Life of Linda Ripa, Kelly Ripa’s Sister, After The Tragic Car Accident

By AtticusPublished on: May 27, 2024 Updated on: May 28, 2024
Table of Content Show

Linda Ripa, sister of the famed television host Kelly Ripa, has led a life marked by both public recognition and personal resilience. An author of a notable children’s book,  The Ladybug Blues Linda’s career extends beyond her familial ties, including a background in modeling.

However, it was a tragic car accident in 1999 that profoundly influenced her life’s trajectory. This article uncovers the lesser-known aspects of Linda’s life, offering a comprehensive look at her professional achievements and the enduring strength she has displayed in the face of adversity.

Her Father Served in The Army

Linda was born to Joseph and Esther Ripa on December 3, 1972, in Camden County, New Jersey. Her parents first met at Cooper University Hospital, a teaching and research facility in southern New Jersey.

Their love story began there, and they tied the knot in April 1962. Kelly Ripa, Linda’s older sister, fondly recalls how their parents taught them to dream big and to imagine a great future, attributes that have undoubtedly influenced both sisters’ lives.

During her high school years, Linda played soccer for the Berlin Eastern Jr. Soccer Club.

Linda's childhood photo with her parents and older sister, Kelly
Linda’s childhood photo with her parents and older sister, Kelly

Joseph served in the army before marrying Esther. After completing his military duties, he worked as a bus driver before transitioning into politics. His dedication and hard work culminated in his appointment as the county clerk of Camden County, New Jersey, in 2009.

Linda’s mom Esther, unlike her husband, prefers a life away from the spotlight. Kelly has mentioned that her mother values privacy, a sentiment echoed in her memoir where Esther’s presence is minimal by her own request.

Fact: Linda Ripa’s heritage is predominantly Italian, with 75% of her ancestry from Italy and 25% from Ireland.

Her Relationship with Sister Kelly

Linda currently lives in Brigantine, NJ, while Kelly resides in New York City, so the dynamics between the sisters are not widely known. Besides, Kelly rarely discusses her sister in her shows or on social media.

Meanwhile, in October 2013, Linda tweeted a link to a Reddit thread about the dangers of Botox, stating, “Someone please tell my sister this!!” This tweet highlights a contrast between the sisters, as Kelly has been quite vocal about her use of Botox.

Linda Ripa's tweet
Source: Twitter

In a January 2013 interview with Elle magazine, Kelly openly discussed getting Botox injections, including in her armpits to avoid sweating, and how it helps her appearance for her television work.

The Tragic Car Accident and Its Aftermath

In 1999, Linda’s life changed dramatically due to a devastating car accident. While running errands in Northeast Philadelphia and seven months pregnant, Linda’s car was struck head-on and pushed into a minivan. The impact resulted in severe injuries, including fractures to her pelvis, sternum, and ankle.

Following the crash, Linda faced a painful and challenging recovery. She underwent surgery on her leg three days after the accident but refused anesthetics and pain medication to avoid harming her unborn baby. Over the next three years, Linda endured seven surgeries, dealing with constant pain and mobility issues.

Bedridden for nearly a year after the accident, Linda found solace in drawing and writing. Encouraged by family members, she wrote and illustrated a children’s book titled The Ladybug Blues. This creative outlet provided a much-needed distraction and eventually led to a new career.

Linda and her sister Kelly became involved with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), with Kelly taking on the role of chairwoman and spokesperson for the Tie One on For Safety campaign. Kelly’s support was also evident as she promoted Linda’s book on Live with Regis and Kelly and joined her at various events.

Linda Ripa with her mother, sister and niece
Linda with her mother, sister, and niece

While the accident ended Linda’s modeling career, it led her to a fulfilling new path in writing and illustrating children’s books. Meanwhile, the drunk driver who caused the crash was sentenced to 6 to 24 months in jail.

Received $15 Million In Compensation after Faulty Surgery

In February 2004, Linda was awarded $15 million in a lawsuit against a Philadelphia surgeon who improperly repaired her broken ankle. This lawsuit originated from a 1999 car accident that left Linda, then 30 and pregnant, with severe injuries. The surgeon rushed her into ankle surgery without fully informing her of the risks, resulting in a deformed foot, nerve damage, and chronic pain.

Medical experts testified that the improper setting of her bones caused her ongoing pain and disability. Despite the hospital’s argument that her injuries were solely due to the accident and that the $15 million judgment was excessive, the jury sided with Linda.

Her lawyer, Roberta D. Pichini, highlighted that Linda lost her ability to work as an actress and a lucrative job as her sister Kelly’s personal assistant due to her condition. Notably, Linda had initially offered to settle for $2.4 million, but this was rejected by the surgeon.

Kelly, co-host of Live With Regis & Kelly, supported her sister’s case with videotaped testimony during the trial.

Linda’s Son Is a Musician and Has Worked for His Aunt Kelly

Sergio-Giuseppe Ripa was born prematurely on September 8, 1999, following a traumatic car accident that left his mother severely injured and him in a prenatal coma. Despite these early challenges, Sergio has developed into a skilled musician and audio production expert.

His passion for music began at the age of 11, and he has since become proficient in recording and producing music. Now 24, he is adept with industry-standard software like Logic Pro X and Pro Tools and has gained considerable live sound experience.

Linda Ripa's son, Sergio Ripa
Linda Ripa’s son, Sergio Ripa. He’s a musician

In 2020, Sergio worked as a part-time Production Assistant for Live! With Kelly and Ryan from May to August. During the remote broadcasts of the show, he also served as his aunt Kelly Ripa’s personal Audio and Video engineer.

Academically, Sergio earned an Associate’s degree in Audio Production from Camden County College, graduating in 2021. Beyond his academic and professional pursuits, Sergio is a guitar player for the band Dr. Boat.

Notably, Sergio’s father is not publicly identified, and Linda’s current relationship status is also unclear. There is a possibility that Dominick Dandrea, to whom Linda was engaged in 1994, might be Sergio’s father, but this is not confirmed.

The announcement published on May 16, 1994, stated that Linda was engaged to Dandrea, with a wedding planned for July 20, 1996. However, it is unclear whether the wedding took place.

Linda's two young daughters Gianna (left) and Gigli (right)
Linda’s two young daughters Gianna (left) and Gigli (right)

Linda also has two daughters, Gianna, born on May 17, 2006, and Gigli, born on July 31, 2007. The father of Linda’s daughters has not been revealed either.

About Author: Atticus

Atticus boasts more than seven years of expertise as a writer specializing in the entertainment sector. He possesses a profound knowledge of film, music, and television, crafting compelling stories that engage a wide-ranging audience. His writing is both accessible and enlightening, simplifying intricate subjects for readers from various walks of life.