“Lifestyles” Robin Leach Dishes the Dirt on Trump, Paris and What People Get Wrong about Moguls
10:21 am, September 14th | by Amy Tennery
Robin Leach may be the original prophet of moguls, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to pull any punches. The 50-year veteran of celebrity and mogul news just recently celebrated his 70th birthday and he’s showing no signs of slowing down. Today he’s the voice behind “Luxe Life,” the preeminent source for news on Las Vegas’ movers and shakers — and he has a thing or two to say about the wealthy and about politics. Mogulite caught up with the “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” originator to get all the dirt.
Mogulite: Obviously one would imagine you’ve gotten to know moguls better than almost anyone. What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about the rich and famous?
Robin Leach: That they’re money-grubbing. They aren’t money-grubbing. They are people who will never hang up the sign “Gone Fishin’.” They are the people who are never satisfied with one success. They want the next. It’s being driven by a passion that isn’t “work.”
M: You’ve been described by some as the “anti-Perez Hilton.” Do you personally object to his work?
RL: No, not necessarily. I object basically to anybody who is snarky about other people. Particularly those people in this arena of wealth. I mean, wealth drives economies. Taxing wealth out of existence produces socialism and communism — it never works… Community has never ever supported itself because there will always be people who will not work as hard as those that lead. There will always be people who think that they’re entitled to their share — which is a false entitlement — [and] that rich people don’t deserve to be rich and they should support poor people.
M: It sounds like you have some more republican leanings — would you describe yourself, politically, as a republican?
RL: No, no. I’m totally an independent centrist. But I do believe that rich people should be encouraged more than they are handcuffed and regulated. Because, in the end, it is only rich people who drive nations’ economies. If you let non-rich people drive it, we’ll all be in the poor house. And let’s face it, rich people support every charity under the sun.
M: How would you like to see Donald Trump run for president?
RL: I would love to see Donald in there to shake it all up… I love Donald to death — and I think he’s great. He’s the most brilliant promoter in the entire world; nobody beats him. But can you really imagine him across a table from Chiang Kai-shek, with that hair and those eyebrows? And thumping his fists on the desk and saying “You’re fired!”
M: I almost want to see it, now that you say it.
RL: Well, it would make a great new television show for him! But we need some statesmen… and Hillary Clinton does a great job as secretary of state. I think she’d be doing a much better job if she’d been president. I would like to see a woman as a president. I love seeing female entrepreneurs smash through the glass ceiling. The glass ceiling — as you well know — it really doesn’t exist. It’s a mythical thing that’s put there and written about. But there’s nobody stopping women from rising to the top and there hasn’t been for a long time.
RL: I happen to adore Paris Hilton. I find it absolutely remarkable that this little girl that I knew when she was 13 years of age eating in Le Cirque in New York with Kathy and Rick has grown up and has managed to stay at the top of the most bizarre game in the world for 12 years! It’s unfair that people try to knock her off the pedestal or criticize. She’s the brightest, sharpest light bulb in the box… She’s transcended celebrity into mogul and still retained celebrity. And the Kardashians are running fleet of foot to catch up.
M: Do you have a least favorite?
RL: No and I wouldn’t tell you because that would be down in Perez Hilton department. But you asked also, is there a mogul — I love Donald, I think Donald is absolutely extraordinary… I love T. Boone Pickens; I think this is a man that understand that understands the oil industry.
M: I was looking at all the weddings this year — the Wynn wedding, the royal wedding, the Ecclestones, the Kardashians –
RL: Thank heavens these people are spending money! The rich! The 1 percent who are going to be punished and crucified, they’re the people spending money and getting it into the system. They’re keeping catering businesses in business! They’re keeping hotels in business!
M: That’s a good point… And we saw — especially with the royal wedding and the Kardashians — this wedding coverage reaching a fever pitch.
RL: Right — because the viewing public, the listening public, the reading public is sick to death of reading about themselves, moping in misery. They want to escape. I tell you — queen for a day, king for a day: the dream is always there.
M: Your first interview for “Lifestyles” was Siegfried & Roy in Las Vegas. Do you feel like you’ve come full circle with “Luxe Life?”
RL: When I was growing up at 15 years of age, I wanted to be a journalist and I went to work for my first newspaper. I certainly didn’t write about the smallest rose in the flower show or the smallest cucumber at the vegetable show. I always wrote about the biggest and the best… and it’s the same having veered off into this funny world of show business and star chefs and celebrities and moguls. It’s always about who had the biggest yacht, the biggest car, the most expensive this. Because, when you boil all that down, that’s what the public wants to read. They really only want to know about the winners.