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Ex-Trump Employee Nails The Donald In New Book

May 10, 1991

NEW YORK (AP) _ Donald Trump gave ex-wife Ivana a job running the Plaza Hotel to accommodate his affair with Marla Maples, a one-time Trump employee charges in a book.

″Trumped 3/8: The Inside Story of the Real Donald Trump″ presents former Trump Plaza boss Jack O’Donnell’s version of life with The Donald from 1987-90, covering the millionaire developer’s financial and marital problems.

The book (Simon & Schuster, $21.95) was dismissed by a Trump spokeswoman as ″the work of a disgruntled employee.″

″Nobody here has read it, and Mr. Trump has no comment,″ said Norma Foederer of the Trump Organization.

According to O’Donnell, Trump’s Atlantic City empire was partially done in when he turned over control of the Trump Castle to his ex-wife. Her desire to outperform her husband’s Trump Plaza made both casinos suffer, O’Donnell says.

″Ivana carried the feud to absurd lengths,″ O’Donnell writes. ″It was ridiculous, needlessly driving up the cost of doing business for both properties.″

Trump’s three casinos are facing financial problems. The Taj Mahal is heading into bankruptcy court to restructure a $675 million debt, while the Trump Plaza and Castle must make a $82 million payment next month to keep their New Jersey licenses.

But it wasn’t financial problems that persuaded Trump to give his wife a new job, it was his much-publicized affair with Maples, O’Donnell says. His trysts with Maples were complicated by Mrs. Trump’s presence in New Jersey.

″The question was how to get Ivana out of Atlantic City and back to New York. Then he bought the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan, and with that venerable old building ... he found his answer,″ the book says.

Among the book’s other revelations:

-The master of ″The Art of the Deal″ lost $800,000 promoting three shows by the Rolling Stones in Atlantic City. The concerts were ″easily the costliest and most senseless casino entertainment events Donald Trump ever sponsored.″

-Trump was afraid to sleep on his $25 million yacht, The Trump Princess, because he was terrified it might sink.

-The Donald never tips anyone: ″Not waiters, waitresses, doormen, bellhops, not even his drivers. He never gave it a thought.″

-His pursuit of Maples was spurred by his perceived competition with New York Giants punter Sean Landeta. Trump wanted to show ″he was more attractive than a professional athlete to this woman.″

-Trump perpetuated a patently untrue story that he almost joined three top casino executives on a helicopter trip that ended with their deaths in a crash. ″When Donald realized the public relations value of the story, it was allowed to play itself out for weeks afterward.″

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