An engaged Lucy Lawless was forced to reject the direct advances of under-fire presidential candidate Donald Trump in 1997, it has been revealed.

Lawless today confirmed a 1997 Herald report that suggested Trump had propositioned her but backed off when he discovered she was engaged.

The Kiwi actress, who was 29 at the time and widely known as the star of hit TV show Xena: Warrior Princess, said she was staying at a Trump-owned hotel in New York at the time.

Trump, who was 51, dialled the direct line to her room.


"I was staying in his hotel and the phone rang, and I thought that was a bit peculiar," Lawless said. He then went on to ask her out.

"The thing that was funny about it, is that he said he had recently - and you could hear the inverted commas - 'just come on the market'. He'd just broken up with a person.

"He said, 'Perhaps you heard, I've recently come on the market'. My eyebrows shot up. It was a funny term for a property developer to use."

Lawless, who is staunchly anti-Trump, said she wasn't tempted to take Trump up on his offer.

"I'm not a fan on any level, I don't think. But I didn't have anything against him until he started talking about Mexicans."

In the Herald report from October 1997, Lawless reportedly said Trump "backed off" after his initial approach.

"He asked, 'Are you seeing somebody?' and I said 'yes,' and he immediately backed off," Lawless reportedly said at the time.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump once made a pass at Lucy Lawless. Photo/AP
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump once made a pass at Lucy Lawless. Photo/AP

Trump took his brush-off "like a gentleman", it was reported. Trump had separated from his second wife Marla Maples in May, 1997, several months before he made the move on Lawless.


Lawless was engaged to television producer Robert Tapert at the time, and the pair remain married and have two children together.

Tapert produces Ash vs Evil Dead, a US horror show filmed in New Zealand that Lawless stars in.

Republican candidate Trump, who will face Hillary Clinton in the US presidential election on November 8, has been engulfed in a sexism storm in recent weeks thanks to the unveiling of offensive comments he made back in 2005.

In Access Hollywood footage, Trump bragged of groping women without their permission, making sexual advances toward a married woman and automatically kissing women he considered beautiful.

"When you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything," Trump said. "Grab them by the p****. You can do anything."

He has since apologised, calling it "locker room" banter.

Lawless is staunchly anti-Trump and regularly voices her opinions by posting messages and memes about him on social media.

This one goes out to Realdonaldtrump

Posted by Lucy Lawless on Friday, 30 September 2016

She repeated her views in a recent interview with The Daily Beast.

She said: Do you want that guy's finger on the button? ... The rest of the world's looking at America going, 'Are you serious?'

"... Most of the world wants somebody who is more qualified than your average Joe to run one of the largest, most complex nations on Earth."