Trump Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame Is Smashed
The New York Times by Jonah Engle Bromwich Oct. 26, 2016
Donald J. Trump in 2007, when his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was unveiled. Credit Damian Dovarganes/Associated Press
A man dressed as a construction worker took a sledgehammer and a pickax to Donald J. Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame early Wednesday morning, smashing the sidewalk symbol and attempting to remove it, according to a witness and the police.
A spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Police Department, Officer Norma Eisenman, said the authorities received a phone call reporting the attempt at about 6 a.m. The defaced site was later secured, and a tent placed over the star, Officer Eisenman said.
The witness, Dominic Patten, a senior editor at Deadline Hollywood, which initially reported the news, said the man told him he wanted to auction the star and raise money on behalf of the nearly dozen women who have accused Mr. Trump of sexual assault or sexual harassment.
In a phone interview, Mr. Patten, 47, said he had been walking on Hollywood Boulevard near the intersection of Highland Avenue to a meeting when he spotted the man wearing what looked like Los Angeles City construction gear, a hard hat and a reflective vest. He was holding a sledgehammer and a pickax.
The man “suddenly picked up the sledgehammer and started smashing the bejeezus out of the Trump star,” Mr. Patten said. “Then he took the pickax and was trying to pry one of the points of the star.”
“Shrapnel was flying everywhere,” Mr. Patten added.
He said that there were about eight or nine people on the street at the time, and that the man’s attempt went on for approximately five minutes, after which he “made a quick retreat.”
Though the police had no immediate information on a suspect, Deadline Hollywood identified the man as Jamie Otis. But his identity could not be confirmed independently on Wednesday morning.
Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was destroyed early Wednesday morning. Credit Dominic Patten/Deadline Hollywood
Ana Martinez, a spokeswoman for the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which administers the Walk of Fame, said in an email that the star would be replaced. It would be covered for the next several days while it settled and dried, the chamber said in a statement.
Leron Gubler, the chamber’s president, said the organization was working with the police and intended to “prosecute to the full extent of the law.”
The star surrounded by a
fence wall, (Sorry, NYT) placed there by the California street artist
Plastic Jesus on July 20. The wall is complete with mock razor wire and
American flags. Credit Mark Ralston/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
An email to a spokeswoman for Mr. Trump seeking comment was not immediately returned on Wednesday.
Mr. Patten, a veteran journalist who has lived in Los Angeles for almost a decade and has worked at Deadline for just over five years, said the man may have been unable to remove the star because “these things are set very deeply in cement.”
Mr. Trump’s star, in the 6800 block of Hollywood Boulevard, has been the target of numerous attempts at defacement in the last several months. Since Mr. Trump announced his presidential bid, it has been hit with paint and graffiti, which have been cleaned off.
In July, a tiny barbed-wire
fence, wall, (Sorry, NYT) complete with American
flags, was erected by an artist around the star.
Earlier this month, Time magazine interviewed a photographer who has been documenting people’s reactions to the star. The photographer’s images included ones showing the symbol smeared with what appears to be ketchup and adorned with a Bernie Sanders bumper sticker.
Even when visitors do not try to deface the star, they sometimes use it to express their feelings toward the Republican nominee, like a young man who posed with both middle fingers extended above the star in this Instagram photo.
Erin McCann contributed reporting.