A Melania Trump pal who was appointed to the prestigious Kennedy Center board by former president Donald Trump recently left Washington amid scandal, after sending a series of text messages to DC power players accusing a woman he had a relationship with of being a prostitute.
Paolo Zampolli once represented Melania Trump in her modeling career, and introduced her to Donald Trump in 1998.
"This is the story of what happened when a notorious New York City playboy not named Donald Trump tried to replicate his act in Washington," Politico reported in an article about Zampolli on Friday. "Few people are more intertwined with Donald and Melania Trump than Paolo Zampolli."
After Donald Trump became president, Zampolli "spent multiple New Year's Eves with the first lady and was a frequent visitor at the White House and Mar-a-Lago," according to Politico, before eventually relocating from New York to Washington in October 2020.
"But Zampolli's high-flying, models-and-bottles lifestyle didn't go over well with the tight-laced politicians and staffers with whom he sought to make connections," the site reports, adding that he had an affinity for entertaining "questionable folks" at his DC mansion.
After former president Trump lost the November 2020 election, Melania convinced her husband, in one of her final acts as first lady, to appoint Zampolli to the board of the venerable Kennedy Center, according to Politico. Although Zampolli said he had "big plans" for the institution, they never materialized — as he instead appeared to continue his New York City lifestyle and host after-parties at his mansion.
One acquaintance described Zampolli as "a man without a country" in DC after Trump lost, and in July he moved back to New York — but not before ending a relationship with a woman in Washington "that threatened to ruin his family still living in New York," according to Politico.
Zampolli, who is not married but has a partner of 17 years and a son, sent a series of text message in July with screengrabs of exchanges between himself and the woman to "a dozen lobbyists, business owners and other power players in D.C.," the site reports.
"Please stay away from my family, you are a pro, all [sic] city knows you are a working girl, since day one you said I had to pay you," Zampolli said in one message to the woman.
Zampolli's text messages reportedly were met with silence from recipients, some of whom now say they're relieved that he's left DC.
"He was the continuation of Trump's Sodom and Gomorrah," said one of Zampolli's friends. "I told Paolo many times to cool off, this is not New York."
Zampolli, one of Trumps' few board appointees who has not been asked to step down, told Politico he sent the texts because he "truly felt blackmailed, and that she was somebody who wanted to hurt my family."
He also claims he only left DC because his lease had expired.
"Why did you get this tip three months later?" Zampolli asked Politico. "Because there's no more free food and free booze. They have nothing to do."
The woman who was the target of Zampolli's text messages denied his allegations.
"Any accusations about me being a 'working girl' or that I trade 'sex for money' are entirely false," she said. "In no way, shape or form, did I partake in any exchange of sex for money with Paolo Zampolli. We had a brief consensual relationship, but I learned he was dishonest about the nature of his relationship with the mother of his son and no longer wanted to be involved or associated with him. He proceeded to verbally threaten me by saying false things about my character. I blocked him from all form of communications."