Developer Rick Caruso is walking back comments he gave to TMZ that President Donald Trump should be banned from The Grove. “I didn’t say he was not welcome at The Grove,” Caruso tells The Hollywood Reporter.
Last year, Caruso said that Manny Pacquiao was no longer welcome at The Grove after the boxer made disparaging comments about gay people. But any talk of banning the president is inaccurate, he says. “I was talking about his compassion and sensitivity to be able to represent everybody, and I still have that concern. But whether I agree with him or not doesn’t matter. We have to rally around him, and time will tell,” he says.
One world leader who did come in for high praise from Caruso was Pope Francis. Caruso recently received the Papal Honor of Knight Commander in the Order of the Knights of St. Gregory the Great, which is bestowed by the pope upon Roman Catholics in recognition of their personal service to the Holy See.
“I have a great love for the pope. I haven’t met him, but I have great respect for him, and there is special meaning for me that this is coming from him. I think that he has changed things up and has been accepting and made the church more approachable and relevant for a younger generation,” says Caruso.
A version of this story first appeared in the Feb. 3 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.