitive about it, feeling homely and unwanted. In high school, she never had any boyfriends or dated. When she was a senior in high school, her mother found out that her father was having an affair with a fellow teacher, and he walked out of the family a short time later. Their divorce in 1968 was bitter, and Tripp herself was angered and humiliated, refusing any relationship with her father and developing a strong dislike for adulterers. After graduation from high school, she enrolled in a secretarial school. In 1971, she fell in love with and married Bruce Tripp, a military officer. She pointedly refused to invite her father to the wedding. She then became a military wife, living on military bases mostly in Europe, and she developed a strong sense of patriotism and civic duty, although she was not political. She became a mother and did secretarial work. In 1990, her own marriage fell apart, but the split was far less bitter than that of her parents and she remained on civil terms with her ex-husband. By this time, she moved to Washington, D.C., and now began to focus on her career. In April of 1990, she got a non-political secretarial job in the White House, and she found the career to be significant and exciting. Tripp quickly became known for her intelligence and diligence, and she was respected by her colleagues. She thought highly of President George Bush and found his staff to be both friendly and professional. In 1993, Bill Clinton became President and the change in the White House was felt immediately. She found Clinton's appointees to be crude and unprofessional, and she also claimed that many were also dishonest. She became friends with Gary Aldrich, an FBI agent who did security background checks for White Hosue employees, and they often exchanged stories about the bad behavior of the new co-workers they were forced to deal with. But Tripp's job performance remained stellar and she was promoted to Special Assistant to the Counsel to the President. In that capacity, she worked closely with Bernard Nussbaum and Vincent Foster, and in the process, she became privy to a number of White House scandals. On July 20, 1993, she was the last person to see Foster alive, and his suicide deeply shook her. She was also horrified at how the Clinton's staff acted in the wake of his death, and she began to wonder if they had something major to hide. In August of 1994, she was transferred from the White House to become Public Affairs officer at the Department of Defense and received a substantial raise in the process. However, this did nothing to curtail her disillusionment with the Clinton Administration and her belief that they routinely lied to the public and skirted the law. In the process, she became acquainted with literary agent Lucianne Goldberg, and was considering a book deal, but it eventually fizzled out. However, they remained friendly and occasionally chatted. In 1996, Aldrich published a book called "Unlimited Access", which featured many allegations against the Clinton staff, and Tripp was suspected of being one of his anonymous sources. That same year, she became friendly with a co-worker and former White House intern named Monica Lewinsky, whom she was fond of but regarded as high-strung and immature. She had been friendly with a number of young female employees, often giving them advice and sharing gossip with them. But Lewinski revealed that she and Clinton had had been in a sexual relationship which had ended badly, leaving her distraught. This immediately got Tripp's full attention. The turning point came in August of 1997, when she was interviewed about charges by Kathleen Willey that the President had groped and propositioned her. Tripp had been friendly with Willey at the White House and in fact saw Willey as she fled from Clinton, and she told the reporter that Willey was flustered and disheveled. In response, Robert Bennett, the President's lawyer, stated that "Linda Tripp is not to be believed," which infuriated her. She also became alarmed and contacted Goldberg. Willey had become a witness in a sexual harassment suit against Clinton by Paula Jones, a former Arkansas state employee, and Tripp suspected she would be contacted by Jones' lawyers. During those conversations, she told Goldberg about Lewinski's failed affair with Clinton. During these chats, Goldberg suggested that Tripp start taping her conversations with Lewinski to protect herself. Although initially reluctant, Tripp agreed to do so, and also promised to keep Goldberg up on the major points. So over the next year, Tripp got Lewinski to reveal details of her relationship with Clinton on the telephone and secretly tape-recorded the conversations. Ultimately, Jones' lawyers learned of Lewinski and subpoenaed her to testify, which frightened her. She began to ask Tripp to lie. Also, Lewinski revealed that she was in contact with the White House, and Tripp became convinced that Clinton was leaning on Lewinski to commit perjury. Eventually, she came in contact with the office of Independent Counsel Ken Starr, who had been investigating Clinton's involvement in a series of financial scandals collectively known as Whitewater. In January of 1998, she turned over the tapes of Lewinski to Starr's office. The resulting scandal made headlines around the world and Tripp was thrust into the limelight. She was vilified as a backstabbing, fair-weather friend, and also her size and weight were ridiculed. It was a very difficult time for her, and she mostly kept as low a profile as she could. The scandal dominated the American news for the entire year, and in December of 1998, Clinton was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives. He was not removed by the U.S. Senate, but the ordeal left the entire nation exhausted. Afterwards, Tripp agreed to a few interviews, but was disenchanted with the news media. In 2000, she was fired from her job at the Pentagon, and took early retirement. She got some cosmetic surgery and lost some weight. Also, she filed a lawsuit against the government for illegally leaking her security background file to the press, and in 2003, she won a settlement. In 2004, she remarried an German-born architect whom she had been friends with for many years. They subsequently opened a German-themed restaurant and gift shop which has proved to be popular.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: annonymous

Spouse (2)

Dieter Rausch (2004 - present)
Bruce Tripp (1971 - 1992) (divorced) (2 children)

Trivia (6)

Famous for secretly recording phone conversations between herself and Monica Lewinsky about Monica's affair with President Bill Clinton. The recordings were the catalyst for the Clinton-Lewinsky sex scandal.
Claims she made the phone recordings of Monica Lewinsky when the Clinton Administration asked her to lie under oath about Bill and Monica's affair.
Was brought up on criminal charges for illegally taping phone conversations between herself and Monica Lewinsky. The charges were later dropped.
Internet newshound Matt Drudge dedicated his book "Drudge Manifesto" to her.
Has faced much public ridicule for her part in the Clinton-Lewinsky sex scandal. Most notably, actor John Goodman impersonated her in drag on Saturday Night Live (1975). A lot of the criticism was put downs about her looks. This motivated her to get plastic surgery and lose weight.
Lives in Germany and northern Virginia with her husband.

Personal Quotes (1)

[Interview with CNN News, 2005]: I know I'll be a footnote to history, and I've learned to live with that.

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