Speaking out

Woman who sued Trump for alleged sexual assault comes forward

Jill Harth, a makeup artist who sued Donald Trump for sexual assault in 1997, has broken her silence about the case. In an hour-long interview with The Guardian, Harth described conflicted feelings about Trump, who she says groped her in his daughter’s bedroom at Mar-a-Lago, his sprawling Palm Beach estate, in 1993. Harth classified the incident as “attempted rape” in her complaint. She and her partner George Houraney were at the Florida manse as part of series of meetings with Trump about his investment in a beauty pageant.

She told The Guardian:

“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?”

Hart dropped the suit soon after filing it, on the heels of Trump settling a separate suit brought by Houraney related to the pageant deal.

In the ensuing years, she says she was traumatized and reluctant to talk about the harassment, eventually moving on from it as a forgiving person and a Christian. She planned to remain quiet as Trump rose to become the Republican presidential nominee and according to Trump reps, in January, she got in touch with the candidate to offer her support and makeup services.

However, she later took offense when Trump publicly dismissed her claims of harassment as “meritless,” and his daughter Ivanka gave an interview saying her father was “not a groper.” Speaking out now and not wanting to be branded as a liar, Hart is demanding an apology from both.

Pointing to the protective layer of staffers and family acting in Trump’s defense, Hart told The Guardian, “Nobody was defending me, that’s why I’m talking.”

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Read the full story at The Guardian.

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