Politics

The New York Times Released Column of Alleged Sexual Assault By Trump Early

October 7th 2016

By:
Tricia Tongco

In light of the leaked tape of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump making disgusting remarks about aggressively kissing, groping, and trying to have sex with with women, The New York Times has released Nicholas Kristof's Sunday column early. The title? "Donald Trump, Groper in Chief."

Kristof tweet

As the headline suggests, the column offers a detailed account of Trump's alleged "relentless" sexual coercion of Jill Harth, a woman who, with her then-boyfriend George Houraney, was taking meetings with Trump to forge a business partnership in the early '90s. According to Kristof, Harth said:

"'He name-dropped continuously,' Harth said under oath in a deposition in a subsequent lawsuit, 'when he wasn’t groping me.'"

This statement echoes comments made in a recently unearthed 2005 recording of him speaking to NBC's Billy Bush:

"You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything....Grab them by the p---y. You can do anything."

Trump's alleged sexual advances began with inappropriate comments toward Harth, but later escalated, she alleges in this column. Harth and Houraney owned a small Florida company that ran events, including a "calendar girl" beauty contest, and they wanted to hold them in Trump's Atlantic City casinos, putting Harth in the difficult position of not wanting to offend a potential business partner. Once they agreed to sign a contract together, Trump invited the couple along with some of their "calendar girls" over to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida on Jan. 24, 1993 to celebrate, and during that visit, he offered to give Harth a tour, allegedly taking her into his daughter Ivanka's bedroom.

Harth told Kristof what allegedly happened next:

"'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.

"That year, Harth continued to meet Trump for business — and, she says, he continued to try to jump her. 'He’d say, 'Let’s go in my room, I want to lie down,' and he’d pull me along. I’d say, 'I don’t want to lie down,' and it would turn into a wrestling match. … I remember yelling, 'I didn’t come here for this.' He’d say, 'Just calm down.'"

The rest of the articles discusses Trump’s alleged harassment of some of the "calendar girls," ways Harth would avoid Trump, a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by Harth, a breach of contract lawsuit by the couple, and why Harth dated Trump briefly after her divorce. On the last subject she told Kristof:

“'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.'”

After speaking with both Harth and Houraney and reviewing their lawsuits and depositions, Kristof wrote he believes they are telling the truth and points out how their account fits into Trump’s history of cheating business partners and sexually assaulting women.

In his column, Kristof also includes apparent details about Harth sending the Trump campaign emails last year, in which she "sends warm wishes and pleads for jobs doing his hair and makeup" and stated she is "definitely Team Trump." Kristof asked Harth why she emailed his aides and met with him if he had both cheated and assaulted her. She responded:

“'I thought I was making nice, maybe they’d call me for makeup, maybe I could get some kind of work out of the dude,' Harth told me. 'But it was not well thought out. It came back to bite me, and I look like a fool.'”

While The Times has previously reported on Harth's story in a story about Trump and how he behaved with women in private, Harth's allegations seem even more prescient given the latest information. Earlier this week, the Associated Press reported the "Apprentice" cast and crew said Trump was lewd and sexist while he was the reality TV boss.

After the column was published online, Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for the Trump campaign, responded with this statement: “Mr. Trump denies each and every statement made by Ms. Harth.”

You can read the full New York Times story here.

Update 10/11/2016 5:20 p.m. PST: This story was updated to include a response from Trump's campaign.