Meet Steven Mnuchin's Fiancee: An Actress-Author With a Controversial Book

Kim Masters
The Hollywood Reporter

Steven Mnuchin's investment companies aren't his only connection to Hollywood. Fiancee Louise Linton, 35, who has been known to introduce herself as actress-producer-lawyer, has appeared in and in some cases produced low-budget films, including the 2016 horror movies Cabin Fever and Intruder. The Edinburgh-born Linton's website says she studied acting as a young girl and has a journalism degree from Pepperdine University and a law degree from the University of West Los Angeles. (She is not a member of the State Bar of California.) In 2009, she had a small role in Robert Redford's Lions for Lambs, which she promoted in panties and a garter belt in a provocative spread in Maxim that dubbed her "the hottest thing to come out of Scotland since microwaved haggis."

Linton faced global controversy in July after she self-published In Congo's Shadow: One Girl's Perilous Journey to the Heart of Africa, co-written with Wendy Holden. She intended the book about her gap year to be "the inspiring memoir of an intrepid teenager who abandoned her privileged life in Scotland to travel to Zambia." But she described hiding from Hutu militiamen, writing that, if discovered, "I would be raped. I would be cut down. Smirking men with deadened eyes would brutalize me before casting me aside like a rag doll."

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A Washington Post opinions editor called the book "the defining work of the White-Savior-in-Africa genre for the digital age." The website Okay Africa dismissed Linton as a "delusional white memoirist." Citing erroneous elements in the book - such as placing the Tutsi-Hutu conflict in Congo rather than Rwanda - critics fired off denunciations that went viral with the hashtag #LintonLies. Linton withdrew the book and restricted access to her Twitter account.

Linton's rep Mike Sitrick says she was targeted unfairly. "Had her critics checked," he says, "they would have found that articles written contemporaneously with the events reported in Louise's book, by among the most respected media in the world, were consistent with Louise's reporting of those events, as was a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees briefing in March 1999."

In an Edinburgh Evening News interview promoting the book, Linton said she had dined with Donald Trump, adding, "I appreciate he is polarizing individuals politically, but in person he is thoughtful, personable and polite."

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This story appeared in the Dec. 9 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.