The iconic performer, 60, is profiled in the New York Times and was asked about how, back in 1991, Trump, 72, pretended to be his own publicist and called People magazine and claimed Madonna was rabidly chasing him in hopes of dating him. The fame-seeking real estate mogul was apparently trying to deflect attention from headlines that he was stepping out on mistress turned girlfriend Marla Maples.
Madonna told writer Vanessa Grigoriadis it was a bunch of hooey. It never happened. She did, however, recall doing a photo shoot at Mar-a-Lago and said Trump called her incessantly while she was there.
“I did a Versace campaign with Steven Meisel at his house in Palm Beach,” Madonna recalled. Trump’s phone calls didn’t stop. “He kept going: ‘Hey, is everything OK? Finding yourself comfortable? Are the beds comfortable? Is everything good? Are you happy?’”
Donatella Versace, who was in charge of the shoot, recalled the experience — and how “pushy” Trump was — in a 2016 interview. The designer said Trump actually showed up for the shoot — even though “when you’ve rented [a space], you don’t want the owner to come in.” She said they “couldn’t get rid of him” and Trump even tried to gain entry to the set. She recalled shooing him away, and noted that the fast-food obsessed president “brought us Kentucky Fried Chicken! I mean, excuse me. Models, you know? It’s fashion!”
In the NYT piece, Madonna went on to say that Trump has a weak character, but it isn’t a shock. As an alpha male, “they’re overcompensating for how insecure they feel — a man who is secure with himself, a human who is secure with themselves, doesn’t have to go around bullying people all the time.”
On her new album, Madame X, Madonna explores her anger over political powers like Trump “who seemed to be systematically removing all of our personal freedoms.”
The music industry icon had said she moved to Portugal, in part, to get her family — now just her four younger kids — out of the U.S. while he’s in office. (The other part was so that her son David could attend a top soccer academy there.)
Madonna drew Trump’s ire in 2017 by saying at the Women’s March she had considered “blowing up the White House.” He fired back, “Honestly, she’s disgusting. I think she hurt herself very badly. I think she hurt that whole cause,” he said. “I thought what she said was disgraceful to our country.” (However, he didn’t give her a nickname — like “washed up psycho” Bette Midler — so he must not have been that angry.)
In the NYT interview, Madonna was also asked about Time’s Up and #MeToo. Her 1991 Madonna: Truth or Dare documentary was distributed by disgraced movie maker Harvey Weinstein’s Miramax. They had other collaborations as well, including Weinstein executive producing her 2011 film W.E.
“Harvey crossed lines and boundaries and was incredibly sexually flirtatious and forward with me when we were working together; he was married at the time, and I certainly wasn’t interested,” she said.
She added: “I was aware that he did the same with a lot of other women that I knew in the business. And we were all, ‘Harvey gets to do that because he’s got so much power and he’s so successful and his movies do so well and everybody wants to work with him, so you have to put up with it.’”
So when he was accused of sexual misconduct by dozens of women in 2016, “I was really like, ‘Finally.’ I wasn’t cheering from the rafters because I’m never going to cheer for someone’s demise. I don’t think that’s good karma anyway. But it was good that somebody who had been abusing his power for so many years was called out and held accountable.” (Weinstein, awaiting trial for sexual assault in NYC, has maintained his innocence.)
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