Louise Linton, the 36-year-old Scottish actress newly wedded to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, apologized Tuesday after she sparked a national kerfuffle when she got into a spat with one of her Instagram followers.
“I apologize for my post on social media yesterday as well as my response,” Linton told CNN. “It was inappropriate and highly insensitive.”
The social media incident began Monday, when Linton posted a photo of herself and Mnuchin stepping out of a government plane in Kentucky, describing the travel in the caption as a “day trip” and touting her wardrobe while name-checking designers Roland Mouret, Tom Ford, Hermès and Valentino.
When a commenter, identified by the New York Times as Jenni Miller, wrote, “Glad we could pay for your little getaway. #deplorable,” Linton unleashed.
Linton’s aggressive response, sprinkled with emoji, mocked Miller’s wealth in comparison with her own. Mnuchin, whom Linton married in June, is an independently wealthy Goldman Sachs banker.
“Have you given more to the economy than me and my husband? Either as an individual earner in taxes OR in self sacrifice to your country? I’m pretty sure we paid more taxes toward our day ‘trip’ than you did. Pretty sure the amount we sacrifice per year is a lot more than you’d be willing to sacrifice if the choice was yours.”
She wasn’t done there. She added another jab that suggested she had reviewed her critic’s photos: “Your kids look very cute. Your life looks cute. I know you’re mad but deep down you’re really nice and so am I. Sending me passive aggressive Instagram comments isn’t going to make life feel better.”
“If she hadn’t made her account private, I would have written back with a very snide Marie Antoinette joke,” Miller told the Times.
National media outlets widely covered Linton’s response, which social media also skewered.
— WorkingFamiliesParty (@WorkingFamilies) August 22, 2017
When the Jacobins set up their guillotines in Lafayette Square, I’m going to blame Louise Linton https://t.co/WRYo052Gof
— David Frum (@davidfrum) August 22, 2017
Here's a picture of Louise Linton sacrificing for our country by attending the red carpet premiere of Jupiter Ascending pic.twitter.com/BhzNfzll9Q
— joe mande (@JoeMande) August 22, 2017
If you ever wanted to explain the definition of "vulgarian," this would be a good place to start. https://t.co/oHzlkAlLuG
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) August 22, 2017
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) August 22, 2017
The incident wasn’t the first time that Linton’s writing has launched her into the national spotlight. In 2016, she self-published “In Congo’s Shadow,” billed as an account of her time in Zambia during her “gap year” between graduating from high school and entering college. The Telegraph published an excerpt from the book, but was later forced to retract it, citing “a number of complaints from Telegraph readers that the article mistakenly implied that the conflicts in Congo and Rwanda had spilled over into Zambia, that Zambia was a war-torn country in 1999 and that armed rebels had crossed Lake Tanganyika to Zambia that year. Other claims of inaccuracy were also made.”
The retraction also noted that Linton halted the book’s sales and donated the profits to charity. Aside from the inaccuracies, critics also slammed the book as an example of “white savior complex.” Before being shelved, the book was promoted as “the inspiring memoir of an intrepid teenager who abandoned her privileged life in Scotland to travel to Zambia as a gap year student where she found herself inadvertently caught up in the fringe of the Congolese War.” In one passage, she describes herself as a “skinny white muzungu with long angel hair.”
Wendy Holden, Linton’s co-author, has removed any mention of the book from her website and did not respond to a request for comment from Yahoo News.
Linton has appeared in a handful of films, acting alongside Robert Redford, Meryl Streep, and Tom Cruise in 2007’s “Lions for Lambs.” Linton is credited with the role of a skin care consultant.
Linton and Mnuchin married in June in Washington. It was the second marriage for the bride and the third for the groom. Vice President Pence officiated the lavish affair, which was also attended by the president and first lady, in addition to a number of other administration officials. In lieu of posting on Instagram, Linton’s wedding day jewels were previewed in a Town & Country spread.
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