After a tape was released in which Donald Trump was heard talking about how he loves to grope women, even married women, you can expect a rash of his victims to come forward. The first one, it appears, was with his one-time business partner, Jill Harth.
The New York Times wrote about Harth’s experiences on Friday. In it, she called Trump “relentless.” The man she described in the interview was a predator – a would-be rapist.
She and her longtime boyfriend, George Houraney attended meetings with Trump in the early 90s. Even when sitting at a table with her boyfriend, Harth recalled Trump putting his hand up her skirt, all the way up to her crotch.
“I didn’t know how to handle it. I would go away from him and say I have to go to the restroom. It was the escape route.”
Darth and Houraney had approached Trump with a business proposal that was right up his alley. They wanted to hold “calendar girl” beauty contests, an automobile show, a music competition and other events at his Atlantic City casino. They wanted Trump to do business with them, but as the evening wore on, Harth was getting more and more uncomfortable.
The first sign of trouble came the day before the evening groping, in an initial business meeting in which, Harth and Houraney say, Trump spent the time asking about the breasts of the beauty contestants — real or enhanced? — and staring at Harth, then 30. At one point he asked Houraney, “Are you sleeping with her?” Houraney explained awkwardly that they were a couple, but Trump was unfazed.
“You know, there’s going to be a problem,” Trump told Houraney, according to a 1997 sexual harassment lawsuit Harth filed against him. “I’m very attracted to your girlfriend.”
About six weeks later, Trump gave Harth and Houraney a tour of Mar-a-Lago. They brought some of the calendar girls, but Trump wanted Harth. He pulled her into Ivanka’s room (that’s right, he tried to have sex in his daughter’s bedroom.)
“I was admiring the decoration, and next thing I know he’s pushing me against a wall and has his hands all over me,” Harth told me. “He was trying to kiss me. I was freaking out.”
Harth says she was desperately protesting, and finally managed to run out of the room and find the group again. She and Houraney left rather than stay the night, as they had intended.
Harth and Houraney tried to continue the business relationship. Trump kept persisting and Harth was afraid he was going to rape her.
“His mind was in a totally different place than mine,” Harth recalls. “He thinks he’s God’s gift to women.”
They did end up doing business with Trump. She didn’t report it to the police. Trump, not surprisingly, tried not to pay the couple, but he eventually settled out of court, but only after she agreed to withdraw a sexual harassment suit, which detailed all the allegations.
The couple eventually married and then divorced. They do not speak, but their stories, according to the Times, did match. Eventually, Harth ended up dating Trump. When asked why, Harth responded:
“I was scared, thinking, ‘what am I going to do now?’” she says. “When he called me and tried to work on me again, I was thinking maybe I should give this a try, maybe if he’s still working on me, I should give this rich guy a chance.”
Here she is talking about it with The Guardian:
Trump didn’t respond to the New York Times, but he has publicly trashed Harth in the past, saying she was the one who was obsessed. She, surprisingly, wanted to work on his campaign, doing his hair and makeup. Still, the Times is convinced her story is true and after Friday’s revelations, it wouldn’t be surprising. We know Trump has zero respect for women. We know he sees them as a collection of body parts and that’s it. We also know that he feels entitled to take whatever the hell he wants, even if what he wants is a human being. Trump is even accused of raping a 13-year-old. Would attempting to rape an adult be so inconceivable? It is going to be tough for Trump to spin his way out of this.
Featured image Jill Harth via video screen capture | Featured image of Donald Trump via Diane Freed/Getty Images.