A former Fox News anchor named Julia Huddy said on Friday that just over ten years ago, Donald Trump kissed her on the lips in an elevator after they had a lunch meeting at Trump Tower. Later, he told a group of people that he had tried hitting on her unsuccessfully.
“He went to say goodbye and he, rather than kiss me on the cheek, he leaned in on the lips,” Huddy said in a guest appearance on the New York City radio show “Mornin’ with Bill Schulz” on Friday.
Huddy said at the time she was shocked and surprised Trump “went for the lips” but was not offended by it, and that Trump’s “security guy” was there. After the lunch meeting, he invited Huddy and a friend of hers back up to Trump Tower for a tour of the Apprentice studio.
Huddy was hosting and guest-hosting morning shows like Fox & Friends at the time, and she said the meeting was in part about her doing something with the Apprentice. She did not say if there were any follow-up meetings about a gig on the Apprentice, nor are there any obvious public records of Huddy appearing on the show.
Huddy said on Friday’s radio show that a few years later, Trump appeared on a morning show she had hosted and told audience members that one time “I tried hitting on her but she blew me off.”
The White House denied Huddy’s account, according to the New York Daily News.
Later Friday evening, a Twitter account identifying itself as Huddy (and matching the account listed for Huddy on the radio show clip from the morning) spoke out about the story as written by the New York Post, validating its accuracy but denying that she was threatened or offended at the time.
Re: @PageSix story: Yes, it's true. And though I'm offended by his comments on 'other matters' – as I said on @77WABCradio & @BillSchulz's show yesterday – I was neither threatened nor offended in elevator. End of story. Now, plz let me get back to @TheCrownNetflix.
— Juliet Huddy (@JulietHuddyTV) December 9, 2017
The account also called on media “covering someone else’s scoop” to “[get] the facts right.”
She never explicitly stated the date of the incident but given the timelines of when Trump began hosting the Apprentice and when Huddy was hosting at Fox News, it would have been between 2004 and 2006. Trump married Melania Knauss in January 2005.
Here are four important things to know about this new account.
It fits the pattern of other accusations
The account detailed by Huddy matches fairly closely to the pattern of behavior described by the 14 women who have also accused Trump of sexual assault and harassment. Last month, ThinkProgress listed each woman’s story:
Ninni Laaksonen, former Miss Finland, says “Trump stood right next to me and suddenly he squeezed my butt” in July 2006. Jessica Drake says Trump grabbed and kissed her without consent, then offered her $10,000 for sex in 2006. Karena Virginia says she was groped by Trump at the U.S. Open in 1998. Cathy Heller says Trump grabbed her and attempted to kiss her at Mar-a-Lago in 1997. Summer Zervos, an Apprentice contestant, says Trump kissed her, grabbed her breasts and began “thrusting his genitals” in 2007. Kristin Anderson says Trump reached under her skirt and grabbed her vagina through her underwear in the early 1990s. Jessica Leeds says Trump lifted up the armrest, grabbed her breasts and reached his hand up her skirt in the early 1980s. Rachel Crooks says she was sexually assaulted by Trump in an elevator in Trump Tower in 2005. Mindy McGillivray says Trump groped her while she was attending a concert at Mar-a-lago in 2003. Natasha Stoynoff says Trump pushed her against a wall and jammed his tongue down her throat at Mar-a-lago in 2005. Jennifer Murphy, another Apprentice contestant, says Trump kissed her on the lips after a job interview in 2005. Cassandra Searles says Trump grabbed her ass and invited her to his hotel room in 2013. Temple Taggart McDowell, Former Miss Utah, says Trump kissed her directly on the lips the first time she met him in 1997. Jill Harth says Trump repeatedly sexually harassed her and groped her underneath a table in 1993.
Trump called the women liars and said he would sue them after the 2016 election, but has yet to do so.
At least seven of the 14 accounts involve Trump abruptly or repeatedly kissing women on the lips without their consent or invitation. One of the accounts, from Rachel Crooks, happened on an elevator in Trump Tower, according to the New York Times. Crooks introduced herself to him, they shook hands, and Trump allegedly began kissing her cheeks and finally her mouth.
“It was so inappropriate,” Crooks told the Times. “I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that.”
Trump has bragged about kissing women without consent
Trump’s most famous comment from the September 2005 Access Hollywood tape was immediately preceded by what sounds like a description of what happened to Huddy in the elevator. Trump told Billy Bush on the tape, referring to an approaching actress named Arianna Zucker:
TRUMP: I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.
BUSH: Whatever you want.
TRUMP: Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.
Soon after the tape was released, Trump admitted it was him talking, apologized, and also dismissed the comments as “locker room banter.” In the following year, Trump repeatedly began to cast doubt as to whether the voice on the tape was really his.
Trump defends Republicans and attacks Democrats accused of sexual misconduct
Last month, after the first accusations of sexual harassment and misconduct against Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) became public, Trump took to Twitter to attack him.
The Al Frankenstien picture is really bad, speaks a thousand words. Where do his hands go in pictures 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 while she sleeps? …..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 17, 2017
.And to think that just last week he was lecturing anyone who would listen about sexual harassment and respect for women. Lesley Stahl tape?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 17, 2017
And of course Trump has famously defended the Republican U.S. nominee in Alabama, alleged child sex abuser Roy Moore, saying that Moore denies the allegations multiple women have made against him.
Bill O’Reilly also allegedly made advances on Huddy
This is unfortunately not the only instance of sexual harassment against Huddy by a powerful public figure. She accused former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly of sexual harassment earlier this year, and settled with Fox with a nondisclosure agreement strong enough to keep details out of the public eye. According to the New York Times, she rebuffed sexual advances from O’Reilly and in response, he tried to derail her career. She appeared on Megyn Kelly’s morning show to talk about the broader problem of sexual harassment at Fox News in October of this year.
Juliet Huddy’s brother, John Huddy, was fired by Fox News the same day she appeared on Kelly’s show to talk about sexual harassment the network. John Huddy said that “it was more than just a coincidence” that his sister spoke out against the network the same day Fox fired him.