'This Is Sick, This Is Sick.' (Transcript of Taped Conversation between Linda Tripp and Monica Lewinsky)

Newsweek, February 2, 1998 | Go to article overview

'This Is Sick, This Is Sick.' (Transcript of Taped Conversation between Linda Tripp and Monica Lewinsky)


Listen in as Linda Tripp and Monica Lewinsky discuss the details of the alleged affair--and the purported pressures to cover it up

The week before Christmas Monica Lewinsky and Linda Tripp had been subpoenaed to be deposed in the Paula Jones lawsuit. They suspected they would be asked whether Lewinsky had had a sexual relationship with the president. Lewinsky called Tripp late one evening and again the next morning. Tripp taped the conversations. Excerpts of those recordings, heard by NEWSWEEK, follow:

Tripp asks Lewinsky for permission to tell her lawyer about the dilemma.

LEWINSKY: Don't you think he's going to say, "Linda, I can't let you lie"?

TRIPP: He may, but it's not going to hurt us more than we are already hurt.

LEWINSKY: But it's one more person who will know ...

LEWINSKY: Look, maybe we should just tell the creep. Maybe we should just say, "Don't ever talk to me again, If---ed you over [by telling others about the relationship]. Now you have this information, do whatever you want with it."

TRIPP: Well, if you want to do that, that's what I would do. But I don't know that you're comfortable with that. I think he should know.

LEWINSKY: He won't settle [the Jones case]. He's in denial.

TRIPP: I think if he f--ing knew, he would settle.

LEWINSKY: I don't think so because he knows what it will end up just being is me against you. I don't want to paint you as a bad person.

TRIPP: Look, Monica, we already know you're going to lie under oath. We also know that I want out of this big time. If I have to testify, it's going to be the opposite of what you say

LEWINSKY: Well, it doesn't have to be a conflict.

TRIPP: What do you mean? How? Tell me how? [What am I] supposed to say if they say, "Has Monica Lewinsky ever said to you that she is in love with the president or is having a physical relationship with the president?" If I say no, that is f--ing perjury. That's the bottom line. I will do everything I can not to be in that position. That's what I'm trying to do I think you really believe that this is very easy, and I should just say f--kit. They can't prove it.

LEWINSKY: I believe you, but obviously I don't have the same feelings about the situation

TRIPP: What do you mean?

LEWINSKY: Because if I had the same feelings that it was so wrong to deny something then I would not be doing it. You see what I mean?

TRIPP: I think down deep you don't like having to lie.

LEWINSKY: I don't think anybody likes to... I would lie on the stand for my family. That is how I was raised.

TRIPP: You're going to die here. I would do almost anything for my kids, but I don't think I would lie on the stand for them...

LEWINSKY: I was brought up with lies all the time... that's how you got along... I have lied my entire life...

TRIPP: This is so amazingly huge to me... I know it's huge to you ...I'm being a sy---y friend and that's the last thing I want to do because I won't lie. How do you think that makes me feel? I can make you stop crying and I feel like I'm sticking a knife in your back and I know at the end of this, if I have to go forward, you will never speak to me again and I will lose a dear friend ...

LEWINSKY: Look, I will deny it so he will not get screwed in the case, but I'm going to get screwed personally.

TRIPP: ... This is sick, this is sick...

The women discuss a plan for Tripp to have a "foot accident" and end up in the hospital when she is to be deposed.

TRIPP: Look, I can't lie under oath so I have to think of a way that I don't have to ... I only wish you'd tell the big one [that I know]. Then I'd know he knew ...

LEWINSKY: I can't, If I do that, I'm just going to f--ing kill myself . . .

TRIPP: He hasn't asked you if you told anyone?

LEWINSKY: He asked me something and I said no ... The other one, the one I saw today [apparently Jordan], asked me . …

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