Linda Tripp's Daughter Speaks Out About Impeachment : 'I Think She Would Be Blown Away'

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linda tripp
linda tripp

WILLIAM PHILPOTT/AFP via Getty Linda Tripp (R) waits to make a statement to reporters beside her daughter Allison (L) and son Ryan (C) in front of the Federal Courthouse 29 July in Washington, DC, after her eighth and final day of testimony before a federal grand jury. Tripp's taped conversations with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky triggered the sex-and-lies probe dogging US President Bill Clinton. AFP PHOTO/William PHILPOTT (Photo by WILLIAM PHILPOTT / AFP) (Photo by WILLIAM PHILPOTT/AFP via Getty Images)

The new FX series Impeachment: American Crime Story, which premiered Tuesday, retells the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal. It puts a spotlight on the friendship — and ultimate falling-out — between Linda Tripp and Monica Lewinsky, whom Tripp secretly recorded as they discussed the affair.

While Tripp's actions are still shown as a betrayal in Lewinsky's eyes, her own perspective gets significant airtime.

Her daughter told Vanity Fair in a new interview that she thinks Tripp would have been "blown away" by the show and Sarah Paulson's acting abilities.

"I can [imagine] my mother's reactions in my head. To be perfectly honest, I think she would be blown away by that episode and how they portrayed her…she always said that the truth eventually does come out," Allison Tripp Foley said, adding: "This episode portrayed her—it's sad to say—but in a more flattering way than how she was portrayed when she was alive,"

Foley, a real estate agent and buyer for her late mother's Christmas store, added that Paulson's performance, in particular, was impressive.

"I have to say—and I'm only limited to the one episode that I've seen—but I do think Sarah did a good job," Foley told the magazine via Zoom. "Of course there were some inaccuracies I see as her daughter [but] ... She captured a lot of my mom—just how smart and witty she was…. I had to laugh at a couple of lines because that's how she got through the pain … the show did a good job digging deep to find out truly how she ticked."

Sarah Paulson as Linda Tripp
Sarah Paulson as Linda Tripp

Tina Thorpe/FX; Harry Hamburg/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Sarah Paulson (left), Linda Tripp

Foley was just a teenager when her mother, then a Pentagon employee and lifelong civil servant, made secret audio tapes of Lewinsky detailing her affair with the president. She ultimately turned the recordings over to investigators, fueling Bill Clinton's 1998 impeachment.

Tripp, who insisted she was acting as a whistleblower and not out of partisanship, was granted immunity. But she faced plenty of criticism for how she treated Lewinsky — and she became an object of ridicule for her looks (John Goodman played her on Saturday Night Live).

"There are people who think I'm a hero, and there are people who think I'm a villain," she told PEOPLE in 2003. "And I'm neither."

She ultimately resettled away from Washington, D.C., marrying for a second time (and becoming Linda Tripp Rausch), moving to a farm and undergoing expensive plastic surgery to live in relative anonymity.

"I think she felt compelled to soften her appearance," Foley — who stood behind her mother as Tripp spoke to the press in 1998 following her testimony before the federal grand jury — told Vanity Fair. "Because it was always just one jagged, unflattering photo after the next."

"They had plenty of good photography to choose from, yet they continued to revert back to just the worst photos," Foley said. "At the time, the messaging was, 'Get over it, [the criticism] is not a big deal.' But it is a big deal. That criticism would not be allowed today."

RELATED: The Bond and Bad Blood Between Monica Lewinsky and Linda Tripp — Secret Tapes, Codenames and That Blue Dress

Tripp died in 2020, at age 70, after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of lymphoma.

In a since-deleted Facebook post, Foley wrote at the time: "My mommy is leaving this earth. I don't know myself if I can survive this heartache. Please pray for a painless process for the strongest woman I will ever know in my entire lifetime."

As she told Vanity Fair, Foley has since lost both her father and her grandfather, making the past year one of grief and mourning (compounded, she said, by hateful messages that rolled in with the death of her mother).

"Last year it was just surreal with the emotions of everything and the pandemic on top of that," Foley told VF. "I think all of this has hit me this year, allowing me to truly be able to mourn fully."

Though her mom's public persona was defined by the scandal, Foley said her own formative years weren't (though she did tell VF she remembered her mom fielding phone calls from Lewinsky during a family vacation to Lake Placid).

"I didn't ask questions and neither did my brother because, again with her, I always knew the path that she would take was the path that would do the right thing," Foley told the magazine.

Linda Tripp
Linda Tripp

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RELATED: Beanie Feldstein Hopes People See Monica Lewinsky in a 'Different Light' After Impeachment: ACS

Now, after her mother's death and with the debut of the series on FX, Foley is quick to defend Tripp's choices.

"She didn't want to perjure herself. It wasn't ever about writing a book. It wasn't ever about cashing out. It was never about selling those tapes," Foley said. (In her last comments to PEOPLE, in 2017, Tripp suggested much the same: that she had been caricatured as the "true villain" in a way that distorted her motives.)

Foley told VF it was about a sense of duty to the country — and, in her view, an instinct to protect her younger friend.

"She saw a little bit of self-destruction going on with Monica," Foley said. "And unfortunately, people have to kind of make their own mistakes in life, right?"