Yesterday, Jill Harth finally spoke up in public about Donald Trump’s sexual assault on her back in the early 90’s (original article by The Guardian).
Here is the Interview and a rough transcript:
Persons: Luica Graves (LG), Jill Harth (JH) and Lisa Bloom (LB)
LG: I am Lucia Graves from The Guardian, and I am here with Jill Harth and her attorney Lisa Bloom. Jill first filed a sexual assault case against Donald Trump in the 1990s. This week she is talking about it for the very first time.
LG: I want to start at the beginning, with you, can you tell me about the first time that you met Donald Trump.
JH: Ahem, yes, it was in 1992, in December, George Houraney and I went to Trump Tower and met with him in his offices
LG: And that was your business and romantic partner at the time?
JH: Yes, and we were very excited because we were presenting an offer for him to sponsor and become a partner in our event that we wanted him to hold at…, in Atlantic City in one of his casinos.
LG: And how big a deal was this for you professionally landing a deal with Donald Trump. How much did you have riding on it.
JH: Ah, It was the highlight of our career in producing these events, and we thought it was going to be the answer to our prayers in a way
Harth alleged that after their first meeting in December 1992, Trump touched her inappropriately numerous times while out celebrating their business deal.
JH: I was in a very tough predicament. This was…, when you have sexual harassment, it is always a very fine line whether you make a stake, make a big deal, cause I didn’t want to embarrass him. In a way, I wanted to just deal with it – handle it. In retrospect, I wish I didn’t.
In January 1993, Trump invited Harth, her partner George Houraney, and several pageant contestants to his estate in Palm Beach, Florida.
JH: It was impressive. His, his amount of things, his mansion, his… – the opulence. I had never been around it, exposed to anything like this. And then after that he said: “Ok everybody, I am going to give you a tour of the mansion”. Ok – a tour. So it started out as a group tour, but at a very soon opportunity, he gave me a private tour. And that’s when he, he pulled me aside, and…and the children’s rooms, and made another sexually aggressive advance on me, where he tried to make his move. He pushed me up against the wall and had his hands all over me, and tried again up my dress again. And I had a physically saying: “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 was there on business.
LG: This is the one you were mentioning in your 1997 complaint as, you refer to it as “attempted rape”
JH: I told you what happened to me. I didn’t write that complaint, the lawyer wrote it, so they use legal language. But, I told you what happened, you can interpret it anyway you want. If somebody…. If it is not consensual, and somebody just pushes you up against a wall and is all over you… If I had not pushed him away, I am sure he would just went for it. He was aggressive. And he has the sense of entitlement. And he thinks everybody is in love with him – every woman. He has… He… I’ve heard him say things like this from the time that I spend with him.
In 1995 Harth’s partner George Houraney filed a lawsuit saying Trump broke their partnership agreement regarding the American Dream pageant in Atlantic City.
Trump settled for an undisclosed amount in 1997, after Harth filed her sexual assault allegations. Harth withdres her lawsuit when Trump settled with Houraney.
JH: Once Trump ran for President, ahem, they jumped right on, finding that complaint. And, because of that, I was pretty much attacked by the press with phone calls. And I refused to speak. Because I was on friendly… friendly terms with him. He made the first move to be friendly, so what was I supposed to do, hang on to it and become embittered all these years? No, I moved on, I am the kind of person that just had to go on, move on, and… and rebuild myself. Then the press found out about this complaint and it started up again… started up again, and I had to think about things that I had long buried, because honestly – It was painful for me to have to deal with. It was stressful. It gave me anxiety. It definitely wounded my marriage, it wasn’t the death-nail, but it wounded it, it was stressful for us having to handle this, and… and Trump did everything in his power to get me to leave him. He constantly called me and said: “I love you baby. I am 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 up to the big leagues.” He was constantly working on me… working on me at that time, and that took a toll on me. Ok, so why am I talking about it now? It’s because I didn’t talk, we were on friendly terms, but Donald just couldn’t resist the opportunity to call me a liar, and said that everything was made up, false reports. But the top of cake (?) came when Ivanka went on CBS and said her father was not a groper. Now, I understand the girl wanted to defend her dad, but what did she know? She was 10 years old. She was 10 years old at the time, she didn’t know what her father was about, what he was doing, how he was acting.
LG: Did he ever tell you expressively not to talk about or threaten you in any way?
JH: Well, I will tell you, his office, and I have this on my voicemail that they called, and asked me to recant everything, and then the New York Times article came out.
In May 2016, the New York Times mentioned Harth’s complaint in an article about Trump’s private behavior with woman.
Trump’s camp denied the story.
JH: They were trying to get me to say it never happened and I made it up, and I said: “I am not doing that”. I wasn’t doing that, now I did go to one of his rallies, yes, I did go to his rallies, because again, I had moved on. I am a business woman, I have a private like for men called “made man”. Ok, I was going to visit friends down there, they wanted to go, they are big Trump supporters and they went: Wouldn’t it be a hoot if you want too? So I said Ok, I… so I called the office and they got me reserved seating, treated me like a VIP, I waited on no lines and then I was escorted in by the Secret Service at Donald’s request to see me. So when I was there…
LG: Were you supportive of him politically at that point? Would you consider yourself a Trump fan at that point?
JH: You know what, it’s like having someone you know run for President. Well, you know, I am here. At the time I was over it, so I said: “Yeah”, but I didn’t really get into the issues, it was still kind of young, it was in January this year, you know, I honestly can’t believe he’s made it this far. In all honesty, and I am definitely not supporting him now – hell no – no – hah!
LG: So at the moment you went from “well, maybe I’ll go to his rally” to “actually I am going to speak out about” happened after he denied the story?
JH: After I spoke to him privately for a few minutes, I said to him: “Listen Donald”, you know he treated me very warmly, he introduced me, saying how great I was, “Jill is so great”, of course I was great then, Ok, then I said to him at that meeting: “If the press ever bring up this complaint…”, because in the back of my mind I am thinking “oh boy, I am not going to say anything”, but they found it pretty quickly after and he went: “Oh don’t worry about it”, and I said: “I am not going to say anything bad, we moved on, we’re friendly” and he gave me a hug. So I thought: “that was an agreement, he is not going to say anything either”, but fast forward, the first opportunity he was asked about it, he said I was a liar. And I am speaking up now, I am defending myself and I am standing up for myself and I am saying: “That’s what happened, you can believe it or not, but I went through hell and I still have to relive this again”. And, and I am horrified that I have to think about this again. I have been offered book deals, to write book scripts, I turned everything down, and that was for money. I, I could have spoken out years before this. And having the complaint out on the Internet, where my clients have seen it, people in my family who I didn’t really talk about this. It has been such a breach of my privacy, and embarrassing to me and it has hurt my business. And I didn’t want this to be my story. I wanted me to be known for my work and for my artistic ability and for who I am. Not to be associated with him