This article first appeared on LawNewz.com on July 18, 2016. It has been republished below.
In her first ever on-camera interview (see above), Jill Harth, who accused Donald Trump of sexually assaulting her in the 1990’s, spoke out to LawNewz founder Dan Abrams. Harth has also hired high profile Los Angeles based attorney, Lisa Bloom, to represent her and Bloom is sure making it sound like they may soon sue the presidential hopeful for defamation.
As LawNewz first unearthed in February, 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. On Monday, she not only stood by those allegations but demanded that Trump retract his statements earlier this year in which he called some of her claims “false” and “libelous.”
“I know I am going to have backlash, but I have been through enough. Bring it on. I’m a lot stronger now than I was 20 years ago,” she told Abrams.
Harth first met Trump in 1992 when she and her then-husband, George Houraney, were in the beauty pageant business. She used to run a model search called the American Dream Calendar Girl. Trump went into business with the couple, and agreed to sponsor some of their events. But, she says, shortly after their first pageant contest together, things quickly went south with their business relationship after she says she rebuffed his repeated, and unending sexual advances.
“It was in one of the children’s room of Mar-a-Lago. He is showing this mural and the next thing I know he was pushing me up against the wall, and was making a move on me, and was all over me and again I was taken aback. I was shocked he was doing this and there were people around. It was unsettling, I was nervous, and I couldn’t understand why he was doing with me. I had to push him off of me,” she recounted.
In 1995, the couple’s company, American Dream, sued Trump for breach of contract, and it was during that case that Harth said comments from Trump put her over the edge.
“We were in the elevator on the way to a deposition and he said to his lawyer, ‘see I told you she was a great piece of ass’ meaning he had already gotten me and that set me off to no end, and then I was ready to go with the harassment,” Harth said. Shortly after, in 1997, Harth filed her sexual harassment lawsuit in federal court. She quickly withdrew it after she said Trump agreed to settle with her husband on the contract claims. Abrams questioned why she would do that if she claims the allegations are true.
“I was under the control of my husband who was kind of the boss, I wanted to be over with and done with,” she said, adding that it was a stipulation of the settlement that she withdraw her sexual harassment claims.
Harth said she thought she put this behind her when she saw Trump recently while accompanying two supporters at a Trump rally.
“I said to him in a conversation if anyone brings up to me anything about that past, I am not going to say anything negative and he thanked me for that,” Harth told Abrams, “I thought that was an agreement that he wasn’t going to say anything and I wasn’t going to say anything either. That answer was my way of not starting trouble.”
In February LawNewz obtained a copy of the $125 million lawsuit, which had been buried deep in a federal archive warehouse in Kansas City, Missouri.
After we posted our story, Trump special counsel Michael Cohen responded by saying, “there is no truth to the story at all.” Harth said she grew even more upset after the The New York Times published a story about Trump’s treatment of women and included her deposition statement which said Trump groped her under the table at the Oak Room of the Plaza Hotel during a business meeting. Trump blasted the story as “false.”
— Jill Harth (@jillharth) June 24, 2016
“I’m angry, I’m angry that he is saying this never happened,” she told Abrams. Harth said that she was prompted to retain legal counsel this spring after seeing Ivanka Trump‘s recent interview on CBS when she said her father’s “not a groper.”
— Norah O’Donnell (@NorahODonnell) May 18, 2016
“She was ten years old at the time, she was playing with crayons. She didnt know what her father was like. He was out gallivanting about. She was wrong to say he wasn’t a groper,” Harth said.
“Donald Trump is going to come after you again as a result of these statements. He is going to say it’s not true, it never happened. She wants her 15 minutes of fame, she is trying to become relevant because I am running for president and its all made up,” Abrams said.
WATCH FULL UN-EDITED INTERVIEW HERE:
“He can say whatever he wants I know it’s true, I am a part of his past he wants to forget, his dirty little secret, and I am sure I am not the only one,” she responded.
When contacted following the interview, Michael Cohen, Trump’s special counsel said that Trump stands by his statement and that Harth’s claims “lack any merit” and are “completely void of any accuracy.” Check out the exclusive interview with Harth and Bloom above.
Update July 19, 2016
Donald Trump responded to this story saying that “he never touched that woman.” His full response can be read here.
[photo credit for featured image: No Future Photography]