Trump once impersonated his own spokesman to claim Madonna, Kim Basinger wanted to date him

Trump impersonated his own spokesperson.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Back in the day, Donald Trump was a bit of a gossip, leaking stories about his ex-wives and friends to the New York City tabloids. "Trump almost single-handedly revived the fortunes of The New York Post and The Daily News in the 1980s," journalist Tom Robbins explained to The New York Times. More often than not, it seemed Trump's tips turned out to be true.

But when it came to dishing the juicy gossip on his own life, Trump could be a bit more, well, creative:

Sue Carswell, a former writer for People magazine, had been wooing Mr. Trump for an interview in 1991 by mailing him gifts of pink Hermès ties. ("This is all back in the days when we had expense accounts," she recalled.) When Mr. Trump claimed he'd had an affair with Carla Bruni — who denied it — Ms. Carswell found herself on the telephone with a Trump spokesman who introduced himself as John Miller, and who claimed that Madonna and Kim Basinger were eager to date the real estate developer.It dawned on her that the spokesman sounded a lot like somebody else: Mr. Trump. Ms. Maples, a friend, confirmed that it was indeed her husband on the line, impersonating his own (fake) spokesman. [The New York Times]

Trump was also reportedly buddies with many of the gossip reporters, even calling them up on the weekends just to say hello. "He would phone us at home sometimes, like on a Saturday. 'What do you think of this girl, or that girl? What number would you give her?'" former tabloid writer George Rush said.

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That "number" Trump requested, of course, refers to a sliding scale of attractiveness between 1 and 10. Some things never change.

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Jeva Lange

Jeva Lange was the executive editor at She formerly served as The Week's deputy editor and culture critic. She is also a contributor to Screen Slate, and her writing has appeared in The New York Daily News, The Awl, Vice, and Gothamist, among other publications. Jeva lives in New York City. Follow her on Twitter.