Celebrity make-up artist and former pageant organizer, Jill Harth, claims that Trump attempted to rape and sexually harass her over a five-year period, according to a lawsuit she filed in 1997, which was later dropped.
Now speaking for the first time about Epstein and Trump’s close friendship, she tells DailyMail.com that they were the ‘big cojones’ in a group of rich and powerful men who became disturbing fixtures on the pageant scene.
‘They were both seducing women with their money. Trump really came off like he was hot stuff. They had no trouble,’ she says.
‘It was a game to them to catch the girl and see who they were going to hook up with. They were in competition with each other. They were both girl hounds.’
Celebrity make-up artist and former pageant organizer Jill Harth tells DailyMail.com that Jeffrey Epstein and Donald Trump were close friends who shared a love for women
Harth filed a lawsuit against Trump in 1997, which was later dropped. She claimed Trump attempted to rape and sexually harass her over a five-year period
Harth came to know Trump from running the American Dream Calendar Girl beauty pageant across the U.S. with her former husband George Houraney. Trump was keen to get involved, promising to host and promote their events at his hotels and casinos all around the world.
Harth claims Epstein was Donald Trump’s ‘wingman’ and they would run wild together at beauty pageants
Before Trump came onto the scene, Epstein was already attending some of Harth’s smaller events, but Harth didn’t really know him until they met at a dinner party in January 1993 at Mar-a-Lago, where Trump insisted on Harth bringing all the calendar girls.
It was at this dinner where Harth alleges Trump sexually assaulted her.
Harth says the pair had different styles with Epstein more like a ‘low-key wingman’, who played on his connections with mentor Les Wexner’s lingerie company Victoria’s Secret, and Donald the ‘pushy guy’.
‘I had known Epstein through some of the other people at our events, they told me he was working with Les Wexner from Victoria’s Secret, which was the hot thing back in the nineties, and that he managed his money and was a scout for models.
‘It was a big deal for the girls when he showed up at an event, as he would come in on a private jet,’ says Harth.
‘I never heard Jeffrey in my world being aggressive. Trump was very pushy and a big foreboding guy. He was very overpowering. Jeffrey wasn’t like that, he wasn’t a flamboyant person, but very low-key and didn’t say much.
‘So it seemed like Jeffrey was like his wingman, but Jeffrey really used the Victoria’s Secret connection. That was his draw. And Donald would also brag: ”You know Jeffrey? My friend can get you in Victoria’s Secret.” He did that with the girls.
‘Those two were definitely close friends, they were tight, they lived two blocks away in New York.
‘He’s playing it down now because, obviously, Epstein is now considered a pedophile and he doesn’t want to be spoken in the same category.
‘They always had women around them. I would even say to the point where the girls were clamoring for their attention. They weren’t all teenagers – I had some teenagers in the event, but they were mostly ages from 18 to 30. There were a few underage, I always had a problem with taking them, because I had to watch them like hawks.
‘I was very wary of any new people coming in because I had suspicions about their intentions. I was the type that was concerned with these men. I was responsible for these women. Some of them were young.
‘I’m sure that’s why Donald liked the pageant business. He just wanted to have his free pick of the litter.’
Harth came to know Trump from running the American Dream Calendar Girl beauty pageant across the U.S. with her former husband George Houraney. Trump was keen to get involved, promising to host and promote their events at his hotels and casinos all around the world. Trump is pictured with the pageant contestants
‘It was a game to them to catch the girl and see who they were going to hook up with. They were in competition with each other… girl hounds,’ Harth claims
Harth says she doesn’t think Trump cared that Epstein was involved in underage girls. She says of her own abuse, ‘I don’t like to be called a victim and neither do the other women. I don’t consider myself a victim, I don’t feel that way’
After meeting Epstein at Mar-a-Lago, she says he judged a couple of her pageants.
Harth says: ‘Epstein, I think he judged twice – one in in Grand Bahamas and the other one might have been with Trump at Atlantic City.
‘He would judge the modeling contest. So you help score the girls when they’re competing – we had a swimwear and evening wear events and an interview. He was one of many judges, it wasn’t just a panel of five or six, but he would socialize with the girls.
Harth says that Trump is playing down the relationship he had with Epstein, because Epstein ‘is now considered a pedophile and he doesn’t want to be spoken in the same category’
‘I didn’t know what to make of him, because I didn’t know what Trump was about at that time. I was young and too busy running these events, I had a lot of responsibility.
‘But I didn’t like how this whole event was starting to turn when when these kind of guys got in the picture. Things started to take a turn for events I had worked on so hard – and I didn’t like it.
‘It’s one of the reasons why I wanted to get out of there [the pageant industry]. Epstein and Trump were the big cojones in the group. These were the two that were rich, and in Trump’s case, well known.’
Harth says she doesn’t think Trump cared that Epstein was involved in underage girls.
‘No, I don’t think Trump cared. The younger the better. That’s my thought on it now. I say: ‘You are, who you hang with’.
‘Epstein dabbled with a lot of different women and so did Donald. There’s so many more that won’t come out because there’s no upside to it. There’s none. It greatly affected my life,’ reveals Harth.
In 2016, during the presidential election campaign, Harth’s 1997 lawsuit was made public again by The New York Times and followed up by other media outlets.
The suit accused Trump of various forms of sexual assault and harassment including pinning her against the door of his daughter Ivanka’s bedroom during that night in Mar-a-Lago.
The case was dropped just a month later, at the same time that her now ex-husband Houraney allegedly won a six-figure settlement from Trump for breaking the terms of their business deal.
Trump and Harth’s relationship is complicated by the fact that, after the alleged assaults, they eventually had consensual sex in 1998 and she remained on good terms with Trump until the 2016 story broke, even asking his team in a number of emails to do his make-up during the campaign.
The truce fell apart when Trump publicly called out the NY Times for ‘false, malicious, and libelous’ reporting, claiming he’d never even seen any of his female accusers, including Harth, and tweeting that he was a target of ‘false accusations and fabricated stories of women who I don’t know and/or have never met.’
Harth felt she had to stand her ground and did a series of interviews reiterating her claims.
The public exposure led to death threats from Trump fans, her make-up business badly suffered, and a family break up – her sister and father disowned her, as they blamed her for the story being in the spotlight and supposedly bringing shame on the family.
Five years on, Harth doesn’t want to reopen old wounds and is keen not to dwell on the negatives.
She’s writing a book on her experience with Trump and the beauty pageant industry, as she rebuilds her make-up company Jillharth.com. which used to include clients such as Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michelle Pfeiffer.
She’s also found solace with other alleged Trump sexual assault ‘survivors’, meeting on Zoom group calls and offering each other support, as the media exposure has left an indelible mark on all their lives.
Harth is keen for justice to prevail for all of the former POTUS accusers, especially journalist Jean Carroll, who sued Trump for allegedly sexually assaulting her in the mid-nineties.
‘His fans – they were nuts especially in the beginning. When it first came out, it was terrifying. I was naïve. I told my truth and thought people would accept it. I wasn’t ready for the onslaught, it’s like getting hit by a tidal wave. I got a lot of support from women, but I got these hate emails and texts.
Trump is seen with Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged madam Ghislaine Maxwell in 1997 at the Gucci Envy Perfume Launch
‘It was very tough, and it caused a lot of damage in my family, to the point where they disowned me for this. In a way, it was ridiculous because they just didn’t want to understand,’ says Harth.
‘I’m not trying to have a pity party. I got through it on the other end, but it was tough. It affected my work. I didn’t get jobs, I was too known. I was still trying to crawl my way back and then the pandemic hit.
‘What I would like now is justice for all the other women, especially Jean Carroll.
‘I’m in this group with the women that have come out, because there’s a bunch of us, they were really affected and damaged in a lot of ways. Sometimes we get together on Zoom, it helps to some degree. Everybody has a little different story, but nobody else had the length of relationship like me – a working, then personal, relationship.
‘I don’t like to be called a victim and neither do the other women. I don’t consider myself a victim, I don’t feel that way.
‘I’m writing a memoir, it’s not all about Trump, a lot of it is about the pageant business. I’ve had a very full life with experiences that only people can dream about. It’s therapeutic for me, it makes me understand how I fell into this.
‘I do want to publish, it’s a lot of telling all. I’m hesitating because I don’t really need my life blown up again.
‘But if I don’t publish it, that’s ok. I’m still writing it.’