New York: A day after Donald Trump was officially nominated as Republican presidential nominee, Jill Harth, a makeup artist, who is at the centre of a controversy over her allegations of sexual assault against Trump, has broken her silence.
In an interview to The Guardian, Harth said she stands by her charges against Trump, which run from low-grade sexual harassment to an episode her lawyers described in the lawsuit as “attempted ‘rape’”.
Harth filed a lawsuit against the real estate mogul in 1997 accusing him of sexual assault, including “groping” her under her dress on several occasions, “forcibly” moving her to his daughter’s bedroom at Mar-a-Lago in an “attempted rape,” and repeatedly and aggressively propositioning her.
She dropped the case weeks later that year after Trump settled another outstanding lawsuit with her business and romantic partner George Houraney, who had accused the candidate of backing out of their American Dream festival contract.
However, Harth is defending her story and the lawsuit which she filed in 1997.
In another instance, Harth has said in her lawsuit that Trump groped her under the table during a dinner with beauty pageant contestants.
He pushed me up against the wall, and had his hands all over me and tried to get up my dress again," Harth recalled, "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?"
Though Harth did not use the word "rape" in her interview with the Guardian, she says, "If I hadn't pushed him away, I'm sure he would have just went for it. He was aggressive."
Here are excerpts of Harth's interview with Guardian:
"Trump took an interest in Harth immediately and began subjecting her to a steady string of unwanted sexual advances, detailed by Harth in her complaint.
There was the initial leering in that first December meeting in Trump Tower, and the inappropriate questions after her relationship status. It continued the next night over dinner at the Plaza Hotel’s Oak Room, where at a dinner with beauty pageant contestants she alleges he groped her under the table.
It culminated in January 1993, when Harth and Houraney were visiting his Florida mansion, Mar-a-Lago, to finalize and then celebrate the beauty pageant deal with a party.
After business concluded, Harth and Houraney were on tour of Mar-a-Lago along with a group of young pageant contestants – Trump wanted to “see the quality of the girls he was sponsoring”, Harth recalled – when he pulled her aside into one of the children’s bedrooms.
“He pushed me up against the wall, and had his hands all over me and tried to get up my dress again,” Harth recalled, “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 (her then romantic partner), he knew they were in the next room. And how could he be doing this when I’m there for business?”
Trump did everything in his power to get me to leave him. 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.’
Jill Harth added that she decided to speak out about her experience with Trump because she wants an apology.