In an unexpected show of solidarity, the Trump Hollywood star vandal is being bailed out by a guy who pulled the same stunt years prior, per a report by TMZ. It's not exactly pocket change, either: 24-year-old Austin Clay's bail is currently set at $20,000 after he took a pickax to Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Apparently James Otis (the original Trump star vandal who also attacked Trump's star with a pickax, except in 2016) plans to meet Clay in person as well, after he's released from jail.
Otis first destroyed the star with a pickaxe and sledgehammer, two weeks before the 2016 election. In February 2016, he pleaded no contest to felony vandalism and then was sentenced to three years of probation, as well as 20 days of community service. Otis also had to pay around $4,000 for the damage.
In a self-recorded video for TMZ, Otis said at the time, "This morning I went and took Trump's star. The reason I did it was because of the amount of sexual assaults that not only my own family has experienced, but that the many women that Donald Trump has done this to. The point of the exercise was to take the star and auction it off on Election Day, and distribute that money to the women who'd been sexually assaulted by Mr. Trump." Trump has consistently denied the sexual misconduct allegations against him.
Otis continued, "I didn't get the emblem, but I got his entire name ... I think it's a symbol for all of us who are against Donald Trump's sexual assaults, and I don't think Mr. Trump deserves that star any longer."
Otis then went on to describe himself as a non-violent activist, noting that he had supposedly already been arrested 24 or 25 times. He said that he would "love to go to court with Donald Trump, saying, "It would be a great honor. I'm not frightened of him a bit. He's just a bully."
More recently, Clay reportedly took a pickaxe to Trump's star at 3:30 in the morning, after concealing the pickaxe in a guitar case on the walk over. According to The Los Angeles Times, Clay also voluntarily turned himself in to authorities, just like Otis. Lt. Karen Leong of the Los Angeles Police said that Clay “called police and advised he had vandalized Donald Trump’s star and basically called on himself and said, ‘See you soon.’”
Reaction to Clay's act has been mixed. One man, Hollywood tour guide and actor Gregg Donovan, took it upon himself to "protect" Trump's star in the wake of the incident, saying, "It’s a California landmark. Don’t take your anger out on a tourist landmark.”
Still others have applauded Clay's act. Some have even set up a GoFundMe page to cover Clay's bail, though it seems like Otis has that covered. The page reads, "On July 24th 2018, patriot Austin Clay destroyed rapist Donald trump's Hollywood star on the walk of fame. Bail is set at $20,000 for felony vandalism. Let's get Austin out today." In less than a day, the GoFundMe page has almost reached its goal of $2,000.
As of noon on Wednesday, Trump's star had already been replaced.