Leonardo DiCaprio offered to coach Pete Buttigieg during presidential race: campaign comms director

Pete Buttigieg reportedly barely recognized many of the celebrities at the party

Published: July 11, 2022 5:44pm

Updated: July 11, 2022 6:36pm

Leonardo DiCaprio offered to coach Pete Buttigieg before a 2020 Democratic presidential debate, but the former South Bend, Ind., mayor did not realize the significance of the offer enough to take the Oscar-winning actor up on it, former senior Buttigieg communications director Lis Smith told TMZ.

DiCaprio volunteered to give Buttigieg speaking tips in October 2019 during a private fundraiser at a Los Angeles mansion.

Even before this party, which was attended by major Hollywood stars such as Paris Hilton, Katy Perry, and Ashton Kutcher, Buttigieg received more donations from celebrities than any other candidate by July 2019, The Associated Press reported at the time.

Smith noted that Buttigieg appreciated the celebrity support, along with the millions of dollars in donations, but he never followed pop culture closely and hardly recognized the A-list attendees at the October party.

DiCaprio, who has supported numerous Democratic causes before, reportedly told Buttigieg he could coach him on his speaking style and how to best deliver his points at the upcoming debate.

When Smith found out about DiCaprio's offer, she said she was ecstatic, but when she asked Buttigieg whether he took the actor's number, he replied that he did not. Smith was shocked, but figured it was likely because the presidential candidate did not realize the importance of the offer.

Although Buttigieg ultimately suspended his campaign in March 2020, he has gone on to serve as President Joe Biden's Transportation secretary.

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