Trump golf club employee sues over sexual harassment

Trump golf club employee sues over sexual harassment

A young woman who worked at Donald Trump’s golf club in New Jersey was sexually harassed and tricked into signing an NDA by one of the former president’s top lawyers, according to a lawsuit she filed Wednesday.

Alice Bianco worked as a server at Trump National in Bedminster for a few months in 2021. Shortly after Bianco was hired in May of that year, her boss Pavel Melichar began making sexual advances toward her, according to the lawsuit.

Trump and Melichar are not defendants in the suit, which names only Trump National.

Bianco, who was 21 when she was hired, attempted to fend off Melichar’s advances. However, he “required [Bianco] to engage in sex as a quid pro quo for continued employment” at the club, the lawsuit said.

The disturbing behavior continued into July 2021, when Bianco returned from a personal trip and snapped on Melichar, telling him: “I don’t want you! I never wanted you! Get away from me!” according to the suit.

Melichar responded by retaliating against Bianco at work, the lawsuit said. When another employee told Bianco they were writing to human resources about Melichar, she added her story to the message.

After HR received the letter, Bianco heard from Alina Habba, according to the lawsuit. At the time, Habba was an unknown lawyer with a firm located near the club and enjoyed spending time there.

Habba befriended Bianco and convinced her to sign a non-disclosure agreement, even persuading her to fire a different lawyer she’d been in contact with, according to text messages included in the suit. Habba is not named as a defendant.

Shortly after Bianco signed the NDA in August 2021, Habba emerged seemingly from nowhere to represent Trump in his various civil and criminal cases. She first represented the former president in a September 2021 lawsuit against the New York Times, which was dumped by a judge in May 2023.

“I always conduct myself ethically and acted no differently in this circumstance,” Habba told Politico in response to Bianco’s lawsuit.

In the lawsuit, Bianco is seeking to stop enforcement of the NDA and to refer Habba’s “unethical” actions to the New Jersey Office of Attorney Ethics. She is not after more money, her attorney, Erika Smith, told Politico.

“Alina Habba used the unethical silencing of my client, Ali Bianco, as a way to propel herself into Trump’s inner circle. Her behavior was predatory,” Smith told the outlet. “It’s outrageous to be victimized and then be told you can’t talk about it.”

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