Report Reveals Trump Surrogate Kimberly Guilfoyle Left Fox after Lurid Sexual Harassment Accusations

Saturday October 3, 2020

Kimberly Guilfoyle
Kimberly Guilfoyle  (Source:Associated Press)

When Kimberly Guilfoyle abruptly left Fox News' "The Five" in 2018, the network offered a terse explanation: "Fox News has parted ways with Kimberly Guilfoyle." Not long after the Huffington Post supplied an explanation, writing that she was "informed her time at Fox News was up following a human resources investigation into allegations of inappropriate behavior including sexual misconduct, and that her lawyers had been involved since the spring."

A report by Jane Mayer in The New Yorker confirms that behavior transpired. In reporting on The New Yorker story, CNN writes: "Fox News paid the former assistant to ex-host Kimberly Guilfoyle upward of $4 million to avoid going to trial after the employee wrote a 2018 draft complaint detailing allegations of sexual harassment against her."

"The New Yorker advanced the HuffPost story," CNN continues, "detailing allegations from Guilfoyle's former assistant. The New Yorker said it was aware of the former assistant's identity, but given that she had not been publicly identified, and out of respect for potential victims of sexual harassment, it declined to name her in its story."

Guilfoyle has risen to an important role in Trump's presidential campaign. "In the 2020 campaign, Trump has spotlighted no woman more brightly than Guilfoyle," writes Mayer in The New Yorker. "She was given an opening-night speaking slot at the Republican National Convention. And this fall Guilfoyle, who is Donald Trump, Jr.,'s girlfriend, has been crisscrossing the country as a Trump surrogate, on what is billed as the 'Four More Tour.' At a recent 'Women for Trump' rally in Pennsylvania, Guilfoyle claimed that the President was creating 'eighteen hundred new female-owned businesses in the United States a day,' and praised Trump for promoting school choice, which, she said, was supported by 'single mothers like myself.'"

Guilfoyle claims that she left Fox News on her own volition, despite having several years left on her contract. But Mayer's report says they came as a result of the inquiries by a legal team hired by Fox News into the assistant's claims that led to Guilfoyle's abrupt departure from the network.

According to a dozen well-informed sources familiar with her complaints, "the assistant alleged that Guilfoyle, her direct supervisor, subjected her frequently to degrading, abusive, and sexually inappropriate behavior; among other things, she said that she was frequently required to work at Guilfoyle's New York apartment while the Fox host displayed herself naked, and was shown photographs of the genitalia of men with whom Guilfoyle had had sexual relations. The draft complaint also alleged that Guilfoyle spoke incessantly and luridly about her sex life, and on one occasion demanded a massage of her bare thighs; other times, she said, Guilfoyle told her to submit to a Fox employee's demands for sexual favors, encouraged her to sleep with wealthy and powerful men, asked her to critique her naked body, demanded that she share a room with her on business trips, required her to sleep over at her apartment, and exposed herself to her, making her feel deeply uncomfortable."

According to Mayer, Guilfoyle became concerned when outside counsels were brought to the network in July 2016 to investigate the toxic work environment that existed under the mentorship of Roger Aisles, who had a long history of flagrant harassment and gender discrimination. At that time Guilfoyle shared the assistant with Fox host Eric Bolling, who was also under scrutiny for sexual harassment, "Guilfoyle and Bolling were close, and it was all but inevitable that if the assistant accused Bolling of sexual harassment—as in fact, she did—Guilfoyle's conduct would come under scrutiny next," writes The New Yorker.

As the investigation of Bolling grew momentum, Guilfoyle told her assistant that she "needed to know what the assistant would say if she were asked about sexual harassment, and warned her that she could cause great damage if she said the wrong thing," writes The New Yorker.

In exchange for what Guilfoyle called "loyalty, she would work out a payment to take care of her—possibly, she said, with funds from Bolling." These included a private plane ride to Rome, a percentage of Guilfoyle's future speaking fees, an on-air reporting opportunity. "People close to Guilfoyle called the assistant's allegation untrue, and said they were shocked that she would fabricate such a false claim. But a well-informed source independently confirmed to me that Guilfoyle had discussed the topic of raising hush money," writes The New Yorker.

When the assistant declined her offer, Guilfoyle applied pressure, threatening to reveal "some aspects of the assistant's private life that Guilfoyle knew about." In her New Yorker story, Mayer says that associates of Guilfoyle's contacted her with personal details about the assistant, "evidently in hopes of damaging her credibility and leading me not to publish this report."

Guilfoyle declined to be interviewed for The New Yorker story but issued a statement: "In my 30-year career working for the SF District Attorney's Office, the LA District Attorney's Office, in media and in politics, I have never engaged in any workplace misconduct of any kind. During my career, I have served as a mentor to countless women, with many of whom I remain exceptionally close to this day."

As for her role in the Trump campaign, spokesman Tim Murtaugh "declined to comment on the appropriateness of Guilfoyle overseeing the Trump campaign's finances, given the allegations about hush money and harassment levied against her by her former assistant. Murtaugh referred inquiries to Guilfoyle's lawyer."

Comments on Facebook