In a new book that largely expands on the arguments that have made Donald Trump Jr. a conservative star since his dad became president, he spends some time describing his childhood — including a few celebrity friends.
Early in Triggered, President Donald Trump‘s oldest son, now 41, remembers his friendship with Herschel Walker, a college football star who later went on to play for the United States Football League’s New Jersey Generals, which Trump owned.
“When I was six, I took a trip to Disney World with Herschel and his family,” Don Jr. writes in Triggered, which was published on Tuesday. “He used to come to our house in Greenwich. His wife at the time once took a ride on my motocross bike and crashed it, seriously injuring herself. We remain friends to this day.”
Don Jr. also opens up about his family’s connection with Michael Jackson, when the three oldest Trump children — Don Jr. Eric and Ivanka — were all young and Jackson was then one of the most famous performers on Earth.
“Jackson … lived in Trump Tower,” Don Jr. writes. They played video games together.
In Triggered, Don Jr. recalls that “one day in Eric’s room, my father saw how much Michael enjoyed playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with us on Nintendo and told him he could take the game home. My game! To this day, Eric says it was his game because it was in his room, but I know whose game it was. I’d worked a summer job to pay for it! And here was Michael Jackson, probably a billionaire at this point, and he took it!”
This playful anecdote quickly darkens in Don Jr.’s book as he writes, “The recent revelations about Jackson came as a shock to me. My experience with Michael does not include any of what he’s been accused of.”
Still, much as his father responds to his many critics, Don Jr. immediately circles back on the defensive.
“Oh, and by the way, given all the things my father has been called, particularly a ‘racist,’ it sure sounds odd that he’d let his son vacation with a black man or hang out with Michael Jackson doesn’t it?” he writes of the president. “If he’s a racist, he’s sure not very good at it.”
Earlier this year, new allegations were made against Jackson in the Leaving Neverland documentary by Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who claimed in the HBO film that Jackson sexually abused them both as children.
The star, who died in June 2009 at age 50, repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and in 2005 was acquitted in a child sex abuse case against him in California.
The Jackson estate sued HBO and slammed the Emmy Award-winning documentary, calling it “another rehash of dated and discredited allegations.”
Triggered isn’t the first time the Trumps have talked about their relationship with Jackson.
Ivana Trump, the president’s first wife and mother of his three oldest children, wrote in her 2017 memoir Raising Trump about how the singer was the “only person who had an open invitation to come to the [Trump Tower] triplex for playdates whenever he wanted.”
“He’d stop by and chat with Donald and me for twenty minutes, and then he’d go up to the kids’ floor to hang out with them for hours and hours. They’d watch MTV, play Mario Brothers or Tetris, and build Trump Tower in Legos,” she wrote, adding, “Michael was a 30-year-old kid. He could relate to Ivanka and the boys better than to us.”
Ivana, 70, wrote that she “never believed the accusations that he molested those kids” and that there were nannies with her kids and Jackson during their playtime.