Just a few months before reports of her sexual assault lawsuit against Donald Trump rocked the campaign, cosmetics executive Jill Harth lobbied to be the then candidate’s make up artist.On Monday, The Hill detailed the story of Harth’s repeated efforts to become Trump’s campaign makeup artist and to pitch her new male cosmetics product line, “Made Man.” Her solicitations, in both emails and in person, came a few months before her 1997 lawsuit was brought to light, along with several other sexual misconduct allegations against the candidate. The Hill learned of her appeals to Trump in an interview with Harth in December about her friendship with celebrity attorney Lisa Bloom; Trump’s lawyers then provided the emails. The Hill followed up with Harth, who defended both her attempts to work with the man she accused of sexual assault and her current call for him to be impeached.
In 1997, Harth sued Trump for allegedly pushing her up against a wall and trying to get his hands up her dress during a meeting at MaraLago in 1993. She eventually withdrew the lawsuit as part of a settlement over Trump allegedly pulling out of a business deal. But as The Hill notes, the tone of her emails to Trump in in 2015 was “starkly different” than the tone of her 1997 lawsuit and the interviews she gave about it in 2016.The Hill provides some examples of the emails Harth personally sent to Trump between the summer of 2015 and early 2016.
At her request, Harth got a chance to meet with Trump in person after a rally in South Carolina in January 2016. “I went to a rally for Trump in January 2016 in South Carolina. We met and we had an understanding that we would let ‘sleeping dogs lie’ in regards to that old complaint,” she told the The Hill in an email.
She also said in a January 2016 email that she would be “willing to say at a rally or somewhere how Trump helped me with my self confidence and all positive things about how he is with women to counter any potential negativity that may come out at some point in the campaign.”
In an exchange with The Hill, Harth acknowledged the solicitations, but defended both the “flattering” tone of her private emails and her harsh public criticism in the later stages of the campaign.Her complimentary tone, she said, was “necessary to satisfy Trump’s ‘huge’ ego.” Though she said she “had not forgotten the pain he brought into my life,” she had “moved on” from what he allegedly did to her.
Harth blames Trump’s public denials of her allegations for her criticism of him in 2016 and her current calls for him to be impeached. “Once the media rediscovered the complaint, Donald responded to it by repeatedly denigrating and disparaging me and releasing an old National Enquirer article from the ’90s that he planted,” said Harth.
Harth said her attempt to work with Trump in 2015 and 2016 should not be used as an excuse to dismiss her allegations and stressed that she believes that Trump should be removed from office. “I firmly believe Trump should resign or be investigated and impeached. Leopards don’t change their spots,” Harth told The Hill.The Hill also notes that Harth is one of the accusers who financially benefited from her work with Bloom on the allegations: the attorney set up a GoFundMe page for Harth that paid off her mortgage and an email revealed that Harth’s sales soared after Bloom appeared on TV to discuss her allegations.