A case that is well-known is getting renewed attention. Jill Harth alleges Trump repeatedly made verbal and physical sexual advances while she and her future husband, George Houraney, partnered with Trump on a beauty pageant deal called the American Dream Festival.
In a federal lawsuit – filed while she and her husband were suing Trump for allegedly not paying them what he owed on the American Dream contract – Harth alleged that Trump forcibly touched her, time and again, at meetings and parties over about a year’s time.
At one dinner party at Trump’s Plaza Hotel, she said in the lawsuit that Trump touched her thigh under the table, attempting to grab her “intimate private parts.” She alleged Trump also forced her into a bedroom at his Mar-A-Lago estate in Palm Beach, touched her “private parts in an act that constituted attempted rape.”
What’s more, in her lawsuit and in several interviews she’s given in recent weeks, Harth contends that Trump also harassed several of the models who were part of the American Dream pageant – offering them career opportunities in exchange for sexual encounters.
Harth dropped the suit in 1997 as a condition of Trump agreeing to settle the separate breach of contract lawsuit with American Dream. The terms are undisclosed in court records, though she has said in interviews it was about $100,000.
Trump’s team denied the claims at the time and attacked Harth in the press. As the accusations resurfaced, Trump told the Boston Globe in March that Harth’s claims were “nonsense” and that the sexual harassment allegations were spawned by the business deal gone wrong.
Trump and his aides told The New York Times in May, as part of an article about Trump’s interactions with women that included Harth’s story, that her account should be discredited because she has continued to write Trump’s staff with warm wishes and asking for work as late as this fall and winter, expressing support for his presidential campaign.