Although she publicly promised to stop doing so in 1982, Nancy Reagan has continued to borrow designer clothing and jewelry without reporting it as federal law requires, Time magazine reported.
“Mrs. Reagan has been borrowing costly dresses, matched outfits and jewelry from leading fashion houses on both coasts on a lavish scale,” the magazine said in this week’s editions.
“This despite her public promise in February, 1982, that she would stop the practice after her acceptance of such fancy items posed a political problem for the White House.”
Under the 1978 Ethics in Government Act, any expensive clothing given to Mrs. Reagan must be accounted for on annual financial-disclosure forms that federal officials must file, the magazine said.
“White House lawyers agreed in 1982 that any of the First Lady’s dresses that she considered loans, not gifts, would be reported annually under the ethics law,” Time said. “Neither the disclosure forms nor the Reagan tax returns for the years 1982 through 1987 list loans or gifts of dresses to Mrs. Reagan.”
Time quoted Mrs. Reagan’s press secretary, Elaine Crispen, as saying the First Lady told her she had bought all her clothes since early 1982, and had not borrowed or been given any dresses.
The magazine quoted Los Angeles designer David Hayes as saying, however, that Mrs. Reagan had borrowed some 60 to 80 made-to-order outfits from him in the last eight years, and it was “a sensation for my business.” It quoted sources close to the James Galanos fashion house as saying that Mrs. Reagan has continued to borrow Galanos dresses.
An unnamed executive at Harry Winston jewelers was quoted as saying Mrs. Reagan occasionally has borrowed jewelry, including an $800,000 pair of diamond earrings she had worn only outside the United States.