A new report just exposed conservative network Fox News settling a multi-million dollar sexual harassment complaint against a paid Trump campaign surrogate — who also happens to be Donald Trump Jr.’s girlfriend.
Kimberly Guilfoyle was a co-host on Fox’s “The Five” until July 2018, when she made an unceremonious departure years before her contract was set to expire. Today, she’s getting paid $180,000 annually to be Don Jr.’s girlfriend, who has become the top surrogate for the 2020 Trump re-election campaign.
Today’s bombshell story in the New Yorker by the indefatigable Jane Mayer reveals for the first time that Guilfoyle sexually harassed her young, female assistant over a period of multiple years and Fox News paying out a staggering sum north of $4,000,000. She writes:
According to a dozen well-informed sources familiar with her complaints, the assistant alleged that Guilfoyle, her direct supervisor, subjected her frequently to degrading, abusive, and sexually inappropriate behavior; among other things, she said that she was frequently required to work at Guilfoyle’s New York apartment while the Fox host displayed herself naked, and was shown photographs of the genitalia of men with whom Guilfoyle had had sexual relations.
The draft complaint also alleged that Guilfoyle spoke incessantly and luridly about her sex life, and on one occasion demanded a massage of her bare thighs; other times, she said, Guilfoyle told her to submit to a Fox employee’s demands for sexual favors, encouraged her to sleep with wealthy and powerful men, asked her to critique her naked body, demanded that she share a room with her on business trips, required her to sleep over at her apartment, and exposed herself to her, making her feel deeply uncomfortable.
What happened next is so on-brand for a member of the Trump campaign or administration that the story nearly writes itself.
It all began with Eric Bolling’s abrupt termination from Fox News after Rupert Murdoch’s henchmen claimed the former “Fox News Specialists” host was caught sending unsolicited photos of his naked genitalia. It turns out that he shared an assistant with Kimberly Guilfoyle, with whom he was close.
“It was all but inevitable that if the assistant accused Bolling of sexual harassment—as in fact she did—Guilfoyle’s conduct would come under scrutiny next,” wrote Mayer.
With her guilt certain, The New Yorker reports that Kimberly Guilfoyle chose to engage simultaneously in an extortion and hush money scheme by offering her beleaguered assistant a million-dollar payday, a percentage of her future speaking payments, and even on-air reporting time with Fox News.
When that didn’t work, Guilfoyle turned to outright coercion, threatening to expose details of her assistant’s private life. Mayer declined to identify the assistant at her request, letting her sources and the suppressed legal complaint she never filed do the talking, while fielding and dismissing Guilefoyle’s agents making good on her threats of retaliation when she got exposed.
When Kimberly Guilfoyle’s bribe or blackmail effort failed, she “debuted at the White House” as Don Jr.’s rebound relationship just weeks before losing her job at Fox, two summers ago. Guilfoyle made the career switch from opinion journalism into a new line of work at America First Action, Trump’s main Super PAC. Eventually, she moved over to the campaign itself a senior advisor to its wife-beating former campaign manager Brad Parscale.
Eventually, the Trumps made her a well-paid fundraiser and Chairperson of the Trump 2020 Victory fund, a joint effort with the national Republican party where “her management style and that of some of her aides have alienated others.”
Last month, she gave a memorably unhinged speech on the first night of the Republican National Convention, which Mother Jones appropriately paired with North Korean propaganda. Kimberly Guilfoyle described herself as the daughter of immigrants, even though her mother is an American citizen from Puerto Rico and not an immigrant.
Her other half, Don Jr. gave a similarly bizarre speech which caused Twitter users to make the hashtag #CocaineConvention trend for the next day. As of late, Guilfoyle has been leading Women for Trump rallies across the country.
Amazingly, all of the above has added up to Kimberly Guilfoyle being entertained as the next Chairperson of the Republican National Committee, replacing Utah Senator Mitt Romney’s niece.
Today’s revelations about Kimberly Guilfoyle getting caught engaging in a crude, workplace sexual harassment affair with a woman that covered up at Fox News shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone following the right-wing disinformation network’s travails, or her turbulent exit.
But Don Jr.’s girlfriend’s engagement in a failed hush-money payoff and naked extortion scheme reveals her to be a shockingly appropriate mate for him.
Grant Stern is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and an unpaid senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition.