Selina Scott generally elicits more favourable reviews from the men she interviews. But yesterday saw the publication of a letter that even she would be hard pushed to describe as fan mail. The television personality is the subject of an extraordinary attack from the tycoon Donald Trump, following an interview with him shown on ITV last month.
The billionaire American property developer branded her "very sleazy", "unattractive", "obnoxious" and "boring" in letters to her and to King Constantine of Greece, said to have acted as a go-between.
In his letter to her, he wrote: "When the interview started you were somewhat obnoxious, repetitive and not at all very smart. I put this down to the fact that you must have been having a bad day. When you started asking me, off camera, whether or not I knew anyone who would take you out, I was surprised (but couldn't care less)."
He added: "As most people know, you are not a first class reporter. The interview and questions were boring and foolish, but I nevertheless finished."
He assumed she would return to London and do a "hatchet job" on him, he said. Instead, he said, he received a "pathetic" telephone call from her saying that the camera had not worked properly and asking for a re- interview. He added: "Selina, you have little talent and, from what I have seen, even fewer viewers. You are no longer 'hot'; perhaps that is the curse of dishonesty. You would, obviously, go to any lengths to try to restore your faded image." The row is something of a surprise after previous reports that Trump was "absolutely knocked sideways" by the interviewer when they met.
Miss Scott, who has just clinched a reported pounds 200,000 deal to present her own chat show on NBC Super Channel, said: "I'm sorry if he feels that way about me, but I'm not really surprised. If you've got an ego as big as the Empire State Building, you're liable to get upset if someone dents it." She thought the programme was "a fair portrait of the man".
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