The 71-year-old Emmy winner appeared on the hit Bravo late night show wearing a navy cashmere sweatshirt with the words “Free Melania” sewn on the front — a phrase that has been circulating the internet since Donald Trump’s presidential campaign launched, implying that the Slovenian former fashion model is trapped in her marriage.
Bergen, who was on the show alongside her Home Again costar Reese Witherspoon, was first photographed wearing the garment on Sept. 6 during a visit to SiriusXM’s New York studios. The $360 sweater comes from designer Rachelle Hruska MacPherson’s label Lingua Franca, though $20 knockoffs have already hit the web.
If Bergen is looking to “Free Melania,’ it might be because she’s had some experience with Donald Trump herself.
Before Bergen’s breakout role on Murphy Brown, the actress went on a date with the former Celebrity Apprentice host when the two were both in college.
She recounted the date to Andy Cohen, explaining that when the now-president picked her up for their date, “He was wearing a three-piece burgundy suit and burgundy patent leather loafers in a burgundy limousine,” she said.
Needless to say, the two did not hit it off. “I was home very early. There was no physical contact whatsoever,” she said. “He was a good-looking guy, and a douche.”
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Bergen explained more about her Trump date to Harry Connick Jr. on an episode of his daytime show Harry, airing Thursday.
“I was 18,” Bergen said, in a preview for the episode. “He was a nice-looking guy, I mean, he was. And I was in college, and it’s where he was going to be going to college … It was like a blind date. He called me in the dorm, and I was bored.”
Like she told Cohen, Bergen made it clear to Connick that they weren’t out all night. “It was a very short dinner,” Bergen said.
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Also on WWHL, Bergen talked about the possibility of rebooting her iconic show Murphy Brown, saying, “It would be nice,” especially during the current political climate.
As Murphy Brown fans might remember, the show — about an outspoken television journalist — often tackled serious topics throughout its decade-long run. Its most controversial was undoubtably the show’s decision to have Brown keep her baby and raise it on her own when faced with her ex-husband’s unwillingness to give up his own lifestyle to be a parent.
It was a move that had then Vice President Dan Quayle attacking the show and Bergen’s character for “mocking the importance of fathers by bearing a child alone and calling it just another lifestyle choice.”
Commentators had a field day — mostly asking whether Quayle had anything better to do — while on the CBS sitcom itself, Bergen, as Brown, was shown heavily bogged down with the chores of motherhood and asking what Dan Quayle found so glamorous about her situation.
A decade later, in July 2002, Bergen shocked the media when she told the Associated Press she actually agreed with Quayle’s infamous speech. “I never have really said much about the whole episode, which was endless. But his speech was a perfectly intelligent speech about fathers not being dispensable and nobody agreed with that more than I did,” said Bergen, whose own father was famed actor and ventriloquist Edgar Bergen.