Monday, October 5, 2020

Trump Campaign Advisor and Former Fox News Host Settles Sexual Harassment Claim for Millions

A key Trump campaign senior advisor and fundraiser accused of a long pattern of sexual harassment while employed at Fox News. When the sexual harassment allegation came to light, the Trump official, allegedly, offered to pay hush money to the victim and threated to expose embarrassing details about the her private life if she continue with the allegation.  Accusations against the Trump advisor were deemed so credible that Fox News was willing to settle for millions of dollars without the alleged victim even having to file a lawsuit.  

Yet the allegations do not seem to affected the advisor's role within the Trump campaign one bit.  One has to wonder if gender played a role in the accusation not being taken that seriously not only by the Trump campaign, but those on the left, as well as the news media.  Does #MeToo not apply when the person accused of sexual misconduct is a woman?

The New Yorker reports on the accusations against Kimberly Guilfoyle during her time at Fox News:

As President Donald Trump heads into the 2020 elections, he faces a daunting gender gap: according to a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll, he trails Joe Biden by thirty percentage points among female voters. As part of his campaign, Trump has been doing all he can to showcase female stars in the Republican Party, from nominating Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court to naming Kimberly Guilfoyle, the former Fox News host and legal analyst, his campaign’s finance chair. Guilfoyle, however, may not be an ideal emissary. In November, 2018, a young woman who had been one of Guilfoyle’s assistants at Fox News sent company executives a confidential, forty-two-page draft complaint that accused Guilfoyle of repeated sexual harassment, and demanded monetary relief. The document, which resulted in a multimillion-dollar out-of-court settlement, raises serious questions about Guilfoyle’s fitness as a character witness for Trump, let alone as a top campaign official.

Kimberly Guifoyle    
In the 2020 campaign, Trump has spotlighted no woman more brightly than Guilfoyle.  She was given an opening-night speaking slot at the Republican National Convention. And this fall Guilfoyle, who is Donald Trump, Jr.’s girlfriend, has been crisscrossing the country as a Trump surrogate, on what is billed as the “Four More Tour.” At a recent “Women for Trump” rally in Pennsylvania, Guilfoyle claimed that the President was creating “eighteen hundred new female-owned businesses in the United States a day,” and praised Trump for promoting school choice, which, she said, was supported by “single mothers like myself.”

Guilfoyle has maintained that her decision to move from television news to a political campaign was entirely voluntary. In fact, Fox News forced her out in July, 2018—several years before her contract’s expiration date. At the time, she was a co-host of the political chat show “The Five.” Media reports suggested that she had been accused of workplace impropriety, including displaying lewd pictures of male genitalia to colleagues, but few additional details of misbehavior emerged. Guilfoyle publicly denied any wrongdoing, and last year a lawyer representing her told The New Yorker that “any suggestion” she had “engaged in misconduct at Fox is patently false.” But, as I reported at the time, shortly after Guilfoyle left her job, Fox secretly paid an undisclosed sum to the assistant, who no longer works at the company. Recently, two well-informed sources told me that Fox, in order to avoid going to trial, had agreed to pay the woman upward of four million dollars.


The woman was hired in 2015, just out of college, to work as an assistant for Guilfoyle and another former Fox host, Eric Bolling. According to a dozen well-informed sources familiar with her complaints, the assistant alleged that Guilfoyle, her direct supervisor, subjected her frequently to degrading, abusive, and sexually inappropriate behavior; among other things, she said that she was frequently required to work at Guilfoyle’s New York apartment while the Fox host displayed herself naked, and was shown photographs of the genitalia of men with whom Guilfoyle had had sexual relations. The draft complaint also alleged that Guilfoyle spoke incessantly and luridly about her sex life, and on one occasion demanded a massage of her bare thighs; other times, she said, Guilfoyle told her to submit to a Fox employee’s demands for sexual favors, encouraged her to sleep with wealthy and powerful men, asked her to critique her naked body, demanded that she share a room with her on business trips, required her to sleep over at her apartment, and exposed herself to her, making her feel deeply uncomfortable.

As serious as the draft complaint’s sexual-harassment allegations were, equally disturbing was what the assistant described as a coverup attempt by Guilfoyle, whose conduct was about to come under investigation by a team of outside lawyers. In July, 2016, the network had hired the New York-based law firm Paul, Weiss to investigate sexual misconduct at the company, which, under the leadership of Roger Ailes, had a long history of flagrant harassment and gender discrimination. According to those familiar with the assistant’s draft complaint, during a phone call on August 6, 2017, she alleged that Guilfoyle tried to buy her silence, offering to arrange a payment to her if she agreed to lie to the Paul, Weiss lawyers about her experiences. The alleged offering of hush money brings to mind Trump’s payments to the porn star Stormy Daniels, in order to cover up his sexual impropriety.


When the assistant declined the offer of money, Guilfoyle warned—in a manner that the assistant regarded as threatening—that, if she spoke candidly to the lawyers, some aspects of the assistant’s private life that Guilfoyle knew about might be exposed. In fact, as I reported on this story, associates of Guilfoyle’s contacted me, offering personal details about the assistant, evidently in hopes of damaging her credibility and leading me not to publish this report.


The New Yorker, however, was able to independently confirm several of the assistant’s accusations. The allegation that she was required to work at Guilfoyle’s apartment while Guilfoyle was barely clothed or naked was substantiated by several of the assistant’s confidants, including an eyewitness, who recalls being surprised by the sight. “It was provocative in a way that made you want to get away from this person,” the eyewitness told me.

One current and one former Fox employee confirmed the assistant’s allegation that Guilfoyle had often shared lewd images, noting that she had shown photographs of male genitalia to them, too—some of romantic partners, others of fans. Another former employee described Guilfoyle showing pornographic videos in the office. Guilfoyle’s graphic sexual talk so upset hair-and-makeup artists at Fox that they lodged an internal complaint, triggering an investigation by the company.


A former Fox colleague who had been friendly with Guilfoyle said, “It was worse than gross—it put other women at Fox in such a terrible position.” She explained that, as someone at a junior level, she felt afraid to criticize Guilfoyle, who was a powerful star with high-ranking friends at the network. At the same time, the former colleague didn’t want to be complicit in behavior that she regarded as crude, unprofessional, and legally troubling. “It created an environment that was detrimental to young women,” the former colleague said.

OOP's short takes:

  • Breaking news is that Trump administration press secretary and professional liar Kayleigh McEnany has tested positive for Covid-19. 
  • Democrats are dreaming that three Republican Senators being sidelined with positive Covid-19 tests will result in the permanent derailment of the Amy Coney Barrett confirmation to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  Yeah, that's just not going to happen.   Democrats have long depended on unelected federal judges to enact liberal policies.  Those days appear to be gone.  They would be well advised to switch their focus to the democratic process.  After all, Democrats have control of the House and will probably control the Senate and the White House after the election.  Instead of filing lawsuits to get liberal judges to enact their preferred polices, Democrats will be able to file bills and get those bills passed by the Congress they dominate.   I would add that Democrats will also control a lot more state legislatures.  Democrats may have lost federal judgeships and control of the Supreme Court but, thanks to Trump, they are winning control of legislative bodies right and left.
  • Expectations are very high for Democratic vice-president nominee Kamala Harris in her debate against Vice President Mike Pence. Those expectations are likely to work against Harris as well too is the fact Pence's performance will be compared not to Harris', but to Donald Trump's. On that score, Pence can't help but look good.  While Pence has clearly sold out his soul for his dream of being President, the fact remains he's not the dummy those on the left would like for him to be.  He is much more intelligent and smoother than Donald Trump.  (Granted that is not a high bar.)  Expect the polls regarding the winner of the VP debate to be much more mixed than they were following the Biden-Trump debate.
  • I know attorneys lie.  But even we are limited in what lies we can tell and to whom.  For example, we're not supposed to lie to our clients or the court about the status of the law.  I would think the doctors would also similar ethical obligations that prevent or, at least, limit lying.  Which makes it so interesting to me that Donald Trump is always able to find doctors who will lie for him.  Trump's doctor Sean Conley, OD's lies about the President's medical condition were so bad that Chief of Staff Mark Meadows chose to intercede to clarify the record.  I too wonder about the diminishing number of physicians who are standing behind Dr. Conley as political props at his press conferences.  I would imagine that they were becoming increasingly uncomfortable with Dr. Conley's dishonesty.

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