Tripp died this week at the age of 70. The former Columbia resident rose to fame — or infamy — after recording conversations with Monica Lewinsky about her affair with then president Bill Clinton. A 2000 article in The Sun called Tripp the “woman who nearly brought down a president."
In 1998, after Clinton’s relationship with Lewinsky became public, reporters from around the world flocked to Tripp’s two-story home on Cricket Pass.
The media frenzy amused Tripp’s neighbors in the Village of Hickory Ridge. One enterprising 14-year-old resident began charging camera crews and reporters $3 a visit to use his bathroom.
The two neighbors’ relationship seemed to have soured permanently. In 1998, they were still ignoring each other at the Cricket Pass mailboxes. Sun reporters noted that Columbia’s mastermind Jim Rouse had designed the shared mailboxes to encourage neighbors to chat and get to one another.
“It doesn’t seem to have worked with Linda Tripp,” the authors noted, dryly.
Clinton was impeached at the end of 1998. Some praised Tripp’s role in exposing Clinton’s predatory behavior, others slammed her betrayal of Lewinsky.
The following year, a Howard County grand jury indicted Tripp on two counts of violating Maryland’s wiretap law. A state prosecutor later dropped the case.
In 2000, Tripp bade farewell to Cricket Pass. She moved to a 100-acre horse farm in Marshall, Virginia.
“I think Linda moved to try to regain privacy in her life,” her criminal defense lawyer Joseph Murtha told The Sun at the time. “She was looking for an area that would offer her a more private environment.”