I've kept quiet about this for some time. But yes, Donald asked me for a date. I met him when he came over to London with his then fiancé Marla Maples for whom he was divorcing first wife, Ivana. The Mail on Sunday asked me to interview Marla for a photo shoot for their YOU magazine. Donald was there, for once trying to keep in the background. However he had already vetoed 'You' magazine's plans for a picnic lunch in the gardens of the boutique hotel near Sloane Square where the Mail on Sunday had lodged Marla, Marla's mother and Donald.
It was a hot July Saturday afternoon and I arrived by cab from my Montagu Square flat to be told that Donald wanted fish and chips so the champagne and seafood picnic were being spurned in favour of a fried lunch at the famous Sea Shell Fish and Chip restaurant in Lisson Grove, W2.
The Sea Shell had no other customers on this hot afternoon, so we were easily seated at a table for four. Donald spoke little while we ate, chomping his battered cod and chips: ignoring snide comments from Marla regarding his weight. Later we had time to chat while Marla was changing various outfits for her photo shoot.
I gave Donald a signed copy of my just published biography of John Major and he expressed interest in the idea that I might write a new Trump biography. He was impressed to the point where Marla began to show jealousy. She objected to me joining them at Tramp for dinner than evening and next day when my taxi was caught in a Victoria Street traffic jam, the ferry taking the party to Greenwich left without me. I was told Donald kept asking, "Where's Nesta? Where's Nesta?
At a lunch organised by 'You' the following Monday, he kept glancing unhappily at Marla. As we quietly chatted at the table he revealed his uncertainty's re her being the right girl for him. Her looks made her hard to beat, "but...." he sighed, and my mind went back to the mean way she had taunted him at the Sea Shell. This aspiring actress, who had been quoted as saying "Best sex ever" about Donald, whom she had met on the street while walking home, might have been less in love than ambitious to marry a mogul.
I filed my piece, but before it could appear in print, the couple had had a fight and split up.
The Mail asked me to ring Donald and interview him.
During our phone call he asked if I would be available for a date in London the following week as he planned to come over on business. (He had already asked me if I practised safe sex). "Go back to Marla, Donald," I told him. "She's the right girl for you." But I was wrong: they married but it did not last.
I included Donald in my hugely successful "Britain's Top 100 Eligible Bachelors," a collection of mini biographies of rich, famous and powerful men. While researching him for what was billed as 'a gold diggers guide'. It played to a widespread fascination for sex power and money. The impression I formed of him was that he is incurably insecure with women, one of those men who is never sure that he is loved, who is always looking for approval and never gives up trying to find it with one woman after another. It's also the motive behind the vulgar flashing of his wealth. He clearly has to keep boasting--about his wealth and his conquests; the top gorilla who can have every female in the tribe.
Photos show he was extremely handsome in his youth, and oddly, beauty is often correlated with insecurity. Handsome men and, beautiful women too, are often trying hard to prove they really are desired. And Donald is a classic case: women, he believes, either love him for his looks or his money, never for himself. As time has passed the looks have faded, the money is still there but he now wants to add political power to his armoury. He first considered running for the White House job in 1987 and I had been asked to interview him, while on a trip to the US, by the Telegraph Magazine. But he changed his mind about running only to pop up again twice. Now, third time may not be so lucky after all. But consider the consequences for women of Trump in office.
A Donald who can't keep his hands to himself might be no worse in the White House than Jack Kennedy who was a notorious womaniser. So much for the curse of looks and money.
Alas, poor Donald.