The president of the United States is getting out of the modeling business: Trump Models is closing down.
Revenues at the New York-based modeling agency were expected to take another hit with the defection this month of a key manager who was taking several models to start up a new operation, The Washington Post reported. It’s the most recent loss of management and models that began last year as Trump’s presidential campaign heated up.
President Donald Trump has an 85 percent stake in the business launched by the Trump Organization in 1999, according to his personal financial disclosure filings released last year. He reported earning $1.9 million from the operation.
“The Trump Organization is choosing to exit the modeling industry,” company president Corinne Nicolas told associates over the weekend in an email obtained by Mother Jones.
A Trump Organization representative also told The New York Post that the modeling agency was closing up shop. “While we enjoyed many years of success, we are focused on our core businesses in the real estate and golf industries and the rapid expansion of our hospitality division,” said the spokesperson.
Over the years, the agency has represented top models including Jerry Hall, Tatjana Patitz, Yasmin Lebon and Carmen Dell’Orefice, among many others. But it triggered controversy during Trump’s presidential campaign when Mother Jones spoke to three models who weren’t U.S. citizens who revealed they had worked illegally as immigrants when the agency booked jobs for them without obtaining proper work visas. The magazine also found financial and immigration records showing a fourth former model appeared to have worked illegally in the U.S.
Canadian model Rachel Blais told the magazine last year that she booked jobs in the U.S. without a work visa, including for appearances on Trump’s “Apprentice” reality TV program. She called the agency “the most crooked I’ve ever worked for.”
The news emerged as Trump was railing on the campaign trail against immigrants working illegally in the U.S.
Last September, then-Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) called for an investigation into Trump’s business following the magazine’s revelations.