It was an act of treachery which destroyed a young woman's life and nearly brought down a presidency.
Civil servant Linda Tripp's recordings of nearly 20 hours of phone calls between herself and former White House intern Monica Lewinsky became the lynchpin in the impeachment proceedings against Bill Clinton in 1998.
In the calls, Ms Lewinsky described to the woman she believed was a close friend all the lurid details of her affair with the sitting U.S. President.
The first episode depicts the meeting between Sarah Poulson's Tripp and Ms Lewinsky, who is portrayed by Beanie Feldstein. The ten-part show, which was co-produced by Ms Lewinsky, also stars Clive Owen as Clinton and Edie Falco as his wife Hillary.
In her calls to Tripp, the then 22-year-old told how she 'fooled around' with Clinton by performing oral sex on him, and also revealed she still had an unwashed navy-blue dress which had been stained by the President during one encounter.
After news of the affair broke in January 1998, the details went on to be recounted in special counsel Kenneth Starr's blockbuster report into scandal.
By then, Clinton had already gone on TV to deny having 'sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky'.
And the dress, which Tripp had encouraged Ms Lewinsky not to clean in case it was needed as an 'insurance policy' – whilst knowing it might later be used as evidence – was also obtained by Starr as part of his investigation.
Tripp, who died from pancreatic cancer in April last year, told DailyMailTV in 2017 that she felt 'compelled to act', even though it meant 'shattering Monica's dreams', because she believed Clinton was a 'sexual predator'.
Whilst Clinton ultimately survived the impeachment proceedings and was not forced to resign, the scandal defined his entire presidency and became a global media storm.
It was an act of treachery which destroyed a young woman's life and nearly brought down a presidency. Civil servant Linda Tripp's recordings of nearly 20 hours of phone calls between herself and former White House intern Monica Lewinsky became the lynchpin in the impeachment proceedings against Bill Clinton in 1998. Above: Tripp and Ms Lewinsky together
In the calls – which were recorded from September 1997 – Ms Lewinsky described to the woman she believed was a close friend all the lurid details of her affair with the sitting U.S. President. Pictured: Ms Lewinsky with Clinton during her time at the White House
After news of the affair broke in January 1998, the details went on to be recounted in special counsel Kenneth Starr's blockbuster report into scandal. By then, Clinton had already gone on TV to deny having 'sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky'
Linda Tripp recorded nearly 20 hours of conversations with her friend Monica Lewinsky, before revealing them to the world.
They discussed in lurid detail Ms Lewinsky's affair with Bill Clinton.
Also heard were tears of despair over the fact that Clinton had gone weeks without calling her.
On their sexual encounters
LEWINSKY: We didn't have sex Linda!
TRIPP: Well what do you call it?
LEWINSKY: We fooled around!
On the stained dress
TRIPP: ...This navy blue dress. Now all I would say to you is: I know how you feel today and I know why you feel the way you do today, but you have a very long life ahead of you. ...I would rather you had that in your possession if you need it years from now. That's all I'm gonna say.
LEWINSKY: You think that I can hold onto a dress for 10, 15 years with (REDACTED) from...
TRIPP: ... It could be your only insurance policy down the road. Or it could never be needed and you can throw it away. But I- I never, ever want to read about your going off the deep end because someone comes out and calls you a stalker or something and you have and he confirms it. ... Maybe I'm being paranoid. ...
On him not calling her
LEWINSKY: Linda, I can't take it anymore.
TRIPP: I know. I know.
LEWINSKY: (Crying) It's just too _ it's too much for one person. (Crying).
TRIPP: Oh, it is too much for one person. ...
... LEWINSKY: I go to work every day (crying) and I just (crying), I'm trying to keep it together and I just can't.
TRIPP: You've been a trouper through this, Monica, and you've been through _
TRIPP: It just seems as though because the frigging buffer zone, you can never communicate directly with him until he chooses to.
Ms Lewinsky's affair with Clinton began after she got a job in the White House as an intern in 1995, working first for the President's chief of staff Leon Panetta.
The intern later stated that they had a total of nine sexual encounters between November 1995 and March 1997.
In one, they snuck off to kiss in his private study during a White House employee's birthday party.
In another, Ms Lewinsky performed oral sex on the President while he was on the phone.
The former intern, who is now aged 48, went on to state that she had nine sexual encounters with Clinton in the Oval Office, with the last one occurring in March 1997.
Ms Lewinsky met Tripp in April 1996, after she was transferred to the Pentagon – where the older woman worked after herself being moved from the White House – by her boss, who was concerned she was too friendly with the President.
Tonight's episode of Impeachment: American Crime Story depicts the beginning of their relationship and ends with the moment Clinton calls Ms Lewinsky to ask: 'How was your first day?'
As their friendship progressed, Ms Lewinsky revealed details of her past encounters with Clinton, as well as her torment over whether she would be transferred back to the White House.
Tripp, who was 24 years older than her friend, began recording her phone calls with Ms Lewinsky after consulting with literary agent Lucianne Goldberg.
Over the course of their hours of intimate conversations, Ms Lewinsky ultimately revealed information that would see her vilified by much of the US media when it became public.
She also repeatedly broke down in tears to Tripp as she spoke of her torment that Clinton was not calling her frequently enough and her fears that she would not be allowed to return to the White House.
The scandal came to light as a result of another case – when former Arkansas civil servant Paula Jones sued Clinton for sexual harassment in 1994.
She claimed that when the politician was governor of the state, he had sexually propositioned her and exposed himself.
Jones's lawyers then summoned to court other women who had worked for Clinton who they suspected he had had affairs with – including Ms Lewinsky – in the hope of showing a pattern of behaviour.
Clinton's claim under oath that he had never had 'sexual relations' with Ms Lewinsky was ultimately blown apart by Tripp's recordings, which she passed on to Starr.
The prosecutor had been investigating Clinton over an unrelated property deal but, on receiving the reams of new evidence, he obtained permission to expand his investigation.
After famously going on TV to again deny an affair with Ms Lewinsky, Clinton was impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice.
He denied having committing perjury and said the definition of oral sex was not encompassed by 'sex'.
Clinton did then admit to having to having a relationship with Ms Lewinsky that was 'not appropriate'.
Now, the scandal – and the story of the friendship between Tripp and Ms Lewinsky - has been retold in Impeachment: American Crime Story, which begins on the BBC tonight
Friend or foe? Sarah Paulson Linda Tripp, who exposed the affair. The role required extensive makeup and prosthetic effects for her face, and she also wore padding under her costume
The first episode depicts the meeting