When off-air and not being asked to talk about Coulter, Deutsch enjoys living the semi-famous life: “You get the best tables at restaurants, free desserts. It’s a great way to meet women, nothing wrong with it—that, I’m finding as a recently single person,” says Deutsch, who is separated from his second wife.

“Wealth—obviously, what a person does, who they are—you put any level of notoriety or celebrity on top of it, it’s just crazy,” he adds. “We live in a world which celebrates that in such a disproportionate, silly way, and it makes you a very appealing person. People are very drawn to that for some reason.

“It is a very seductive quality,” he says, with a half-smile. “I’m living a science experiment in how our society elevates people. People just want to be around you.”

Overall, whether you’re the interviewer or the interviewee, there is a certain solipsistic quality to talking with Donny Deutsch. It all comes back to his relentless self-confidence, his brashness, his conceit, his deliberate “bad boy of business” persona. But, truthfully, you leave a conversation with him thinking that it’s not such a bad thing. At one point, we were talking about the show—but could have just as easily been talking about him.

“I want to stay very focused on this niche. In order to keep it fresh, you have to stay narrow, but mine it in a very broad way, because it gets old after a while,” he says, leaning back in his chair. “How do you make it more interactive, engaging, fun, entertaining? Stay true to your core.

“It’s voyeuristic,” he shrugs. “Hey, it’s fun.”

 

So does he really want to be mayor of New York, as he has bandied about in interviews in various publications over the past few years?

“I would love to,” he says. “I don’t know if I’ve had too much craziness in my life, you know what I mean? I really love what I’m doing now. I really believe I’m inspiring people. I mean, that’s a gift. And you know, I think I maybe can have more of an impact doing what I’m doing now on a broader scale. So we’ll see. I’m not going to rule it out. It’s obviously a big commitment to be mayor, but you know, stranger things have happened. You gotta say, why not me?”

And, as noted earlier, about two minutes later is when he started to get undressed. Call it naked ambition.


Jordana Horn C’95 L’99 is a lawyer and freelance writer.

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