Edinburgh actress set for supporting role in Trump's White House

Her whirlwind rise to fame has already taken her from East Lothian to Hollywood. And now actress Louise Linton could be about to get a foot in the White House.

Louise Linton with fiancé Steve Mnuchin at a red carpet event. Picture: Getty Images

The 35-year-old, who came to prominence earlier in the year over her controversial memoirs, is engaged to a man who is a hot tip for Donald Trump’s presidential team.

Ms Linton’s fiancé, Steven Mnuchin, managed Mr Trump’s campaign finances and is now believed to be the president-elect’s first choice for the key treasury secretary role.

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And if the rumours are true, it will not be long before Mr Mnuchin, a former Wall Street banker, and Ms Linton are rubbing shoulders with America’s new political elite.

It would be a dramatic turn in fortune for the actress, after she was met with widespread criticism for the contents of her In Congo’s Shadow memoir earlier this year.

The actress moved to Los Angeles after a gap year in 1999 to study for an undergraduate degree in journalism at Pepperdine University.

She is understood to have become engaged to Mr Mnuchin, 53, this summer.

The couple are reported to have met while serving on the committee of environmental non-profit group Conservation International’s Los Angeles gala.

If Mr Mnuchin is named treasury secretary, it would make Ms Linton the partner of the fifth most powerful man in the US government.

Until then she has her acting career to fall back on, having so far been seen in CSI:New York and horror film Cabin Fever.

But it was in Edinburgh that Ms Linton took her first steps towards the big screen.

After attending St George’s School for Girls and Fettes College, she undertook her first bout of professional training at Edinburgh Drama Academy. Private training at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts followed, as did further acting at university.

Aside from acting work, Ms Linton has become involved with a number of different charities, including military veterans cause Erskine.

She was an Erskine ambassador from 2010-12, with a spokesman for the charity saying they were “very grateful” for her support.

Ms Linton could not be contacted for comment last night on what is a spectacular end to a tumultuous year.

In her widely-lambasted memoir, billed as “one girl’s perilous journey in the heart of Africa”, she recalled a six-month stint volunteering in Zambia in 1999.

Ms Linton, who grew up in Melville Castle, East Lothian, claimed to have been targeted by armed Congolese rebels and said orphans she encountered described her long blonde hair as “angel hair”.

But the memoir prompted a backlash on social media over her supposed “white saviour complex”, criticism which eventually led to the book being pulled from the shelves.

The criticism even went as far as the High Commission of Zambia.

Ms Linton went on to shut down a number of her social media accounts soon afterwards, but later took to Twitter to apologise.