Trump's star on Hollywood Walk of Fame smashed for second time
It was the author of the smashing himself who called the police and confessed what he had done. Now he faces vandalism charges and will have to pay a $20,000 bond.
The man took out the pick ax from the guitar case and started swinging. And then he hit it again. The deafening sound made witnesses think it was street work, at that hour, around 3 a.m. Pacific Time on July 25.
However, Austin Clay, 24, was smashing a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame bearing the name of Donald Trump. The star has been there since 2007 .
Clay hit and hit again until he made a complete wreckage out of the star and the 11 letters of the president's name. The security guards tried to discourage him but he didn’t stop.
Karen Leong, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Police Department, told the press that that it was Clay himself who called the police and confessed what he had done. “See you,” Clay said before hanging up, according to Leong.
When the officers arrived at the Walk of Fame, Clay had already gone. One hour later he turned himself in at the Beverly Hills division. Now he faces vandalism charges and will have to pay a $20,000 bond.
TMZ published a video on its Twitter account, in tune with its paparazzi fashion. Clay sinks the pick ax into the Trump star with strength fueled by anger, building momentum with every swing. When he is done, he abandons the ax next to his work.
CAUGHT YOU!! Donald J. Trump's Hollywood Walk of Fame star didn't stand a chance against its latest attacker ⛏ pic.twitter.com/HYLKn5zDSk
— TMZ (@TMZ) July 26, 2018
A witness quoted by CNN said that she thought “it was work going on over here. Like it was his business just to be tearing up the ground”. Another witness told NBC: "I'm like, 'Why are you hitting that star? What did Donald Trump do to you?' Then he went around the corner and I think he left."
When the sun had risen, there was a hole with cement and rubble, protected by a chin-up bar. Somebody had decorated the wreckage with graffiti, CBS reported. Passersby took images of the remains, and some took pieces as souvenirs.
The Atlantic disclosed yesterday that the star had already been replaced by noon the same day. A supporter was guarding the rubble from 7:30 in the morning.
Austin Clay was not the first one to demolish the symbol.
In October 2016, in the midst of the presidential election campaign, James Otis also used a pick ax to do something of the kind, but he added a sledgehammer to his endeavor. He was dressed as a construction worker.
Otis gave interviews to the press. He said he wanted to vindicate the women who had accused Trump of abuse and sexual assault. In the beginning, Otis just wanted to steal the star and auction it off in order to give the money to those women. He was sentenced to three years of probation and 20 days of community service. He also paid a $3,700 fine to the Hollywood Historic Trust, an entity in charge of the maintenance of the stars on the Walk of Fame, and another $700 to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, the sponsor of the Walk of Fame.
In July of that year, an artist built a six-inch wall around Donald Trump’s star, like a replica of the wall of the president’s dreams along the border with Mexico.
During the Resist Pride Parade, in June 2017, people covered the stars in stickers: “I #resist racism,” “I #resist extremism.”
Some people have even admitted publicly on social media that their dogs "accidentally" pooped on it, although they later erased the confession.
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce granted the star number 2,327 to Donald Trump 11 years ago on January 16, 2007.
“Trump's extravagant lifestyle and outspoken manner have made him a celebrity for years, a status amplified by the success of the shows he produced, the Miss Universe Pageants and the NBC show The Apprentice,” says the official Walk of Fame website.
NBC revealed in an earlier report that each star is priced at $30,000 and that the granting is not based on talent and dedication, but money.
“Between 20 and 30 celebrities claim their section of fame every year, and while a committee chooses recipients from hundreds of applications each year, the stars aren't gifted”.