Louise Linton, the wife of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, would like you to believe she is just your regular, average gal. Maybe not Jane Six-Pack but, perhaps, something akin to Jane Rosé-and-Brunch. This much is obvious from a new interview she gave Elle magazine (which is totally the publication read by regular average gals across America).
“I’m just a regular girl, and I’m not perfect, but I’m trying my best,” insists Linton, a sorta-actress who grew up in a castle in Scotland and who has heretofore crafted a public persona that has been likened to definitely-not-average figures like Marie Antoinette and Cruella de Vil. (Her sins of public excess include tagging an Instagram picture of herself with an array of designer-label hashtags, then lashing out against a critic in a condescending rant. In another iconic photo op, she posed in designer duds alongside Mnuchin at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, flaunting a newly printed sheet of dollar bills with his name on them.)
So in this interview, Linton was clearly trying verrry hard to course-correct and convince people she is much more down-to-earth than she has previously indicated. Here are eight times in the profile she tries to come off as, in the parlance of the tabloids, someone who is “just like us!”
She is not wearing a designer gown
The first time Linton tried to apologize her way out of the Instagram scandal, it did not go so well — she gave her first mea culpa in an interview, scheduled before the public outcry, to the glossy Washington Life magazine, where she was on the cover of the “balls and galas” issue in a designer frock. In the Elle shoot, she is wearing a fuzzy sweater and what looks like no pants. (The less the better?) Though her choice of footwear somewhat undercuts the message: She is sporting towering blue stilettos with a red sole that instantly marks them as pricey Louboutins (the pumps start at around $700).
She met the reporter at a diner
The interview takes place at an Upper East Side restaurant called 3 Guys, which is described as a “bustling family diner” where she orders (and eats!) chicken fingers. Okay, but this is not your average eggs-over-easy joint. According to a Daily Beast profile of the restaurant, its regulars include Michael Bloomberg, Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein, JP Morgan Chase President and chief executive Jamie Dimon, former New York governor Eliot Spitzer and hedge fund manager Whitney Tilson.
She leads with her SoulCycle addiction
Linton seems to think her affinity for the upscale boutique fitness studio chain makes her relatable to Real America. She dressed for the aforementioned Washington Life interview in a SoulCycle sweatshirt. She arrived for the Elle sit-down in a SoulCycle beanie ($48) and leggings (they start at about $90). “I wear SoulCycle stuff every single day of my life,” she says. Classes, FYI, are $30 a pop.
“Like any average person, Linton uses Amazon religiously and orders delivery meals on Postmates, on evenings when she’s not making her husband a big ratatouille with leftover groceries.” Very impressed that she can whip up ratatouille — which actually requires some very specific ingredients — with “leftover groceries.” How very thrifty.
She loves dogs
She once paid the vet bill for the pup of a homeless man in L.A., and he vouched for her character, because he says his dog loves her. “You can’t fool an animal. Dogs read people,” he says.
Her husband offers quirky details about her
“She loves gadgets and has a bird feeder in the backyard,” the treasury secretary says of his wife. “She reads John Stuart Mill and writes notes in the margins of her books. She’s an incredibly warm and loving person.”
They are movie buffs!
Linton says she and Mnuchin, who has produced films including “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” are into movies. But when she is asked for her top movie of the year, she mentions a forgettable 2011 rom-com — “Crazy, Stupid, Love.”
She wants to have kids
Linton is a stepmother to Mnuchin’s three children from his second marriage and wants to have kids herself. “I think motherhood is an incredible thing that I now feel that I would like. … There can be all this noise out there, but at the end of the day, you’ve got your family, and a roof over your head, and food.”
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the magazine Louise Linton spoke with. It was Elle, not Vanity Fair.