TRUMP L'OEIL

Is Donald Trump really worth the billions he claims? Informed business sources on both coasts say that Trump's far-flung business empire is leveraged to the hilt and may not be producing the mountains of cash The Donald would like. Trump, 43, has estimated his assets as being worth as much as $5 billion, but it is liabilities subtracted from assets that determines true net worth.

Donald's problems include the Taj Mahal, his new hotel and casino set to open in Atlantic City next month. According to industry analysts, the Taj will require at least $1 million a day in revenue just to break even. And Trump-watching sources say that revenues are down at another of his properties there, the Trump Plaza. Elsewhere in Trump's empire, the famed Plaza Hotel in New York City, which Donald bought in 1988, continues to scrape by after a $50 million face-lift.

Of course, Trump does boast some pretty nifty ego-enhancing assets, including the Mar-A-Lago estate in Florida and the Trump Princess yacht. These, however, are non-income producing.

Given all this, Trump's business rivals are hoping for a very public divorce battle. Reasoned one New York City real estate owner: "If Ivana [Trump] gets him into court, it'll gel real embarrassing for Donald if he's forced to admit that his true net worth is considerably less than he makes it out to be."

JOB SHARING
Talk show host Arsenio Hall, 32, wants to give the hardest-working man in show business a job. Hall has offered singer James Brown, 61, presently an inmate at State Park Correctional Center, near Columbia, S.C., a job on his syndicated show. Brown, who has been in prison since the end of 1988 for aggravated assault and failure to stop for a police officer, is currently eligible for a work-release program provided a suitable job can be found within the state. An Arsenio rep says Hall has sent a letter to Brown offering to "create a position" for him and says Brown could do his segments by phone or satellite. Hall is now waiting to hear from the Godfather of Soul.

MOM'S THE WORD

CBS is developing a morning talk show that would pair Cher's mother, Georgia Holt, and Sylvester Stallone's mother, Jacqueline, as hosts. "Honey, there's nobody like us," says Holt, 62, who realizes that a successful show will depend more on the chemistry between herself and Mrs. Stallone than the fact that they have famous offspring.

Asked how Cher feels about the project, Holt said, "She thinks it's terrific."

Of his mother's participation, Sly said, "They have finally found the person who gets up early enough to wake the roosters."

CAMEO HEAVEN

Move over, George Burns. Someone else is going to play God in a movie. Namely Charlton Heston, 65, a man who knows his Bible, having already been the voice of God in 1956's The Ten Commandments, though he is better remembered as Moses in that film.

Heston's God will appear as a cameo in Paul ("Crocodile" Dundee) Hogan's next film for Paramount, Almost an Angel. Chuck will shoot the part in a day and will receive no billing in the credits. Says Heston: "God doesn't need billing."