Former President Donald Trump’s very specific paranoia about flying food was apparently not limited to fruit.
According to the Daily Beast, Trump’s former fixer and personal attorney, Michael Cohen, revealed during a May 9 deposition that Trump went through a phase where he became obsessed with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates having once been struck in the face with a cream pie.
“For some reason that upset Mr. Trump terribly,” Cohen said, according to the outlet, which reviewed the testimony that has not yet been made public. “We were all instructed that if somebody was to ever throw anything at him, that if that person didn’t end up in the hospital, we’d all be fired.”
Contacted by the Daily Beast, Cohen told the news site that Trump seemed at times preoccupied with pies, and vocalized concern about being hit by one on an “ongoing and regular” basis.
“He never would turn around and say, ‘If anyone throws a rock or a bottle…’ It’s always a pie. He always brought up that pie thing.”
Cohen was deposed as part of an ongoing lawsuit filed by protesters who allege they were assaulted by Trump’s security guards in 2015 outside Trump’s Manhattan tower. They say that Trump’s security team, led by his longtime bodyguard Keith Schiller, ripped away their signs and punched and briefly choked one protester.
Cohen became a last-minute witness in the case after he came forward to lawyers for the protesters, claiming he was in the room when Trump allegedly ordered security guards to get rid of the demonstrators outside Trump Tower.
If Cohen’s account is accurate, that would mean that Trump lied under oath in an October deposition for the case.
Trump’s October testimony was made public for the first time in a court filing last month. In it, he said he didn’t know about the altercation between Schiller and the protesters until the day after it happened.
But Cohen reportedly recalled Schiller saying “I took the sign. He grabbed me, so I hit him across the side of the head,” to which Trump responded, “Good.”
Trump was also questioned under oath about other instances where he’s promoted violence against detractors.
In one particularly bizarre excerpt highlighted by the Daily Beast, Trump voiced fears of being pelted by “pineapples, bananas, tomatoes, stuff like that,” which he said were “very dangerous.”
He used those concerns to justify telling supporters at a 2016 rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to “knock the crap out of” anyone who tried to take part in an alleged plot to throw tomatoes at him.
Trump’s attorneys sought to keep his testimony private, but Benjamin Dictor, a lawyer for the activists, argued he needed to file the transcript to demonstrate why he required Cohen to testify.
The trial is expected to begin in June.
Cohen served over a year in prison and another year and a half in home confinement after pleading guilty to campaign finance charges and lying to Congress over his hush money payments to porn actor Stormy Daniels and model Karen McDougal, who alleged during the 2016 presidential race they had extramarital affairs with Trump. Cohen said he did so at the direction of Trump and has been cooperating with multiple investigations into the former president.