Donald Trump’s past sins may have finally caught up to him. The woman who has been suing him for attempted rape has finally spoken out publicly in response to Trump’s dubbing her a liar and and that her claims were “meritless,” telling her whole story in an hour-long interview to the Guardian.
Jill Harth, a make-up artist, is accusing Trump of a range of indecent advances, from sexual harassment to an attempted rape.
Harth first met Trump in 1992, when she and her boyfriend, George Houraney, met with Trump in New York to see if he was interested in their business, a festival called the American Dream that featured a modelling competition for calendar pin-up girls. Even at that first meeting, Trump behaved very unprofessionally, leering and asking inappropriate questions about her relationship status.
The very next night, he groped her under the table at a dinner with pageant contestants. Following that encounter, Trump then mounted a relentless harassment campaign and “began subjecting her to a steady string of unwanted sexual advances.” His business and position made it
Harth details how “Trump did everything in his power to get me to leave [her boyfriend and business partner]. He constantly called me and said: ‘I love you, baby, I’m going to be the best lover you ever had. What are you doing with that loser, you need to be with me, you need to step it up to the big leagues.’”
The harassment culminated in a visit to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida to finalize the American Dream deal. While on a tour of the mansion, Trump pulled her aside – into his own daughter’s bedroom – where he assaulted the poor woman. “He pushed me up against the wall, and had his hands all over me and tried to get up my dress again and I had to physically say: ‘What are you doing? Stop it.’ It was a shocking thing to have him do this because he knew I was with George, he knew they were in the next room. And how could he be doing this when I’m there for business?”
Harth dropped her lawsuit after settling another business related lawsuit with Mr. Trump, but has decided to speak out after Trump and his daughter called her a liar – and called her office asking for her to publicly recant her statements. Her business reputation has been damaged from being associated with the accusations and from being smeared as a lying opportunist, and she wants an apology. “Nobody was defending me, that’s why I’m talking. You can believe it or not, but I went through hell and I still have to relive this again. And I just, I’m horrified that I have to think about this again.”
Knowing what we know about Donald Trump today, about his long history of rampant misogyny and his repeated indications that he even sees his own daughters as sex objects, we have to take Harth’s accusations seriously. Coming so soon after FOX News CEO Roger Ailes’ dishonorable discharge from his position over his long history of sexual assault, we can only hope that this new information will be yet another nail in the coffin for Trump and his divisive, hate-filled campaign.
Watch her gripping interview here:
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.