Liz Smith: ‘I Got the Trump Criticism I Deserved’

The 93-year-old gossip legend looks back in this week's New Yorker with Jeffrey Toobin.

In her latest column for New York Social Diary, 93-year-old Liz Smith lavishes praise on a trio of articles in the Aug. 29 issue of The New Yorker. The first is Paul Rudnick’s imagining of what might be in Melania Trump’s diary; the second, Nick Paumgarten’s look at an exclusive restaurant in Eaton, N.Y.; and the third, a brief item about the popularity of the topic of Donald Trump on website Hello Poetry.

In the Sept. 5 issue of The New Yorker, there is another piece, about Smith herself. The longtime journalist looks back on her relationship with Trump as a reporter, and explains to Jeffrey Toobin how and why it coalesced unfavorably for her:

When the Post published a front-page story quoting Marla Maples calling her affair with Trump “the best sex I ever had,” Smith wrote a column urging Ivana to “stop sobbing over Donald Juan,” and observing that Trump “still relishes his macho-man publicity.” The Trumps’ divorce, followed by Donald’s brief marriage to Maples, gave Smith the story of her career. At the time, she was a regular on WNBC’s “Live at Five,” in addition to writing her column. She parlayed the Trump story into a big contract to move her column to New York Newsday, which is now defunct, like a number of the seven newspapers she’s worked for.

During the eighties, Smith enjoyed a good deal of Trump’s hospitality, including visits to his Mar-a-Lago estate, in Palm Beach. “I was left holding the bag, ethically, because I had foolishly appeared to have accepted a lot of favors from him,” she said. “The truth was I thought I could get him to give me money for my charities. He never gave me a dime. And I got the criticism I deserved.”

Smith is amazed Trump lasted this long in New York, let alone on the national stage. Check out some of Smith’s other recent New York Social Diary columns here.