If you were offended by Louise Linton’s boasts about her wealth on Instagram, brace yourself: Starring in a short-lived reality show called “Hopelessly Rich,” the future wife of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin playfully demanded a suitor buy her a six-carat diamond ring — and chartered a yacht to announce a breakup.
TheWrap has uncovered footage of the show (above) that suggests bragging is nothing new to Linton. She has drawn comparisons to Marie Antoinette for posts about her lavish lifestyle with Mnuchin.
“Hopelessly Rich,” which aired in July of 2003, featured Linton and love interest George William Randolph Hearst III, who claimed to be an heir to the Hearst fortune.
In clips from the show obtained exclusively by TheWrap, Linton is first seen taking Hearst with her to volunteer for a children’s charity. But things get more conspicuously consumptive after that.
When she and Hearst go to a bar, he asks how big her engagement ring should be. She uses hand gestures to answer: six carats.
“That’s my safety net,” she tells him. “So no one attempts to ask me to marry them,” adding, “as long as it’s a big fat diamond.”
“So six karats, we can lock the deal now?” he asks.
“With the right guy,” Linton says.
Her uncertainty about Hearst provides much of the drama of the show. And that skepticism may have been well-founded: According to the New York Daily News, VH1 dropped the show after Victoria Hearst, a real member of the publishing family, said the man on the show was an impostor. (Attempts by TheWrap to locate him for comment have been unsuccessful.)
The bar scene continues with Linton quipping that she doesn’t need Hearst because she’s “very happy” with her current boyfriend. She goes on to complain that “the only other thing you’ve given me is a bracelet, which you gave to me as ‘borrow.'”
“You know what George, I have my own castle too,” she tells him. “And I think I’ve said this before, I own mine.”
He responds: “You want a new car?… Let’s go to Harry Winston. You want some jewelry?”
He adds: “What do I need to prove to you?”
His pleas, judging from the show, were successful. Another scene shows her in a skimpy bikini as a voiceover refers to her as Louise Hay, her name at the time: “Meanwhile, multi-million-dollar beauty Louise Hay chartered a yacht for herself and a few close girlfriends to make a special hopelessly rich announcement.”
Holding a bottle of champagne, she tells her friends that she’s no longer with her boyfriend and that she’s going to give George a chance, even though she “still can’t trust George as far as I can pick him up and lob him.”
Next we get his response: “I saw her and I was just mind-boggled at the beauty that radiated before me. I mean she was just a natural beauty.”
He adds: “And it doesn’t hurt that her father has a big castle.”
On Monday, Linton tore into an Instagram follower who criticized her for flaunting her wealth. Linton, a Scottish-born actress who married former Hollywood producer Mnuchin in June, flew into a rant about how much taxes they pay and their self-sacrifice, after which she thanked the woman for her “passive-aggressive nasty comment.”
She followed up with an apology.
“I apologize for my post on social media yesterday as well as my response,” Linton said in a statement. “It was inappropriate and highly insensitive.”
Her publicist declined to comment. But a person with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap that Linton “does regret” her time on “Hopelessly Rich.”
“She didn’t know [George] was a fraud,” the insider said. “He was NOT her boyfriend. He was a friend. She was 21 and naïve.”
According to an interview she gave to Herald Magazine in 2011, her family owns a 18th-century Melville Castle, in Scotland, which it runs as a luxury hotel. Her IMDB page shows she’s appeared in and produced several low budget films.
In 2007 she appeared in an episode of “CSI: NY” — playing a woman dressed as Marie Antoinette.