According to a recent report in The Washington Post, Marla Maples, President-elect Donald Trump's ex-wife, and Maples's daughter, Tiffany Trump, asked a hairstylist to offer up her services for free for Inauguration Day.
Freelance D.C.-based hairstylist Tricia Kelly, who typically works with clients spanning both Republican and Democratic parties, told the Post that she was initially contacted by a "longtime client with ties to the Trumps" about prepping Maples and her daughter for Inauguration Day events this coming Friday. Kelly expressed interest, and while discussing her typical rates for such work ("a $150 fee to travel in addition to the cost of her services"), Maples's assistant proposed that Kelly and an accompanying makeup artist be willing to work for free in exchange for "exposure" they'd be getting.
"I was stunned," Kelly told the Post. "I told them... I work for a fee, not for free." Kelly declined to accept the job and is now speaking out about the experience.
"There are people who make far less than they do who pay full price," Kelly said. "People on staff — the incoming White House and the outgoing one — pay full price. It seemed like they were trying to see how much they could get for free based on their names." The Post suggested that this type of behavior may be "rare," but it's not illegal:
"Accepting freebies isn't illegal for Maples and Trump, ethics experts say. The president must report any 'gifts' over $300 to him, his spouse and his minor children. But neither Maples nor Tiffany Trump are bound by those rules, says Jan Baran, an attorney who served on George H.W. Bush's ethics commission.
And it's typical for Hollywood stars to accept loaned gowns and jewelry and even gifts and free services by people eager to be associated with celebrities (and seen by their millions of Instagram followers). But in official Washington, where lawmakers and other government officials are banned from accepting most giveaways, such arrangements are relatively rare."
A spokeswoman for Maples declined to comment to the Post for its story.