A woman who accuses Donald Trump of “raping” her at age 13 during a 1994 party — hosted by notorious sex offender Jeffrey Epstein — was supposed to speak publicly at a press conference Wednesday afternoon but pulled out at the last moment.
Lisa Bloom, the accuser’s attorney and daughter of celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred, instead appeared alone, telling gathered media that “I have bad news for you,” and said her client failed to show because of “numerous threats.”
All Wednesday on Twitter, Bloom had been proclaiming that the woman would “break her silence”.
But “she is living in fear,” Bloom now says. “She has decided that she is too afraid to show her face. She’s been here all day ready to do it but unfortunately she’s in terrible fear.”
The conference is supposed to be rescheduled when the woman can muster her courage.
Four months ago, the woman, known as “Jane Doe” and as “Katie Johnson” alternately, filed suit in both New York and California against Trump and Epstein, She claims that Epstein forced her, then only 13 years old, to participate in orgies at his home.
According to her amended complaint, she met Trump at four separate parties. On the fourth occasion, she alleges that Donald Trump sexually assaulted and exposed himself to her, and when she resisted his advances, struck her across the face before forcibly raping her.
She alleges that both Trump and Epstein knew she was underage.
Doe has had difficulty keeping her story consistent, and her lawyers seemed reticent to allow her to speak publicly before now. Additionally, the statute of limitations has long run out on most of her complaints, likely leaving her without legal redress. And while the complaint is heavy on details, it cites only a single eyewitness as evidence.
Trump, for his part, categorically denies the allegations, claiming that while he was friendly with Epstein in the 1990s — attending some parties with Epstein and frequenting the same golf club — that he did not take part (or know about) Epstein’s sexual exploits. Epstein is also accused of palling around with Bill Clinton, who, reports say, regularly joined Epstein for flights to Epstein’s private island.
The complaint asks for at least $75,000 in damages from both Trump and Epstein, and a hearing is scheduled on her complaint in New York for just after Election Day. The complaint in California was dismissed in May.