Puncturing the notion that celebrity bromances are idyllic and idealistic, wheeler dealers Russell Simmons and Jesse Jackson told The New York Times that their flaunted “friendships” with Donald Trump were bought and paid for.
In an article titled “Rise of Donald Trump Divides Black Celebrities He Calls His Friends”, entrepreneur Simmons said the TV host-turned-politician often flew him to Florida aboard his private plane and invited him to stay as a guest at his lavish resort Mar-a-Lago. “He was a good host, that’s for sure,” Simmons said. “You’d be in the steam room and he’d come in, fully clothed, and say, ‘You guys O.K. in there?’”
Jesse Jackson, the former activist who in recent years has enjoyed a luxurious lifestyle (chauffeured limos, five-star hotel suites) through the largesse of major corporations who want to dissuade him for organizing protests or boycotts against them, secured more valuable consideration from the real estate developer. The soi-disant “reverend” (who has never pastored a church) told The Times that Trump “donated office space on Wall Street to him” in order to stay on his good side.
But now that the presidential candidate’s remarks about minority groups have made him radioactive, the fair weather friends are distancing themselves. In an open letter, Simmons told Trump to “stop fueling fires of hate”. Jackson proclaimed that Trump’s campaign speeches are “devastating, painful and hurtful.”
Guess there’ll be no more junkets at Mar-a-Lago or plush hideaways for these guys. In the immortal words of Chaucer, all good things must come to an end. Now they have.