A glimpse of explosive scandals triggered by phone recordings.

Source: https://www.nst.com.my/

1972: United States president Richard Nixon had around 3,700 hours of secretly taped meetings and phone conversations, which took place in the White House and other locations.

The infamous Watergate scandal blew up in 1972 after several “burglars” were caught breaking into the offices of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, DC, in an attempt to plant bugs.

Nixon resigned two years later.

1992: A 20-minute phone call between Princess Diana and her childhood friend, James Gilbey, emerged three years after it was apparently made on New Year’s Eve in 1989.

In the conversation, the Princess of Wales had told Gibley her husband had allegedly made her life miserable, and Gibley was repeatedly heard calling her “darling” and “Squidgy”.

1993: Just a month after the divorce of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, phone recordings between Charles and Camilla Rosemary Shand (now Duchess of Cornwall) were released, revealing explicit phone conversation.

The calls were recorded in 1989 when the Prince of Wales and Diana were still married, and when Camilla was married to Brigadier Andrew Parker Bowles.

1998: Over 20 hours of phone conversations were recorded allegedly between former White House intern Monica Lewinsky and US civil servant Linda Tripp.

In the conversations, Lewinsky had allegedly disclosed her romantic affair with the then US president Bill Clinton. Clinton was later impeached, but remained as president for the remainder of his term, until 2001.

2005: The now-defunct News of the World (NoW) printed a story about Diana’s son, Prince William, injuring his knee, prompting royal officials to complain to police of a possible voicemail hacking.

On Jan 26, 2007, NoW royal editor Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire were convicted of conspiracy to hack voicemails of royals.

The two pleaded guilty and were jailed, and the scandal led to the closure of the paper in 2011.

2014: A phone conversation was leaked purportedly between US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and US ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt.

The audio clip allegedly indicated that Nuland had weighed in on the make-up of the next Ukrainian government at the time, telling Pyatt that boxer-turned-opposition leader Vitali Klitschko was fit to be in the Ukranian government.

2020: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission released nine recordings of phone conversations made between Jan 5, 2016 and July 29, 2016 implicating former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, his wife and several high-ranking figures.

The recordings, which ran for nearly 45 minutes combined, were allegedly of Najib sorting out issues surrounding the investigation into the 1Malaysia Development Bhd scandal.