(CBS Local)– Ben Widdicombe has been at the center of the celebrity and gossip news world for the last two decades.
Widdicombe has written for outlets like The New York Times, TMZ and the New York Daily News and covered the biggest celebrities in the world like Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton and President Donald J. Trump. Widdicombe shares many stories about his interactions with the 45th President of the United States and the evolution of celebrity culture in his new Simon & Schuster book “Gatecrasher: How I Helped The Rich Become Famous and Ruin The World.”
“Much to my own surprise I became known as a gossip columnist, which I never really planned,” said Widdicombe in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “I started up with Page Six as a stringer for a little while and then the Daily News gave me my own column called Gatecrasher. I ended up at TMZ as their Managing Editor and then I got sick of gossip around 2010. For the last 10 years, I’ve written mainly about the wealthy and that culture in New York. The first decade of this millennium was all about people like Paris Hilton and later Kim Kardashian. They were the celebrities that everyone wanted to know about. Britney Spears and what crazy thing is Lindsay Lohan doing. That was a lot of fun to cover.”
In his book, Widdicombe draws parallels between Hilton’s celebrity playbook and President Trump’s rise to the White House. The author and writer knew President Trump and his family for years before he became the leader of the free world.
“I did spend a lot of time with Donald before he became president,” said Widdicombe. “I interviewed the kids several times and I’ve met all his wives. The thing about Donald is what you see is what you get. A lot of my Australian relatives want to know what Donald Trump is like. The only answer to that is he’s like what he’s like on television. There’s no hidden layer. He is completely one dimensional and what you see is what you get. He certainly was ahead of the curve in adopting tactics to his spectacular benefit.”
“Gatecrasher: How I Helped The Rich Become Famous and Ruin The World” goes on sale July 7 wherever books are sold.