Former Trump exec on claim he drugged rival: It’s not true

Abe Wallach denies claim that he slipped a rival sleeping pills during GM building sale

TRD New York /
Oct.October 03, 2014 01:10 PM

A former Trump executive accused in a forthcoming book of drugging a rival to gain a leg up in a real estate deal said the story is not true.

Abe Wallach, Trump’s one-time head of acquisitions, denied the account in Vicky Ward’s forthcoming book, “The Liar’s Ball: The Extraordinary Saga of How One Building Broke the World’s Toughest Tycoons.” In the book, which is about the sale of the GM building, Ward recounted a story in which Wallach allegedly drugged a rival during a long-haul flight to Asia.

“I swear on the grave of my parents, that story is not true,” Wallach told The Real Deal.

Instead, he explained, Ward took the story from Wallach’s written memoirs. The memoirs, he said, contained embellished and, in some cases, fabricated stories that he inserted in order to entice a publisher to someday buy his manuscript. “The key thing most publishers told me was, ‘You need to jazz up the book,’” he recalled. “So I started looking at what I could do to jazz it up.”

Wallach said he showed Ward his draft to help her piece together some of the facts for “Liar’s Ball.” He claims that she quoted portions of his book, but presented his stories as truthful, which some are not. And, he said, she got the story about the sleeping pills from a chapter on The Plaza Hotel, not the GM building.

For her part, Ward denied Wallach’s account and told TRD he never said the story was fabricated.

“I have two signed statements I can email you from Abe confirming his account of the drugging episode,” Ward said. In the book, she said, the drugging episode is recounted in a quote by him, “signed off on by him,” she added. “It is all footnoted and sourced in the book…. My publishers [John Wiley & Sons] and I completely stand by the book.”

The story about the supposed drugging is conveyed in a chapter focusing on Wallach’s role in the GM deal, but does not say it happened during the GM negotiations. “The point of including this was to show… how far people are willing to go to make money,” she said. “Abe Wallach is an extreme example of that.”

As for Wallach, he said he would “never do something like that.”

Asked if he was concerned his fabrications would be mistaken for truth, he said he was not. “I told her the story was totally untrue,” he said. “She went ahead and used it anyway.”

Since the story came to light, Wallach said he has not heard from anyone at the Trump Organization, or the boss himself. “Donald and I had a very close relationship,” he said, “and I hope we still do.”

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