The Hollywood Walk of Fame star belonging to President Trump has been turned into rubble — at least the second time in the past two years that the symbol has been destroyed.
Officer L.P. Knight, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department, said police arrested a man they believe smashed the star with a pickax early Wednesday. Officers were called for a vandalism report at about 3:30 a.m. on Hollywood Boulevard near Highland Avenue, where Trump’s star has been for 11 years.
No other information on the suspect is available, Knight said. It also is unclear why that person destroyed the star.
NBC Los Angeles reported that witnesses said the suspect carried the pickax in a guitar case, but Knight said he could not confirm that.
In October 2016, Los Angeles resident James Lambert Otis was caught on video wearing a hard hat and an orange construction vest as he smashed Trump’s star. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office said Otis then removed the brass medallion from the middle of the star.
That incident happened amid mounting allegations that the then-presidential-candidate had groped and kissed women without their consent. Less than three weeks before the vandalism, The Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold reported that Trump bragged about kissing and groping women during a 2005 conversation with Billy Bush, who worked for “Access Hollywood” at that time. Trump’s comments were caught on a hot microphone.
Otis told the Los Angeles Times that he was angered by Trump’s use of vulgar language about women and that some of his family members had been sexually assaulted.
“I sort of had enough with Mr. Trump’s aggressive language toward women and his behavior, his sexual violence with women and against women,” Otis, a Hillary Clinton supporter, told the Times.
Otis, who used a pickax and a sledgehammer, was placed on probation for three years after pleading no contest to a felony vandalism charge in February 2017. He also was ordered to pay $3,700 in restitution to the Hollywood Historic Trust, which grants and maintains the stars on the Walk of Fame, and another $700 to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which operates the Walk of Fame. He also was ordered to perform 20 days of community service.
Trump’s star is the 2,327th star on Hollywood Boulevard. He got his spot on the Walk of Fame in 2007.
The president’s star has been the subject of vandalism and pranks in the past two years. In 2016, somebody spray-painted a swastika on the star, and another erected a miniature border wall around it. In 2017, a prankster wrote a curse word on the star using a marker, and another placed a gold-painted toilet with instructions to passersby to “TAKE A TRUMP.”
But one visitor decided to share photos of herself scrubbing Trump’s star and tweeted that she had “nothing but respect for MY President.” The post went viral and inspired a slew of parody tweets from others who posted pictures of themselves cleaning the stars of Hollywood actors as they pledged to support their would-be presidents.
Caitlin Gibson and Emily Heil contributed to this report.