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Lisa Bloom says reports that women were paid to come forward with accusations of sexual harassment against President Donald Trump are nothing more than right-wing efforts to discredit victims as calls for an investigation into the president’s actions intensify.
The Hill on Friday morning published a report that Bloom sought payment for clients who made or were considering making sexual misconduct allegations against then-candidate Trump — although the report never outright challenges the veracity of the women’s claims.
“California lawyer Lisa Bloom’s efforts included offering to sell alleged victims’ stories to TV outlets in return for a commission for herself, arranging a donor to pay off one Trump accuser’s mortgage and attempting to secure a six-figure payment for another woman who ultimately declined to come forward after being offered as much as $750,000,” states the story. “Bloom said her goal in securing money was not to pressure the women to come forward, but rather to help them relocate or arrange security if they felt unsafe during the waning days of a vitriolic election.”
That woman who chose not to come forward decided to tell her story to The Hill after learning that Bloom was representing embattled producer Harvey Weinstein (an attorney-client relationship that ended very publicly after rape allegations surfaced). The woman says she supported Trump in 2016 and doesn’t resent him because he stopped his advances toward her when she asked him to, according to The Hill. She also says that she’s friends with many people close to the president, but no one associated with the White House or Trump forced her to come forward.
The website separately published lengthy excerpts from Bloom’s statements, along with those of her client, Jill Harth, who says she was sexually assaulted by Trump in the ‘90s.
Bloom turned to Twitter to criticize the story and the reporter, John Solomon, whom she described as being known for ” ‘weaponizing‘ stories about progressives like me to feed to Fox News.” (Solomon didn’t reply to a request for comment.)
“Even this spurious article, written with the intention of casting doubt on the accusers, includes this important fact: that the victims who came forward were telling the truth,” writes Bloom.
As other outlets like Fox News, “Page Six” and The Daily Caller have picked up the story, the claim that seems to be getting the most attention is the one that involves donors allegedly offering six-figure payments to women willing to tell their stories. Both of the women who were quoted, though, stress that they were never asked to make statements they didn’t believe were true.
Bloom says donors approached her firm after a Jane Doe Trump accuser canceled a November 2016 press conference at the last minute because she’d been receiving death threats.
“Multiple donors then contacted me out of the blue with offers to ensure the safety of women who might still come forward,” Bloom writes in her statement. “As an attorney I was obligated to relay those offers of funds for relocation to a safer community and round the clock security, and I was happy to do it.”
The Hill also mentioned that the attorney told the unnamed woman she could get upward of $15,000, less Bloom’s one-third fee, for giving her first interview to a show like Dr. Phil or Inside Edition. Bloom, in her Twitter statement, explained that when she takes on cases for free, or at a reduced fee, she includes in the contract that the firm will take one-third of any payment the client receives as a media fee. Most people won’t be paid for interviews, she says, but some shows will pay to license photos or offer an appearance fee.
Following the explosion of sexual harassment and assault allegations within Hollywood and Congress, several of Trump’s accusers have renewed their efforts to have their claims investigated. Bloom tells The Hollywood Reporter the timing of The Hill‘s report is no coincidence.
“This all happened 13 months ago,” she says. “It’s an effort to undermine the Trump accusers now that they are gaining momentum.”
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