The morals of Donald J. Trump, as a longtime model lover and then a modeling agency owner, were forged in another era, one in which young girls were used as a sort of currency between men doing business with one another.
It’s not a time that Trump, who once blew up gossip reporters’ phones to dish on his own sexual exploits, real and imagined, is eager to remember now. But after I wrote for The Daily Beast earlier this year about the parties he hosted in the 1990s where “his wealthy friends, high-rollers from his Atlantic City casinos, and potential Trump condominium buyers could meet models” from second-tier agencies, several men who attended those parties at the Plaza Hotel emerged to share scandalous specifics about Trump’s presence and behavior at events where illegal drugs and young women were passed around and used.
Trump’s assistant referred a request for comment about the two men’s claims, detailed below, to his campaign, which didn’t respond to several inquiries.
I’ve been covering Trump since 1985, when I worked for The New York Times’ women’s pages. He endorsed one of my books, about real estate, and was a character in two more of them. He talked to me about sex and substances and the substance of the arena in which he made his name, real estate. I published all of it. In 1999, he told me that in 1995 he’d been worth about negative $900 million. I didn’t have the chops to think to ask for his tax returns.
I also wrote a book about the modeling industry and heard stories about Trump but didn’t write them because he wasn’t important in it, just another rich guy buying a date farm, perhaps for his friends, perhaps for himself. This wasn’t pejorative, just how things were. (Leonardo DiCaprio, at the height of his “Pussy Posse” fame, thanked Trump for offering “one-stop date-shopping.”)
Now, those stories seem to matter more, and so I spoke in recent days with two Trump pals, both reluctant to talk about the man they once partied hard with who’s now the Republican nominee to be president of the United States. In that capacity, Trump has vowed to sue people who have come forward in recent weeks with allegations about his bad behavior.
One of the two men I spoke with, a fashion photographer, requested anonymity because he has fathered several children since his Trump days and doesn’t want his past dredged up. “There’s no upside for me,” he says.
The other man… well, you’ll read his words. Both confirmed that Trump, as I’ve reported, used to host parties in suites at the Plaza Hotel when he owned it, where young women and girls were introduced to older, richer men. This is hardly aberrant behavior in the modeling business. Indeed, it is standard operating procedure.
But both men also put Donald Trump in the room with cocaine, very young women and underage girls, and rich, old men there to—pardon my language, but if the Times can say pussy on its front page, I can say this—fuck them.
I’m sorry, Ivanka, I really am, because your mother raised you well and I can’t blame you for supporting your father (even if he did give—at the least—his blessing when you were 15 and signed on as a model yourself with Elite, the hard-partying high-end agency founded by notorious teen-fucker John Casablancas) but here’s the sad truth: Your dad’s not a dog. He’s a pig.
The photographer says he attended Trump’s parties with one of the owners of the hair salon, Pierre Michel, that operated in both the Plaza and Trump Tower. The salon owner, Pierre Ouaknine, says his memories of those Plaza parties vanished after a recent surgery. But the photographer’s memories are crystal clear. Trump would take over “suites on the corners” of his hotel with views of Central Park and Grand Army Plaza, not to mention lots to look at inside, and wow his guests.
The attraction for the men “was young girls assuming they’d get somewhere” by joining the party, the photographer says, “Of course, it never happens.”
Young models were attracted to the fêtes with a simple, time-tested pitch. “You’ll meet rich guys who will help you,” says the photographer. “It was networking, but on a weird, bizarre scale.”
The girls were as young as 15, he says, and “over their heads, they had no idea, and they ended up in situations. There were always dramas because the men threw money and drugs at them to keep them enticed. It’s based on power and dominating girls who can’t push back and can be discarded. There’s always someone to pick them back up. Nobody wants to call home and say ‘Help me.’”
Trump would “go from room to room,” said the photographer, who added that “I was there to party myself. It was guys with younger girls, sex, a lot of sex, a lot of cocaine, top-shelf liquor” but no smoking. Trump didn’t approve of cigarettes.
Those men at these parties often knew each other. “It’s a small community,” the photographer says. “They exchanged information, facilitated each other. Trump was in and out. He’d wander off with a couple girls. I saw him. He was getting laid like crazy. Trump was at the heart of it. He loved the attention and in private, he was a total fucking beast.”
Trump himself nodded to the life when his own daughter began modeling, saying “I am only modestly in favor of this because I understand that that life is a very fast life, and at that age it is always a risky proposition.” He would know about that life.
Andy Lucchesi, the second man I spoke to, was and remains a male model. He was identified to me by a modeling executive as a frequent visitor to the Trump model salons. “I don’t want to get him in trouble,” Lucchesi says of Trump. “I like Donald. I respect the guy. People should want to know about Jeffrey Epstein and Bill Clinton,” referring to the billionaire pedophile who in fact palled around with both Clinton and Trump. I ask if he’s equating Trump’s parties with Epstein’s debauches. “Hell no,” Lucchesi says.
Lucchesi had been described to me by the modeling executive as an organizer of Trump’s parties, one of several who wrangled models to them. Asked about that description, Lucchesi says that “the parties weren’t like an organized once a week thing.”
But was he wrangling models for Trump? “A lot of people would say that,” Lucchesi allows, adding that he thought Trump’s motive was a desire to open a model agency of his own, which he eventually did.
Lucchesi’s recollection of the parties dovetails with the photographer’s account. “There was cocaine around. I never saw him do that. Donald Trump does not do cocaine. He’s in control of himself.”
Girls? “Well. Of course,” Lucchesi says. “But I never knew him as one of those guys buying apartments for girls from Estonia.” (Though he did marry a model from Slovenia.)
But did he have sex with his female party guests? “So, he’s a man with a woman,” Lucchesi says vaguely. How old were they? “A lot of girls, 14, look 24. That’s as juicy as I can get. I never asked how old they were; I just partook. I did partake in activities that would be controversial, too.”
Lucchesi adds that he’s glad nobody cares about what he did back then. “I had so much fun, my body is paying for it now.”
And he’s not even running for president!
Here’s how Trump described himself, recalling his days as a young bachelor in Manhattan, in an interview for one of my books: Trump told me that consequence-free promiscuity was then his “second business… If I hadn’t got married, who knows what would have happened? You had drugs, women and booze all over the fuckin’ place.”
As a young man on the make in New York, he’d joined the private Le Club. “It was fuckin’ wild,” he told me. “The most beautiful women I’ve ever seen in my life were at Le Club. I had seen some incredible women going into Le Club with rich guys. And I said, ‘Boy, that’s a cool life.’”