Clinton Acquitted: The Other Woman, Tripp rebuilds her image

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The Independent Online
THE WOMAN who alienated all America when she stood on the steps of the Washington district courthouse and said: "I'm you ... an average American", emerged yesterday from half a year of obscurity to start rebuilding her shattered image.

Linda Tripp, whose clandestine taping of Monica Lewinsky's most intimate confessions won her the label "most reviled woman in America", was back as suddenly as she had vanished.

But it was a new Linda Tripp. The heavy, clumsy, boxy woman whose ponderous frame inspired Linda Tripp look-alike contests in gay bars across the country has lost weight (a lot), softened her hair and her make-up and revamped her wardrobe. She is fragile - breaking down in tears, reportedly, during a two-hour interview with the New York Times - but largely unrepentant.

Her deepest regret, she said, was the pain she caused her young friend, Monica, whom she saw "as a kid" who needed to be saved. "I always saw her as a lost soul," she told the paper. "I believe she and the country will never understand that I believed this was in her best interest."

Ms Tripp also appeared yesterday on the NBC Today programme, and will be on CNN's Larry King Live on Monday.

Her media "relaunch" was the surest sign that the 13-month scandal was drawing to a close.

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