Public passions

Linda Tripp and Virginia Woodhull, living more than a century apart, were central figures in two public scandals involving high-profile figures. Tripp is facing a Maryland jury on charges she secretly taped her telephone conversations with Monica Lewinsky. Woodhull, a leading figure in 19th-century radical politics, accused celebrated preacher and antislavery leader Henry Ward Beecher of committing adultery with one of his parishioners, Elizabeth Tilton. Both women claimed they made their public accusations because they wanted to expose the “hypocrisy” of prominent leaders.

 

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