Lisa Bloom tried to arrange payments of up to $750,000 for women who said they had been accused by Donald Trump to have them come forward before the election
Celebrity attorney Lisa Bloom tried to bag ‘donations’ of up to $750,000 for women accusing President Trump of sexual harassment during the 2016 election, it has been revealed.
Bloom, who prides herself on representing sexual assault accusers pro-bono, also tried to land commissions for herself by having them sell their stories to television and media outlets for a fee which she would take a cut out of.
She worked with four separate women, including two who have never come forward, who alleged sexual misconduct against the president.
Her attempts to secure payment for them were revealed by The Hill on Friday and confirmed by the 56-year-old later in a lengthy statement in which she called the journalist who revealed them biased and insisted she had done nothing wrong.
Later, she shared the phone number, email address and IP address of someone who sent her an abusive email.
None of the women say that Bloom encouraged them to be dishonest but they say they were surprised by her eagerness for them to go public with their claims before election day.
One, who never went public with her story but demanded escalating amounts from donors at the time, said she was disgusted by Bloom’s recent and brief representation of Harvey Weinstein and that this was why she had now chosen to speak out.
‘I couldn’t understand how she could say she was for people like me and then represent someone like him. And then all the money stuff I knew about. I just became frustrated,’ she said.
Bloom responded to the news on Friday by describing it as an attempt by the ‘right wing’ to undermine the accusers
The attempts include requests to Clinton Super Pacs which refused to pay.
The donors who were willing to pay have not been named. Bloom claims they ‘approached’ her ‘out of the blue’ after another accuser backed out of a November 2 press conference because she was afraid.
The donors, Bloom said, did not want another woman to fear the same rebuke and so offered the cash to give them peace of mind about speaking out.
In one case, the lawyer and her husband set up a GoFundMe page for one accuser, Jill Harth, to ‘get her back on her feet’.
It only raised $2,300 but the same woman had her mortgage paid off by an unnamed donor.
The most tenacious attempts were to secure money for a woman who never ended up going public with her story against Trump.
At one stage, Bloom claims she asked for as much as $2million to be able to ‘relocate’ with her daughter after announcing her accusations. She cooperated with The Hill to share how Bloom tried to get her money.
In her claims to the newspaper, the woman claimed Bloom was in a hurry to have her share her story before the November 8 election.
They exchanged numerous text messages where they discussed what Bloom could ‘get’ for her.
One week before election day and after ‘weeks of back and forth’, Bloom sent her a text message which read: ‘Give us a clear sense of what you need and we will see if it we can get it.’
Alongside donations from mysterious donors who gave Jill Harth a sum, described as being under $30,000 to pay off her mortgage, Bloom and her husband Braden Pollock set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for her. It only raised $2,300
Harth (pictured with the president) said he assaulted her in 1993. She took licensing fees for photos from media outlets but stood by Bloom’s representation of her on Friday
The woman replied that she was scared, ‘couldn’t relocate’ as she believed she would have to and ‘didn’t like taking other people’s money’.
Bloom replied: ‘Ok let’s not do this then. We are just about out of time anyway.’
The woman was a friend of Jill Harth, a make-up artist who claims she was assaulted by Trump in 1993. She filed a lawsuit against him in 1997 and it was unearthed during the campaign.
Harth went public with her accusation and was represented by Bloom. Her unnamed friend said she initially considered coming forward to support her but not to sink Trump’s campaign.
She supported the president politically, told Bloom as much and even had a photograph on her Facebook account of the pair which Bloom told her to remove when they were considering publicizing her claims.
‘Give us a clear sense of what you need and we will see if it we can get it.’
Bloom to Trump accuser in text message
She says Bloom first offered her a $10,000 donation to her church but asked her to keep it confidential. The Hill did not specify in its report whether that initial offer was sponsored by a donor.
By November, the offers grown to $50,000 then to $100,000 which had been offered by a mysterious donor to help ‘any Trump accuser’ relocate and pay for any additional security they might need after sharing their claims.
The woman refused the $100,000 offer and asked for more, replying to Bloom that she wanted enough money to send her daughter to college.
She became bold in her requests and once asked the lawyer if any Clinton Super Pacs would be willing to stump up the money.
In a reply to one text message in October, Bloom admitted to ‘reaching out to them’ but said they turned her down.
It is not clear if she ever asked them directly for money.
‘I have already reached out to Clinton Super PACs and they are not paying. I can get you paid for some interviews however,’ she said.
As the demands grew, the donors backed out and the woman eventually refused.
Bloom claimed that she asked for $2million at one stage, a ludicrous amount which she said she told her would be a ‘non-starter’. The offers of around $100,000 remained but the woman refused.
On November 5, after the woman lost contact with Bloom because she was hospitalized for an unknown medical condition, the attorney sent her a text message which read: ‘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.
One of the accusers said she was prompted to speak out about Bloom’s attempts to secure money after learning she represented alleged serial sex abuser Harvey Weinstein (pictured above together in October a day before the first accusations about him emerged)
‘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.
‘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 press conference she referred to was one which was abruptly canceled on November 2. Bloom had touted it to the media and reporters had gathered to attend it when the unnamed woman backed out with minutes to spare.
‘She is living in fear. She has decided that she is too afraid to show her face,’ Bloom told reporters at the time.
‘I have already reached out to Clinton Super PACs and they are not paying. I can get you paid for some interviews however
A day after those texts, Bloom met the woman at a hotel in Virginia and offered her a final sum of $750,000 – to be put up by an unnamed donor – to pay for protection and relocation if she went public.
She refused it and they went their separate ways.
The woman never participated in any media interviews but signed a contract Bloom sent her which stated that a 33 per cent cut of any media fees she collected by speaking out would be taken for The Bloom Firm.
She highlighted certain shows which she knew paid for stories and highlighted those that did not, namely CBS which the two accusers had been approached by to share their allegations.
In text messages, Bloom told the woman: ‘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.
‘My best estimate of what I could get for you would be $10-15,000 (less our 1/3 attorney fee).
‘If you are interested I would recommend Inside Edition or Dr. Phil as they are much bigger. Dr. Phil is doing a show on Trump accusers next Tuesday in LA and would fly you here and put you up in a nice hotel, and pay for your meals as well, with your daughter if you like.
‘Media moves very quickly so you need to decide and then once confirmed, you need to stick to it.’
Producers for both Dr. Phil and Inside Edition said they did not pay any Trump accusers for appearances.
Bloom hit back at The Hill’s article on Friday. In a lengthy statement, she labeled it a ‘smear story’ and said that any fee her clients would have received from media appearances was insignificant compared to Trump’s billions.
She defended her firm’s policy of taking a 33 percent cut of the fees, claiming it ensured her staff were paid.
‘In pro bono cases (where we work for free or at sharply reduced fees), we add a line in our client agreements that if the client gets paid for media interviews our law firm gets one-third. This seems fair to us and our clients.
Bloom’s mother Gloria represented several Trump accusers including Summer Zervos (above) who is suing the president for defamation
‘When my client is a single mother, unemployed, in dire need of therapy, on the verge of bankruptcy or all of the above, she may choose to do an interview with the outlet that will compensate her. A few thousand dollars hardly levels the playing field against a billionaire like Donald Trump, but it helps a little, and I leave that decision to my client, after she’s been fully vetted for veracity,’ she said.
Bloom labeled Jonathan Solomon, one of two Hill journalists whose names were by-lined to the piece, a ‘far right’ reporter.
‘A far right journalist*, who Washington Monthly called “the easiest mark in the business for GOP oppo research hits,” along with other influencers on the far right, are trying to cast doubt on the very credible accusations of sexual harassment and assault against Donald Trump by creating a hit piece, suggesting that I offered women money to come up with stories against him. That is false,’ she fumed.
She insisted that donors approached her after the canceled press conference on November 2 and said she was merely doing her job as a lawyer by referring their offers to her clients.
‘Due to an unexpected turn of events, donors also reached out to help some of my clients last year.
‘Multiple donors then contacted me out of the blue with offers to ensure the safety of women who might still come forward.
‘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.
‘And I offered what people come to me for – my opinion and advice. My clients wanted to tell their stories, and now here was a safer way to do it.’
Bloom speared the former client who collaborated with The Hill to produce the article, saying: ‘I still believe her corroborated allegations against Trump, which she repeats in this article, and hope she finds peace.
‘She’s not going to find it by trying to drag down other Trump accusers or their lawyers.’
Since backing out of going public with her claims, the unnamed woman has been in touch with Trump lawyers. She did not reveal to The Hill what the nature of their contact was.
Harth, whose mortgage was paid off by one donor, stood by Bloom and said she never pressured any of the accusers in to speaking out.
‘I’m terribly disappointed that anyone would suggest Lisa was trying to pay women to come up with stories. It’s simply not true. Lisa, pro bono, was trying to HELP, against a powerful billionaire who was elected even though 19 of us ultimately came out and accused him of sexual misconduct.
‘These continued attacks on accusers and our lawyers is what makes it so hard for women to speak out, even now.’
Harth received money from Bloom by licensing photographs. The aforementioned GoFundMe page was set up by Bloom’s husband, Braden Pollock, and raised $2,300.
The mortgage on her Queens apartment was paid off in December by an unidentified donor.
Bloom represented shamed movie mogul Weinstein briefly in October when the first accusations against him emerged.
She has since stopped and described it as a ‘colossal mistake’.
Her work on behalf of the mogul included attempts to kill stories against him that were prompted by his own sexual assault accusers.
In October, TMZ reported that Bloom tried to discredit the women and offered up material to news organizations which she believed would silence their accusations against Weinstein.
Part of the material she allegedly offered was Rose McGowan’s ‘sexual history’.
McGowan claimed Weinstein raped her in 1997 but did not speak out about it until October this year because of a contemporaneous agreement she signed which stopped her from discussing it.
Bloom has not commented on the specifics of what she did and did not do for Weinstein.
Instead, she filed it all under attorney client privilege and tweeted: ‘Attorneys must maintain confidentiality even when awful, untrue things are said about us. Welp, I did sign up for this.’
Her other clients include Bill O’Reilly accusers and Marion Brown who recently alleged sexual misconduct against ousted Rep. John Conyers.
Bloom’s mother Gloria Allred has represented a number of high profile sexual assault and harassment accusers including several who name Trump as their attacker.
She was unimpressed with her daughter’s decision to represent Weinstein in October.
‘Had I been asked by Mr. Weinstein to represent him, I would have declined, because I do not represent individuals accused of sex harassment. I only represent those who allege that they are victims of sexual harassment.
‘While I would not represent Mr. Weinstein, I would consider representing anyone who accused Mr. Weinstein of sexual harassment, even if it meant that my daughter was the opposing counsel,’ she said.
BLOOM’S RESPONSE: IT’S A SMEAR
Do not let the right wing undermine the brave Trump accusers. Not today. Not ever. I stand with them.
A far right journalist*, who Washington Monthly called “the easiest mark in the business for GOP oppo research hits,” along with other influencers on the far right, are trying to cast doubt on the very credible accusations of sexual harassment and assault against Donald Trump by creating a hit piece, suggesting that I offered women money to come up with stories against him. That is false.
Tellingly, Bill O’Reilly referenced this article a couple of days before it posted. I represented the three women who took down O’Reilly earlier this year and am currently in active litigation against him on behalf of another client. This is just his latest effort to try and discredit my clients and me.
But it’s not going to stop me from representing O’Reilly or Trump accusers or speaking out about their vile misogyny.
Let me start with the headline. 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. “Both that woman and Harth, who were friends, stressed that Bloom never asked them to make any statements or allegations except what they believed to be true.”
During the 2016 presidential campaign, many women contacted me with sexual misconduct allegations against Trump. My Bloom Firm team vetted each of them, as we do all cases like this, with extensive background checks, social media reviews, analyzing relevant documents from the time of the incident, such as calendars, notes, photos, etc. We speak to friends, family and witnesses. Potential clients don’t like this process and sometimes complain about it, but we insist on it. Four Trump accusers passed this review with sufficient credibility and corroboration that we agreed to represent them.
Now, a note about my law firm. Many attorneys went to law school to do the kind of civil rights work we do at the Bloom Firm: representing almost entirely victims against powerful individuals and companies. But few end up doing it. Those who try quickly go out of business and wind up back on the corporate side. As a result, victims have a very hard time finding lawyers. Why? Because it is not only very challenging work, where lawyers will immediately be subjected to frequent threats of violence and waves of hate, but because it’s an economic challenge to keep the doors open for business in a civil rights firm. A few of our clients can afford our hourly rates, but not many. In other cases, we take a percentage of the recovery. But what about worthy matters that are beyond the statute of limitations, where women really need legal help? How can we help them and also meet our payroll (over sixteen lawyers and Bloom Firm staffers currently), rent, insurance, taxes and other significant business expenses?
In pro bono cases (where we work for free or at sharply reduced fees), we add a line in our client agreements that if the client gets paid for media interviews our law firm gets one-third. This seems fair to us and our clients. We also say in the agreement itself that it’s extremely unlikely. So it’s in our standard contracts, but rarely invoked.
Most people do not get paid for interviews. But some shows will offer a few thousand dollars to license photos, or for an appearance fee. When my client is a single mother, unemployed, in dire need of therapy, on the verge of bankruptcy or all of the above, she may choose to do an interview with the outlet that will compensate her. A few thousand dollars hardly levels the playing field against a billionaire like Donald Trump, but it helps a little, and I leave that decision to my client, after she’s been fully vetted for veracity.
Due to an unexpected turn of events, donors also reached out to help some of my clients last year.
Just before the election, on November 3, 2016, one of my four Trump accusers, Jane Doe, agreed to speak at a press conference at my office. During the lead-up to the press conference, she and I received multiple death and rape threats. Moments before the press conference was scheduled to begin, Jane Doe backed out. She was afraid. My heart went out to her and I think many understood her fear and pain. Of course, I respected her decision and helped her remove herself from the narrative and dismiss a case she’d filed, as she instructed.
The cancelled press conference was widely reported. Multiple donors then contacted me out of the blue with offers to ensure the safety of women who might still come forward. 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. And I offered what people come to me for – my opinion and advice. My clients wanted to tell their stories, and now here was a safer way to do it.
I spend a great deal of time talking scared, stressed women through the pros and cons of speaking out against high profile men. For those who reached out to me with credible, corroborated allegations against Trump, I was not neutral. I encouraged them to overcome their fear, experience empowerment, and potentially spare the country the election of an indecent and destructive man, who based on his lifetime history of misogyny alone should have been disqualified. All the better if their safety could be ensured. I believed they ultimately would be glad they did, as my clients almost always are after they speak out.
For example, I’ve spent much of this week in Washington, DC with my brave pro bono client Marion Brown, who I represented against Democratic Congressman John Conyers. While Marion was fearful at first, ultimately she chose to speak out, and this week we were received with great respect in our meetings with Congress members and staffers. She says she has found her purpose and is positively radiant as we press for sexual harassment reforms. (You go, Marion.) Silence breaking is healthy. Many of my clients experience this empowerment and helping them achieve it is the best part of what I do.
Back to my Trump accusers. It now appears that one of them, who at the end asked for large sums of money that the donors were not willing to pay, became frustrated and ultimately did not speak out, has since connected with Trump attorneys and this pro-Trump reporter to create a smear story about me. That’s disappointing, but also a byproduct of this line of work in our culture of anger and hate. Sadly, hurt people get used and manipulated by powerful forces. Despite all that, I still believe her corroborated allegations against Trump, which she repeats in this article, and hope she finds peace. She’s not going to find it by trying to drag down other Trump accusers or their lawyers.
I have spent my career representing women and some men who have been the victims of sexual misconduct. At last, society is finally saying, enough — and people who have not been victims are doing what they can to support those who are. I hope that these changes will stick, so that women and men no longer have to put up with sexual misconduct as the price of a job. And I hope that those who come forward will no longer have to pay the heavy price that victims of the past had to pay, and that many today are still paying. And I sincerely hope that harassers will no longer be afforded the privilege of serving our nation, regardless of political party.
It is my pleasure to give Jill Harth, a cherished client and friend, and the brave, first Trump accuser, the last word:
Having to retell my experiences of Donald Trump’s harassment is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I consider myself lucky to have had Lisa Bloom by my side after my old lawsuit resurfaced. She advised me with great competence and compassion. As we were telling our stories, all of us were hit with frightening threats, hate, and lies dredged up by Trump’s investigators. Another accuser, who I knew and referred to Lisa, asked for monetary assistance so she could relocate. She kept changing her mind about whether she wanted to tell her story and ultimately she didn’t, which I understand. Lisa was patient and kind to her, as Lisa always was with me.
I’m terribly disappointed that anyone would suggest Lisa was trying to pay women to come up with stories. It’s simply not true. Lisa, pro bono, was trying to HELP, against a powerful billionaire who was elected even though 19 of us ultimately came out and accused him of sexual misconduct. These continued attacks on accusers and our lawyers is what makes it so hard for women to speak out, even now.
*John Solomon is known for making “much ado about very little” (Columbia Journalism Review) and for “weaponizing” stories about progressives like me to feed to Fox News. He’s been called “the easiest mark in the business for GOP oppo research hits.” (Washington Monthly).