California woman's rights Attorney Lisa Bloom operated behind a scheme to compensate Trump accusers and potential accusers using money from donors and tabloid media outlets during the final months of the 2016 presidential race, in an effort which intensified as the election neared, report John Solomon and Alison Spann of The Hill.
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, the clients told The Hill. -The Hill
The various accounts of Bloom's scheme were detailed in documents, emails and text messages reviewed by The Hill, and come on the heels of Bill O'Reilly's claim that there is a secret tape of a women who was offered $200,000 to file sexual harassment charges against Trump. It is unknown whether or not O'Reilly's claim is related to Bloom's activities.
Bloom, the daughter of activist Attorney Gloria Allred who initially defended Harvey Weinstein against sexual assault allegations earlier this year and was publicly shamed by anti-Trump comedian Kathy Griffin, represented four women considering launching allegations against Trump last year. Two of the women went public, while the other two declined.
Bloom says that the goal of her accusation mill was to simply raise funds to help women "relocate or arrange security if they felt unsafe during the waning days of a vitriolic election." With a commission to Bloom as high as 33 percent, if she was able to sell their stories to media outlets.
“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. This rarely happens. But, on occasion, a case generates media interest and sometimes (not always) a client may receive an appearance fee,” said Bloom.
One client of Bloom's who received money was Trump accuser Jill Harth, who filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against trump in 1997, but withdrew it after Trump settled a separate lawsuit from Harth and her boyfriend for alleged breach of contract when trump backed out of a business deal. After Bloom began representing Harth, she arranged for a donor to help Harth pay off her Queens, NY mortgage, which was recorded as extinguished on Dec. 19, 2016. Bloom also "arranged a small payment from the licensing of some photos to the news media, then set up a GoFundMe page for Harth's benefit which raised a little over $2,300.
Harth maintains Bloom's financial incentives had nothing to do with her decision to reignite her claims:
“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,” Harth told The Hill.
One woman who spoke with The Hill under the condition of anonymity said that she was friends with Bloom and Harth, and said that Bloom never encouraged them to make false statements - however their texts and emails "indicate Bloom held a strong dislike of Trump," telling the potential Trump accuser in one email that her story was "further evidence of what a sick predator this man is."
Other documents reveal that Bloom's efforts to peddle accusers intensified as the 2016 election neared.
When Harth, for instance, informed Bloom she had just made a Facebook post urging other women to come forward about Trump in October 2016, the lawyer texted back: “Wow Jill that would be amazing. 27 days until the election.”
And when a potential client abruptly backed out of a pre-election news conference in which she was supposed to allege she was sexually assaulted at age 13, Bloom turned her attention to another woman.
That woman, Harth’s friend, went back and forth for weeks with Bloom in 2016 about going public with an allegation of an unsolicited advance by Trump on the 1990s beauty contest circuit.
“Give us a clear sense of what you need and we will see if it we can get it,” Bloom texted the woman a week before Election Day.
“I’m scared Lisa. I can’t relocate. I don’t like taking other people’s money,” the woman wrote to Bloom.
“Ok let’s not do this then,” Bloom responded. “We are just about out of time anyway.”
This angered the potential Trump accuser, who texted Bloom back about the deadline: “What does time have to do with this? Time to bury Trump??? You want my story to bury trump for what? Personal gain? See that 's why I have trust issues!!”
Another exchange of text messages between Bloom and a potential client reveal a negotiation which started out at $50,000. When the woman demanded more, Bloom came back with an offer of $100,000 from a donor, which the woman balked at.
“Hey after thinking about all this, I need more than $100,000.00. College money would be nice” for her daughter. “Plus relocation fees, as we discussed.”
After their discussion, the figure jumped to $200,000 after a series of phone calls. The support was promised to be tax-free, and included relocation complete with a new identity.
Bloom told The Hill that the woman eventually demanded as much a $2 million, which eventually became a low six-figure offer:
“She asked to be compensated, citing concerns for her safety and security and over time, increased her request for financial compensation to $2 million, which we told her was a non-starter,” Bloom told The Hill. “We did relay her security concerns to donors, but none were willing to offer more than a number in the low six figures, which they felt was more appropriate to address her security and relocation expenses.”
When the woman fell ill and ended up in the hospital days before the election, Bloom scrambled to reach her, sending repeated texts to a friend of the potential accuser, who replied with a picture of the client in a hospital bed. Bloom did not give up, warning the woman's friend that if she did not go through with the accusation, it could have "a significant impact on her life," and a "big impact on her daughter."
"She is in no condition for visitors," the friend responded, adding "If you care about her you need to leave her be until she is feeling better."
Bloom then flew out from California to visit the woman, who then decided she would not move forward with her allegations against Trump. Via The Hill:
“I am confused because you sent me so many nice texts Wednesday night after my other client wasted so much of my time and canceled the press conference,” Bloom texted on Nov. 5, 2016. “That meant a lot to me. Thursday you said you wanted to do this if you could be protected/relocated. I begged you not to jerk me around after what I had just gone through.”
Bloom then browbeat the woman, texting "You have treated me very poorly. I have treated you with great respect as much as humanly possible. I have not made a dime off your case and I have devoted a great deal of time. It doesn’t matter. I could have done so much for you. But you can’t stick to your word even when you swear you will.”
The woman eventually agreed to meet Bloom after she got out of the hospital, two days before the election - where she told The Hill that Bloom had upped her offer to $750,000, which was declined.
Another woman who declined to come forward with accusations says that Bloom made it very clear that she would be paid fees from arranging compensated media appearances.
“Outlets with which I have good relationships that may pay for your first on camera interview, revealing your name and face: Inside Edition, Dr. Phil, LawNewz.com,” Bloom texted the woman just weeks before Election Day. “My best estimate of what I could get for you would be $10-15,000 (less our 1/3 attorney fee)."
After Bloom found out that one of her clients had already spoken with CBS News right before the election about a paid interview, she told the accuser "You and your friends should not be shopping the story it will come back to bite you," adding "And this whole thing we have worked so hard to make happen will go away."