The Advocate July/Aug 2022
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Is It That Hard to Believe Donald Trump Sexually Assaulted This Woman? 

Jill Harth (left) and Donald Trump.

Republican presidential candidate and Miss Universe pageant owner Donald Trump was once accused of sexually assaulting his business associate Jill Harth in his daughter's bedroom. Harth made peace with Trump until he recently claimed her allegations were false, prompting her to speak out. 

In an interview with The Guardian published Wednesday, Harth blasted Trump for denying her allegations. “I’m not going to get an apology from him," Harth told the paper. "That would be nice, but he — I don’t fully expect one. But he really should have been taught, if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything, OK? Don’t call me a liar."

In 1997, Harth sued Trump for sexual harassment. She alleged he made inappropriate comments, groped her, and called her repeatedly, but she subsequently dropped the suit.

Harth explained that she had forgiven Trump and sought to smooth over their business relationship until she saw him dismiss her claims as false in the media. Harth told the paper she was further upset when Trump's daughter, Ivanka, responded to a New York Times article mentioning Harth's allegations by saying Trump was “not a groper.”

“I understand that the girl wanted to defend her dad, being it’s her dad,” Harth told The Guardian, “but what did she know? She was 10 years old! She was 10 years old at the time. She didn't’t know what her father was about, what he was doing, how he was acting.”

During the time of the alleged harassment, Harth was married to her business partner, George Houraney, whom Trump knew. Trump was married to Ivana Trump and having an affair with Marla Maples when he allegedly attacked Harth. 

“He pushed me up against the wall, and had his hands all over me and tried to get up my dress again,” Harth told the paper, “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?”

Harth said Trump "was aggressive and he has this sense of entitlement and he thinks everybody's in love with him every woman." She told The Guardian that Trump's office called her to try to get her to tell the media that her allegations were false, but she refused. However, she didn't speak out publicly against him and attended one of his rallies, still hoping to do business with him.

However, her forgiveness reached its limit, she said, when Trump dismissed her claims against him.

"For once, he should have closed his mouth. He didn't’t have to comment. We were on great — not great, I’ll take that back — we were on good terms, friendly terms," she told the paper, "What is happening now is of his own making, OK? I was quiet.”

Too often women who are victims of sexual harassment feel that it is in their best interest not to speak out. Recently Fox News journalist Gretchen Carlson ended her silence, alleging she was sexually harassed by Roger Ailes, the company's CEO. Carlson went public with her claims only after she was fired from Fox News. "It’s well and good to say, 'Expose the harassers,'" Carlson wrote, "but even with laws and HR departments, we’re unfortunately not at a place where we can say absolutely that a woman who is harassed will be protected from repercussions if she tells."

Trump's team has questioned Harth's allegations because she seemed to have forgiven Trump in seeking to work for him, but Harth insists she is a businesswoman and desired to have a good business relationship with Trump until he smeared her. 

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