Saturday, 16 December 2017

Feminist lawyer reportedly promised cash to Trump sexual harassment accusers

A high-profile feminist attorney promised two women they would be financially compensated for publicly accusing President Donald Trump of sexual harassment in the waning months of the 2016 presidential election.

Lisa Bloom, who represented four Trump accusers – two of whom came forward – told the women she could arrange paid media appearances and secure cash from donors in exchange for their public accusations, two of her clients told The Hill.
The California attorney told one woman, who ultimately decided against coming forward, that a donor was willing to shell out as much as $750,000 for the accusation and promised another woman a donor agreed to pay off her mortgage, according to contractual documents, emails and text messages reviewed by The Hill.
In a text exchange with one of the accusers, Bloom indicates that a pro Clinton PAC might also be willing to provide financial support.
Bloom, who has represented sexual harassment accusers as well as disgraced alleged sexual abuser Harvey Weinstein, acknowledged accepting donations on behalf of her clients in order to provide for their security and relocation, in a statement to The Hill.
“Donors reached out to my firm directly to help some of the women I represented,” Bloom said.
She further conceded her firm does take a 33 percent commission when arranging a paid media appearance on behalf of a client.
“Our standard pro bono agreement for legal services provides that if a media entity offers to compensate a client for sharing his or her story we receive a percentage of those fees,” she said. “This rarely happens. But, on occasion, a case generates media interest and sometimes (not always) a client may receive an appearance fee.”
Bloom, who represented the Bill Cosby and Bill O’Reilly accusers, established a crowdfunding campaign for former beauty contestant manager Jill Harth after the media exposed her 1997 sexual harassment lawsuit against Trump in the summer of 2016. Harth contacted Bloom to represent her in the fall after Trump publicly denied her allegations. Bloom later arranged her for a donor to pay off the mortgage on Hart’s Queens, N.Y. apartment.
“Nothing that you’ve said to me about my mortgage or the Go Fund Me that was created to help me out financially affects the facts or the veracity of my 1997 federal complaint against Donald J. Trump for sexual harassment and assault,” Hart told The Hill.
A second unnamed woman who decided not to go public with her accusation haggled with Bloom over how much money she might be able to secure from sympathetic donors, eventually reaching $750,000, according to text conversations between the two women.
At one point in their ongoing text conversation Bloom indicated she had reached out to a pro-Clinton PAC to solicit a donation.
“It’s my understanding that there is some Clinton Super Pack [sic] that could help out if we did move forward,” the woman wrote Bloom in Oct. 2016. “If we help the Clinton campaign they in turn could help or compensate us?”
The anonymous woman, who was a friend of Hart’s, told The Hill she decided to publicize her story after hearing that Bloom was representing Weinstein. Bloom discontinued her representation as the accusations against Weinstein mounted.
Both women maintain Bloom never encouraged them to publicly accuse Trump of any falsehoods.

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