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Lawyer: Linda Tripp treated for breast cancer

Lawyers for Tripp said they disclosed her condition so it would not "become a topic of speculation or rumor."  

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Linda Tripp, whose disclosures about President Clinton's affair with intern Monica Lewinsky helped lead to his impeachment, is being treated for breast cancer, her attorney, Stephen Kohn, said Friday.

"We're confirming she does have breast cancer," Kohn told CNN. "She's demonstrating courage and dignity while she meets this challenge."

At a news conference, Kohn and attorney David Colapinto said Tripp has just begun treatment for the cancer, but would release no other details.

Kohn said that while the 52-year-old Tripp seeks privacy, news of her condition "leaked somehow," and members of some media "started showing up by her house."

Statement by Linda Tripp's lawyers 

"She has asked us to pass on her thanks to those individuals who have sent her such supportive and encouraging messages," said a statement from the lawyers. "However, this is indeed a very private and personal matter, and we all hope that everyone will understand and respect her right to privacy in dealing with such a difficult challenge."

The attorneys said they decided to release the statement because, "a tabloid newspaper may be releasing information regarding Mrs. Tripp's current medical condition in an upcoming story."

The lawyers didn't want Tripp's illness to become a topic of speculation or rumor, they said.

"We hope you will join her family and friends in praying for her full recovery. No additional questions will be answered regarding Mrs. Tripp's current medical condition at this time," the lawyers wrote.

The statement also pointed supporters to Tripp's Web site, which solicits legal funds and other donations for Tripp.

Last year a judge dismissed her lawsuit against a Pentagon official that alleged he leaked information from her confidential file. Her lawsuit against the government on similar charges is still pending.

Tripp revealed last summer that she was broke and was seeking a job with the Bush administration after her position as a political appointee in the Defense Department ended in January 2001. The job, which paid a reported $98,000 a year, ended as Clinton left office.

--CNN Producer Karla Crosswhite-Chigbue contributed to this report.


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