Everyone Involved in the Clinton Scandal, Then and Now
Find out what the controversy's key players are doing today.
The most talked about news story of 1998 was undoubtedly the Bill Clinton impeachment scandal. Now, 23 years later, there is renewed interest in the controversy thanks to the new miniseries Impeachment: American Crime Story. The latest from producer Ryan Murphy tells the story of the scandal with a focus on the three women at the center of it: Monica Lewinsky, Linda Tripp, and Paula Jones. The roles are played by Beanie Feldstein, Sarah Paulson, and Annaleigh Ashford, respectively.
While in the late '90s, Lewinsky was repeatedly shamed in the media and the butt of many jokes, over 20 years later, the ordeal is seen through a new lens: that a young woman was mercilessly attacked after being in a relationship with an older and extremely powerful man. Impeachment: American Crime Story highlights this fact and shows an account of what all the people involved may have been up to at the time. For an update on what actually happened to each key player in the years to come, keep reading.
Monica Lewinsky: Then
Lewinsky and Clinton's affair began in 1995 when she was 22 years old and a White House intern. She then worked as an assistant in the Pentagon. The affair was revealed publicly three years later, when Lewinsky was subpoenaed in a lawsuit brought forth by Paula Jones, who claimed Clinton sexually harassed her. Lewinsky was granted an immunity deal in the case, meaning she could testify freely about the affair.
Monica Lewinsky: Now
After the scandal, Lewinsky became a handbag designer and TV personality before attending the London School of Economics and receiving a master's degree in social psychology. She has since returned to the spotlight, becoming an advocate for anti-bullying campaigns (which she gave a TED talk about in 2015) and writing for Vanity Fair. The 48-year-old started a production company, Alt Ending, and is an executive producer on Impeachment: American Crime Story.
Bill Clinton: Then
In 1998, Clinton was five years into his eight-year presidency. Clinton was impeached in December 1998 on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice for initially denying having an affair with Lewinsky when questioned in relation to the Jones lawsuit and allegedly encouraging others to make false statements. Clinton was acquitted by the Senate on both charges in 1999.
Bill Clinton: Now
Now 75, Clinton is one of five still living ex-presidents. He founded the Clinton Foundation and has remained active in politics through campaigning for his wife, Hillary Clinton, former president Barack Obama, and other Democratic politicians. He has also worked with other former presidents, including recently banding together with Obama and George W. Bush to support aid to refugees from Afghanistan.
Linda Tripp: Then
Tripp worked in the Pentagon public affairs office alongside Lewinsky, and the two became friendly. When Lewinsky began telling her about her affair with Clinton, Tripp started secretly recording their conversations. Tripp then shared this information with lawyers working on the Jones lawsuit, which set the public scandal into motion.
Linda Tripp: 2018
Tripp's job in the Pentagon ended in 2001 when the Bush administration took over. In 2004, she married Dieter Rausch and they ran a German-theme Christmas store in Virginia called The Christmas Sleigh. Tripp died in 2020 at the age of 70 from pancreatic cancer.
Paula Jones: Then
Jones sued Clinton in 1994 for sexual harassment she alleged occurred in 1991 when he was governor of Arkansas and she was a clerical worker for the state. It was during the investigation into Jones' case that the Lewinsky affair was revealed. Clinton and Jones settled outside of court in November 1998 when he agreed to pay her $850,000, but he maintained that he did not sexually harass her.
Paula Jones: Now
More recently, Jones made headlines for her involvement with Donald Trump. Trump invited Jones and two other women, Juanita Broaddrick and Kathleen Willey, who had made claims of sexual harassment against Clinton, to one of his debates against Hillary Clinton in 2016. Jones also endorsed Trump for president. As of 2009, she was working as a real estate agent in Arkansas.
Hillary Clinton: Then
During the scandal, Hillary was the first lady of the United States. She had already been a successful lawyer and was active in her husband's administration, particularly when it came to healthcare reform and women's rights. When the affair first came out, Hillary initially called it part of a "vast right-wing conspiracy." Once Clinton admitted that he had been sexually involved with Lewinsky, Hillary continued to stand by him.
Hillary Clinton: Now
Directly following Clinton's presidency, Hillary was sworn in as a Senator for New York. Then, she became Secretary of State during Obama's first term. She was the Democratic nominee for president in 2016, but lost the Electoral College vote to Trump. Hillary has opened up about her husband's affair in the time since. In her 2003 memoir, Living History, she said that he lied to her for months before admitting to the affair and wrote that "as a wife, [she] wanted to wring Bill's neck."
Ken Starr: Then
Ahead of the scandal, Ken Starr was independent counsel and investigating the Clintons' business dealings in what was known as the Whitewater controversy, as well as in other areas including Jones' case. While this was happening, Tripp gave tapes of her recordings of Lewinsky to Starr, who then turned his attention to the affair and attempting to find that Clinton had committed perjury. Starr released the infamous Starr Report to Congress, which included salacious details of Clinton and Lewinsky's affair. It was based on this report that Clinton was impeached.
Ken Starr: Now
Starr went back into private law practice and worked at universities following the scandal. He was the dean of Pepperdine University Law School and the president and chancellor of Baylor University, until he resigned following an investigation into the mishandling of sexual assault allegations involving students. Most recently, Starr was part of Trump's defense team during his first impeachment.
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Lucianne Goldberg: Then
Lucianne Goldberg was a conservative literary agent at the time that the scandal broke out. She was the one who suggested Tripp secretly record Lewinsky talking about her relationship with Clinton. She also spoke to reporters about the affair once she found out about it. Goldberg was openly not a fan of Clinton and referred to herself as the "facilitator" of the investigation.
Lucianne Goldberg: Now
Goldberg, now 86, has a website on which people can share conservative news articles. She is the mother of Johan Goldberg, an anti-Trump conservative commentator and writer who was previously an editor for the National Review.
Ann Coulter: Then
During the scandal, Ann Coulter, a conservative political pundit, was a vocal critic of Clinton. In 1998, she wrote the book High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton. She also worked for a time on the Jones case writing legal briefs, but later turned on her.
Ann Coulter: Now
After her 1998 book on Clinton, Coulter went on to publish 12 more books about being against liberals and Democrats. She is known for sharing offensive and scandalous comments on political topics and has appeared on many TV shows as a commentator.
Kathleen Willey: Then
Prior to the scandal, Katheleen Willey was a White House volunteer who had campaigned for Clinton during the 1992 election. Tripp told Newsweek that she saw Willey come out of Clinton's office and said, "Her face was red, and her lipstick was off. She was flustered, happy and joyful." Willey claimed that Clinton had groped her in 1993—which he denied under oath during the Jones case—and said that Tripp was vengeful.
Kathleen Willey: Now
Willey published the book Target: Caught in the Crosshairs of Bill and Hillary Clinton in 2007. Like Jones, Willey appeared with Trump prior to the Hillary debate and sat in the audience.
Vernon Jordan: Then
Vernon Jordan was a civil rights activist who became a friend and advisor of Clinton. Jordan helped Lewinsky find a job and also recommended a lawyer for her. It was alleged that he had attempted to get Lewinsky to commit perjury, and he also had to testify before the grand jury.
Vernon Jordan: 2019
Jordan went on to work for the investment banking firm Lazard Freres & Co., beginning in 2000. He also published the memoir Vernon Can Read! in 2001. Jordan died in March 2021 at age 85.
William H. Ginsburg: Then
William H. Ginsburg was Lewinsky's lawyer. He had been a medical malpractice lawyer and was a friend of Lewinsky's father when he agreed to represent her. The phrase "full Ginsburg" is named after Ginsburg and refers to a figure appearing on all five of the top Sunday morning news shows in one day. Lewinsky and Ginsburg parted ways prior to her appearance before the grand jury.
William H. Ginsburg: 2012
Ginsburg returned to being a medical malpractice lawyer after working with Lewinsky. He died of cancer in 2013 at the age of 70.