Sunday, October 2, 2016

Donald Trump and Leona Helmsley

Donald Trump and the businesswoman and hotel magnate Leona Helmsley did not get along. From a New Yorker report on a musical in development, Queen of Mean: The Rise and Fall of Leona Helmsley :

After an initial friendship, they fell out over an Atlantic City property, and Trump was quoted in the Post as saying, “When God created Leona, the world received no favors.” He once claimed to have surreptitiously poured a bottle of red wine into the hood of her coat. In the nineties, Trump, in a bid to control the Empire State Building, said that the Helmsleys’ [Harry and Leona’s] management had turned it into a “high-rise slum”; they sued him for a hundred million dollars. Still, he seemed to recognize her as an equal. When she died, he told Fox News, “She added something to New York, in a very perverse way.”
A housekeeper famously claimed to have heard Leona Helmsley say that “Only the little people pay taxes.” So for all their differences, Helmsley and Trump found at least some common ground.

[The Washington Post reported on Trump’s “When God created Leona” comment in 1989. The “high-rise slum” comment and wine story appeared in The New York Times in 2001 and 2003. The Times reported today on Trump’s taxes. Small World Department: a relative’s close friend was Harry Helmsley’s Mr. Helmsley’s secretary. It was always “Mr. Helmsley.”]

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