Presidential candidate and fire ant infestation with too many resources Donald Trump has made a name for himself via his misogyny, which he’s repeatedly defended by saying that since he’s hired women to work for him, he’s looking out for their interests.
Still, just last week, Trump said if his daughter Ivanka had been sexually harassed in the workplace, “I would like to think she would find another career or find another company.” His son Eric Trump echoed his father’s statements, saying on CBS This Morning that “Ivanka is a strong, powerful woman. She wouldn’t allow herself to be objected [sic] to it.”
The creepiness of this conjecture being directed solely towards Ivanka aside, it seems that throughout his career, Trump the patriarch may have been doing some of the most flagrant harassing himself.
In his 1991 book, Trump, The Greatest Show on Earth: The Deals, The Downfall, The Reinvention, reporter Wayne Barrett included two short paragraphs on Trump’s “sexual fantasy life,” which apparently included him pitching a spread of his employees to Playboy (although it’s unclear exactly when he may have done this):
He even tried to get Playboy to do a spread called “The Girls of Trump,” wooing his most shapely staffers, including a former beauty queen secretary, into posing for the magazine with a sliding scale of offers on everything from full nude to breast to “wet-lip” shots. It was all part of the rakish ethos of phony glamour that he consciously fostered, even to the extent of concealing from public view a very efficient secretary with a pimplish facial condition. This unappeasable appetite led him, as his own notoriety soared, into celebrity worship, and he became a starstruck groupie, attaching himself to Don Johnson, Michael Jackson, and just about anyone else who would allow him to climb into photographs with them. He was both projecting a larger-than-life image and reveling in it, a dangerous psychic combination.
The magazine has run similar features with other companies and organizations, including “Women of Enron,” “Women of Starbucks,” and “The Girls of the Big 10,” though these weren’t pitched or condoned by the companies mentioned.
Bruce Kluger, a former Playboy editor who oversaw the majority of these spreads during his time at the magazine (from October 1985 to February 1999, according to Kluger), said in an email to Jezebel that he didn’t have a recollection of such a feature being pitched.
“If it happened at all, it was presumably pitched (and presumably rejected) by the powers-that-be before it reached my desk,” he wrote.
“There was, indeed, a sliding pay scale for models who appeared in Playboy’s ‘Women of...’ pictorials, but the ‘wet-lip shots’ detail you mention is total fiction,” he added. “If that categorization was actually on the table, it undoubtedly had to come from the Trump camp, not the magazine.”
In an email to Jezebel, Trump campaign spokesperson Jason Miller denied the allegations, calling them “completely false.”