Jill Harth is one of the women who came forward during the 2016 campaign to accuse Trump of sexually assaulting her. Monday night, the Hill reported that prior to coming forward, Harth offered her services as Trump’s make-up person:
“Hi Donald, you are doing a tremendous job of shaking things up in the United States. I am definitely on Team Trump as so many others are,” Jill Harth wrote Trump in an Oct. 1, 2015, email sent to him through his New York company’s headquarters.
“I can’t watch television without seeing you or hearing your name everywhere! It’s a good thing for sure but PLEASE let me do your makeup for a television interview, a debate, a photo session, anything!” Harth wrote.
“It kills me to see you looking too orange and with white circles under the eyes. I will get your skin looking smoother and even toned,” she added, boasting she would “sculpt your face” to look good on high-definition television sets.
You can read the full letter here. Harth goes on to say that she’d done makeup for Richard Branson, Bob Costas, and Stephen Colbert and offered to do Trump’s makeup once for free so he could evaluate her ability. Even more striking, in another letter dated January 2016 Harth offered to give a testimonial for Trump’s behavior toward women at one of his rallies:
I also want to put it out there that I would be willing to say at a rally or somewhere how DJT 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.
There are two ways to read this offer. One is that Harth is willing to praise Trump’s behavior with women, which is completely at odds with her 1997 lawsuit accusing him of sexual assault and with her decision to revive that accusation just six months later after making this offer.
The other way to look at this is that Harth seems to have a pretty clear idea that negative stories about Trump’s behavior toward women are coming “at some point.” Would someone who’d never heard or experienced such negative behavior make such an offer? The Hill contacted Harth for a statement and the tone of her response is very different from the tone of her emails:
The Hill has insisted I explain how I could accuse Donald Trump of sexual assault, sexual harassment and attempted rape in a 1997 federal lawsuit, then send him an email volunteering to do his makeup during the 2016 election campaign. Well, a couple years of therapy helped me deal with Trump’s sexual attacks and the mind games he had played on me for more than a year and move on with my life…
The email was the first such contact with Trump in a long while and our relationship was still cordial even though I realized that I would be dealing with someone who acted like a ‘dog in heat’ then, who had ruined my marriage and had continued pursuing me through the years. Yes, I had moved on but had not forgotten the pain he brought into my life. I was older, wiser. Trump was married to Melania and I had hoped he was a changed man.
Harth adds, “The flattering nature of the emails were necessary to satisfy Trump’s ‘huge’ ego.” That may be true but the real question this raises is why she was willing to satisfy Trump’s ego at all?
I actually don’t think this proves Harth is lying about what happened to her in the 1990s, but it does prove she was willing to forget about it and even lie about it in public in exchange for a boost to her brand. So it’s fair to ask if her subsequent decision to come forward had anything to do with Trump refusing to hire her. Put another way, these emails suggest she’d have remained quiet and maybe even become a Trump surrogate on this very issue if he’d given her a job.
As I wrote last week, Harth also had her mortgage paid off by a donor (arranged through attorney Lisa Bloom) who was apparently pleased with her subsequent revival of her accusations against Trump. You don’t necessarily have to believe Harth is a liar to conclude she is more than a little mercenary about all of this.