As President Donald Trump heads into the 2020 elections, he faces a challenging gender gap: in accordance to a modern Washington Submit/ABC Information poll, he trails Joe Biden by thirty share details among the woman voters. As section of his campaign, Trump has been doing all he can to showcase woman stars in the Republican Party, from nominating Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court to naming Kimberly Guilfoyle, the previous Fox Information host and authorized analyst, his campaign’s finance chair. Guilfoyle, even so, might not be an suitable emissary. In November, 2018, a youthful girl who had been just one of Guilfoyle’s assistants at Fox Information sent enterprise executives a private, forty-two-webpage draft grievance that accused Guilfoyle of repeated sexual harassment, and demanded monetary aid. The doc, which resulted in a multimillion-greenback out-of-court settlement, raises critical questions about Guilfoyle’s conditioning as a character witness for Trump, enable by yourself as a best campaign formal.
In the 2020 campaign, Trump has spotlighted no woman far more brightly than Guilfoyle. She was supplied an opening-evening speaking slot at the Republican National Conference. And this fall Guilfoyle, who is Donald Trump, Jr.,’s girlfriend, has been crisscrossing the nation as a Trump surrogate, on what is billed as the “Four Far more Tour.” At a current “Women for Trump” rally in Pennsylvania, Guilfoyle claimed that the President was producing “eighteen hundred new female-owned businesses in the United States a working day,” and praised Trump for marketing university preference, which, she stated, was supported by “single moms like myself.”
Guilfoyle has maintained that her conclusion to go from television information to a political marketing campaign was completely 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 exhibit “The Five.” Media stories suggested that she had been accused of office impropriety, which include displaying lewd photographs of male genitalia to colleagues, but few further particulars of misbehavior emerged. Guilfoyle publicly denied any wrongdoing, and past calendar year a law firm symbolizing her informed The New Yorker that “any suggestion” she had “engaged in misconduct at Fox is patently untrue.” But, as I described at the time, shortly just after Guilfoyle left her occupation, Fox secretly compensated an undisclosed sum to the assistant, who no extended will work at the enterprise. Lately, two properly-knowledgeable sources told me that Fox, in buy to stay away from heading to trial, experienced agreed to fork out the female upward of 4 million pounds.
Right until now, the particular accusations towards Guilfoyle have remained largely concealed. The draft grievance, which was hardly ever submitted in court docket, is included by a nondisclosure agreement. The previous assistant has not been publicly recognized, and, out of regard for the legal rights of alleged victims of sexual harassment, The New Yorker is honoring her confidentiality. Achieved for comment, she claimed, “I want you perfectly. But I have almost nothing to say.”
The woman was hired in 2015, just out of university, to perform as an assistant for Guilfoyle and an additional former Fox host, Eric Bolling. In accordance to a dozen perfectly-educated resources familiar with her problems, the assistant alleged that Guilfoyle, her direct supervisor, subjected her regularly to degrading, abusive, and sexually inappropriate habits among other factors, she said that she was usually demanded to function at Guilfoyle’s New York condominium even though the Fox host exhibited herself bare, and was revealed photos of the genitalia of adult men with whom Guilfoyle experienced experienced sexual relations. The draft complaint also alleged that Guilfoyle spoke incessantly and luridly about her sexual intercourse everyday living, and on one situation demanded a therapeutic massage of her bare thighs other periods, she stated, Guilfoyle explained to her to submit to a Fox employee’s demands for sexual favors, encouraged her to slumber with wealthy and highly effective men, questioned her to critique her bare entire body, demanded that she share a place with her on company trips, demanded her to rest around at her condominium, and uncovered herself to her, building her really feel deeply not comfortable.
As severe as the draft complaint’s sexual-harassment allegations were, equally disturbing was what the assistant described as a coverup try by Guilfoyle, whose conduct was about to occur underneath investigation by a staff of outdoors attorneys. In July, 2016, the community had hired the New York-centered legislation business Paul, Weiss to look into sexual misconduct at the corporation, which, underneath the leadership of Roger Ailes, had a prolonged record of flagrant harassment and gender discrimination. In accordance to these common with the assistant’s draft criticism, all through a cell phone connect with on August 6, 2017, she alleged that Guilfoyle experimented with to obtain her silence, giving to arrange a payment to her if she agreed to lie to the Paul, Weiss attorneys about her activities. The alleged giving of hush income delivers to head Trump’s payments to the porn star Stormy Daniels, in buy to go over up his sexual impropriety.
By 2017, the Paul, Weiss attorneys had begun investigating accusations of workplace sexual misconduct involving Eric Bolling, with whom Guilfoyle shared the assistant. Guilfoyle and Bolling were close, and it was all but inescapable that if the assistant accused Bolling of sexual harassment—as in fact she did—Guilfoyle’s perform would appear under scrutiny subsequent. (Bolling, whose employment Fox finished in September, 2017, declined to comment he has denied any wrongdoing, and is now a host at Sinclair Broadcast Team.) In accordance to the assistant, as the investigation into Bolling acquired momentum, Guilfoyle explained to her that she desired to know what the assistant would say if she were being asked about sexual harassment, and warned her that she could lead to great injury if she stated the completely wrong detail. Guilfoyle, she mentioned, instructed her that, in exchange for demonstrating what Guilfoyle called loyalty, she would function out a payment to choose treatment of her—possibly, she stated, with resources from Bolling. The assistant alleged that Guilfoyle mentioned sums as big as a million dollars, and also other inducements, which include a non-public-aircraft trip to Rome, a share of Guilfoyle’s potential speaking expenses, and an on-air reporting possibility. Individuals close to Guilfoyle termed the assistant’s allegation untrue, and reported they were shocked that she would fabricate this kind of a phony claim. But a effectively-informed supply independently confirmed to me that Guilfoyle had mentioned the matter of raising hush money.
When the assistant declined the give of income, Guilfoyle warned—in a manner that the assistant regarded as threatening—that, if she spoke candidly to the attorneys, some features of the assistant’s personal life that Guilfoyle realized about might be uncovered. In simple fact, as I described on this story, associates of Guilfoyle’s contacted me, offering individual information about the assistant, evidently in hopes of detrimental her trustworthiness and main me not to publish this report.
Guilfoyle declined to be interviewed for this tale but issued a assertion: “In my 30-calendar year occupation doing the job for the SF District Attorney’s Office, the LA District Attorney’s Office, in media and in politics, I have by no means engaged in any office misconduct of any sort. Through my career, I have served as a mentor to numerous women of all ages, with a lot of of whom I continue to be extremely near to this working day.” John Singer, her lawyer, said that he would not comment.
In accordance to the former assistant’s account, she declined what she regarded as Guilfoyle’s tries to get her off, and refused to conceal proof or lie. As a substitute, she instructed the legal group at Paul, Weiss that each Guilfoyle and Bolling experienced sexually harassed her. Multiple men and women in whom the assistant confided at the time say she expressed worry that Guilfoyle may possibly retaliate versus her Guilfoyle had boasted of her significant-level connections within Fox’s legal office environment, and of her capability to ruin enemies’ reputations. The assistant’s problems experienced mounted to the stage that she sought lawful help. Meanwhile, her allegations sparked months of investigation into Guilfoyle’s actions by Fox’s human-methods section, and ultimately resulted in Guilfoyle’s negotiated departure from the business.
Tim Murtaugh, a spokesman for the Trump campaign, declined to remark on the appropriateness of Guilfoyle overseeing the Trump campaign’s funds, offered the allegations about hush money and harassment levied versus her by her previous assistant. Murtaugh referred inquiries to Guilfoyle’s attorney.
The news that Guilfoyle did not depart Fox on great conditions was to start with damaged by HuffPost, in 2018. Yashar Ali documented that Fox experienced quietly pressured Guilfoyle out just after a months-long probe by its human-sources section experienced discovered disturbing allegations by co-staff, including by her assistant, who experienced been specified a compensated depart as the enterprise investigated. Ali wrote that Guilfoyle had denied any misconduct and had fought to remain at the network. Her allies experienced even mounted an unsuccessful final-ditch endeavor to preserve her occupation by interesting to Rupert Murdoch, the executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, then the news network’s guardian corporation. But Murdoch, who experienced looked earlier decades of sexual harassment at Fox News, experienced been persuaded by his sons, Lachlan and James—then each senior executives in the company—that this sort of misconduct could no lengthier be tolerated. Paul, Weiss was referred to as in to cleanse residence. A source acquainted with the situation explained to me that the assistant’s private statements were being foundational to Fox’s final decision to section approaches with Guilfoyle.
Michele Hirshman, the partner at Paul, Weiss who oversaw the investigation at Fox, did not respond to my requests for comment. The Washington attorney Gerson Zweifach, who served as 21st Century Fox’s normal counsel and lawful adviser on the sexual-harassment probe, also declined to comment, declaring, “I can’t be of help below, for all the good reasons you may assume.” A spokesperson at Fox declined to remark on Guilfoyle’s departure from the business. When requested about reports suggesting that Guilfoyle had acquired comprehensive payment for the remaining time on the deal, the spokesperson said that they ended up “not correct.”
Several associates of Guilfoyle’s insist that the allegations from her deficiency reliability. Alexandra Preate, a general public-relations executive who is a longtime pal of Guilfoyle’s, advised me, “These manifestly wrong accusations are an affront to the honorable lifetime that Kimberly, a one mom and trailblazing woman, has led.” Greta Van Susteren, a previous colleague of Guilfoyle’s at Fox, reported of her, “I’ve regarded her for 20-some years, and I’ve in no way heard of a single complaint in opposition to her. This is fully inconsistent with what I have found.” Sergio Gor, the chief of personnel for the Trump Victory finance committee, who has recognized her for additional than a ten years, explained, “She usually places other people in advance of herself and is unfailingly generous and moral.” Yet another defender of Guilfoyle’s, who declined to go on the file, famous that the assistant had despatched a lot of gushing notes to Guilfoyle thanking her for her mentorship, and referred to Guilfoyle as just about like spouse and children. The assistant had also tweeted praise of her bosses.
The New Yorker, however, was ready to independently confirm a number of of the assistant’s accusations. The allegation that she was necessary to function at Guilfoyle’s apartment when Guilfoyle was hardly clothed or naked was substantiated by various of the assistant’s confidants, which includes an eyewitness, who recalls becoming stunned by the sight. “It was provocative in a way that produced you want to get absent from this man or woman,” the eyewitness explained to me.
A single latest and one particular previous Fox personnel confirmed the assistant’s allegation that Guilfoyle experienced normally shared lewd photos, noting that she had proven pictures of male genitalia to them, too—some of passionate companions, other individuals of admirers. A different former employee described Guilfoyle demonstrating pornographic videos in the business office. Guilfoyle’s graphic sexual chat so upset hair-and-make-up artists at Fox that they lodged an inner grievance, triggering an investigation by the corporation.
A former Fox colleague who had been welcoming with Guilfoyle mentioned, “It was worse than gross—it place other gals at Fox in these kinds of a awful posture.” She described that, as an individual at a junior level, she felt worried to criticize Guilfoyle, who was a highly effective star with substantial-ranking mates at the community. At the similar time, the previous colleague did not want to be complicit in habits that she regarded as crude, unprofessional, and lawfully troubling. “It established an setting that was detrimental to youthful gals,” the previous colleague mentioned.
The latest Fox worker, who has socialized with Guilfoyle, defended Guilfoyle’s ideal to acquire regardless of what photographs she wanted, and to share them outside the house of operate with her friends, but argued, “You just can’t expose an assistant to that.” A confidant of the former assistant—who also knows Guilfoyle well—agreed, saying of her, “They genuinely put her as a result of a wringer. It was a justifiable complaint. She’s a very awesome child. She’s not a nefarious particular person. It was a hostile workplace.” One more previous Fox colleague who observed the dynamic among Guilfoyle and the assistant mentioned, “It was an insane, abusive romantic relationship,” introducing, “Rather than staying a mentor, she was an afflictor.” And yet yet another near observer who however functions at Fox informed me that the assistant was “one of the nicest, challenging-doing the job people—she was young and complete of ambition, but by the time she left she was just broken.”
When the #MeToo movement erupted, Fox News turned to Guilfoyle as an on-air expert on authorized concerns, which include sexual harassment. In advance of joining Fox Information, in 2006, Guilfoyle experienced been a prosecutor in San Francisco, where by she had been married to Gavin Newsom, a Democrat who was the city’s mayor and is now California’s governor. In on-air conversations of workplace harassment, Guilfoyle portrayed herself as an advocate for women’s rights, speaking forcefully about the instances of the movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and moderating a roundtable about the television host Charlie Rose. (In that dialogue, Guilfoyle’s Fox colleague Greg Gutfeld said, “The whole thing with Charlie Rose is so strange that he would, like, power co-workers or younger persons to see him naked—like, he would walk close to his condominium bare.” Rose apologized for his “inappropriate actions,” though he denied some of the allegations manufactured versus him.) In 2017, immediately after the Periods and The New Yorker broke the Weinstein tale, Guilfoyle declared that “the victims” were “the most crucial element,” and referred to her encounter of operating as a attorney with victims of “sex-abuse crimes.” She expressed sympathy for victims who were afraid to come forward simply because “they do not feel that they have financial power” and they want “to get a chance” in their decided on industry.
Yet the assistant has alleged, equally in her draft complaint and to confidants, that Guilfoyle contributed to, and even defended, the sexually hostile operate natural environment at Fox News. The assistant recounted that Guilfoyle experienced been dismissive about her issues about remaining sexually harassed, experienced discouraged her from talking to Fox’s human-means section, and had pointed to her personal job, claiming that she experienced had sexual encounters with effective figures at Fox herself. One particular of the former Fox News colleagues who had socialized with Guilfoyle instructed me that her sexually inappropriate actions was akin to that of several powerful male Fox personnel before 2016, when the community was rocked by a lawsuit introduced in opposition to Ailes by Gretchen Carlson, a former on-air host. Carlson’s fit exposed a deep-seated sexually predatory culture at the network. Almost two dozen women of all ages at Fox sooner or later alleged that they experienced been sexually harassed or intimidated. The scandal triggered Ailes’s downfall, and also that of the star host Monthly bill O’Reilly. “Kim was sort of like just one of the fellas, the way they utilized to operate,” the previous colleague advised me. A different former co-employee of Guilfoyle’s recalled, “It was normally about intercourse and fellas with her. She did not cover it—she’d almost flaunt it. She most likely was not mindful of others’ thoughts. It was a distinctive time.”
Ahead of Guilfoyle grew to become an outspoken defender of Trump, she was an outspoken defender of Ailes. When Carlson sued him, Guilfoyle tried to debunk her credibility. In an interview with Adweek, Guilfoyle claimed that she had spoken with much more than thirty women of all ages at Fox, and mentioned, “Nobody that I’ve spoken to reported that this was their practical experience.” Two months prior to Fox settled with Carlson, for 20 million pounds, Guilfoyle gave an interview to Breitbart in which she vouched for Ailes’s “character, integrity, and trustworthiness,” indicating, “I’ve recognised the male very effectively the past 15 yrs. He’s someone who I admire considerably.” She named Ailes “a champion of women” who has “always been 100 per cent experienced.”
Guilfoyle reportedly led a community-relations campaign, coördinated with Ailes, in which she implied to girls at Fox that their professions would experience if they did not back him. In accordance to a criticism submitted by the former Fox News contributor Julie Roginsky, with whom the network settled still one more sexual-harassment assert versus Ailes, Guilfoyle “sought to recruit Fox News workers and contributors to retaliate against Carlson by publicly disparaging her.” This “retaliatory onslaught,” Roginsky’s complaint claimed, was characterised as “supporting ‘Team Roger.’ ”
In accordance to Brian Stelter’s “Hoax,” Guilfoyle instructed female colleagues that they had improved support Ailes, warning, “I’m using notes.” Stelter indicates that Guilfoyle was inspired by the belief that Ailes, who seemed all-potent, would reward her by creating her the host of her have display. One of the previous Fox colleagues who spoke with me reported that Guilfoyle attempted to intimidate other women at the network: “It was ‘Pick your team now—and if you don’t back again Roger you will be out of listed here rapid. There will be retribution.’ ”
When Ailes was long gone, Guilfoyle’s posture at Fox grew considerably less safe. Even her allies agree that Ailes’s general public disgrace remaining her in a undesirable place. But Guilfoyle’s defenders assert that she remaining the network fully of her personal volition. At the time, a widely circulated story line advised that she experienced still left the community in buy to keep away from conflicts of interest posed by her deepening romance with Donald Trump, Jr. In actuality, before long soon after Guilfoyle remaining Fox, in July, 2018, she joined Trump’s reëlection marketing campaign, as vice-chair of The usa Very first Action, a pro-Trump super PAC.
Very last December, reportedly at the President’s ask for, Guilfoyle was questioned to become the head of fund-increasing for Trump Victory, his most important campaign group. She began touring the region as a Trump surrogate, showing up, as she did final thirty day period in Pennsylvania, in a vibrant-pink dress that matched a banner bearing the slogan “Women for Trump.” She also began hosting pro-Trump “news” updates on a channel accessible only to customers of the Trump campaign’s social-media app.
Considering that getting the fund-boosting place, Guilfoyle has attracted some criticism. In March, an opulent fifty-1st-birthday celebration was held for Guilfoyle at Trump’s non-public Mar-a-Lago Club, in Palm Seashore, and, according to the Times, the festivities had been compensated for, in part, by campaign donors. The use of personal jets by Guilfoyle and her workers has also drawn negative press. But Guilfoyle, who has a son from her next marriage, to the household furniture heir and designer Eric Villency, has flaunted her picture as an insider in the Trump planet, typically putting up photos on social media of herself and the President’s son in glamorous settings, like the White Property. According to the Washington Put up, the pair past 12 months purchased a $4.4-million seashore home jointly in the Hamptons.
Despite Guilfoyle’s document at Fox, she was given just one of the Republican National Convention’s most prominent speaking spots—just before 10 P.M. on the to start with night. As an work out in interest-acquiring, her speech didn’t disappoint. Describing herself as the daughter of immigrants—though her mom was born in Puerto Rico, whose inhabitants have lengthy been U.S. citizens—Guilfoyle warned that Democrats “want to damage this country and every little thing that we have fought for and keep pricey.” She concluded by shouting, “Ladies and gentlemen, leaders and fighters for liberty and the American Aspiration: the very best is nonetheless to come!” Her supply was so jarringly loud that Chuck Ross, a reporter at the conservative Every day Caller, tweeted, “I read Guilfoyle’s speech and my TV’s not even on.” But Guilfoyle evidently delighted the viewers that mattered most: Trump reportedly instructed her that it was one of the “greatest” speeches he’d at any time viewed, due to the fact it was shipped with “so substantially vitality.”