Doctors want galas moved from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago

Doctors are calling for their charitable galas in Palm Beach to be moved from President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate — which is also serving as the winter White House presently.

The news comes on a planned protest at Mar-a-Lago on Saturday when Trump attends the International Red Cross 2017 ball.

It is the height of the ball season on the tony island where the rich and philanthropic don their finery and attend charitable events. And since location is everything, these galas are often either held at Mar-a-Lago or The Breakers resort.

Mar-a-Lago will become the "winter White House" when President Donald Trump returns to Palm Beach as the 45th President of the United States. The front of Mar-a-Lago, January, 31, 2017 in Palm Beach. (Greg Lovett / The Palm Beach Post)
Mar-a-Lago will become the “winter White House” when President Donald Trump returns to Palm Beach as the 45th President of the United States.

The historic Mar-a-Lago Club boasts an 800-seat ballroom and ocean views.

But now throngs of medical professionals are calling on Cleveland Clinic hospitals to cut their ties to Trump in light of the president’s executive order temporarily banning people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.

In a story in The Washington Post today, doctors, nurses and students have signed an open letter pleading with the clinic to condemn the Trump policy and to cancel a fundraiser set for this month at the resort.

More than 1,000 people have also signed a petition demanding a change of venue for the Massachusetts-based Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to cancel or relocate another lavish fundraiser planned for later this month.

It is reported the donors are paying between $1,250 and $100,00o to attend the Dana-Farber event scheduled for Feb. 18.

Dana-Farberr president Laurie H. Glimcher has refused to cancel the fundraiser, saying it was too late to call off the event, according to the Boston Globe.

123116 PBDN Meghan McCarthy Guests dance during the New Year's Eve Celebration at Mar-a-Lago Club.
uests dance during the New Year’s Eve Celebration at Mar-a-Lago Club.

Doctors were lobbying the Cleveland Clinic to cut ties with Trump after a resident at the clinic was denied entry to the U.S. under the president’s executive order. The hospital is trying to get the safe return of the employee.

The Cleveland Clinic says, as well, that it is too late to cancel its ball, but the Ohio-based academic hospital said it would not commit to using the same location for next year’s event.”

The Red Cross ball is the hallmark of the Palm Beach social season and is almost always at Mar-a-Lago.

The Red Cross has not yet signed a contract with a venue for next year’s event, according to a story in Business Insider.

A permit for the Red Cross’s 2016 gala, obtained by The Associated Press, says 500 people were expected to attend. Red Cross estimated the event would raise $925,000 and cost about $400,000 to put on.

The permit also noted a $20,000 in-kind donation — meaning that is what Mar-a-Lago would have charged the Red Cross.

In 2015, according to the same permit, the gala and another Palm Beach event together raised $1.75 million and cost $800,000.

If events are canceled at Mar-a-Lago that would impact Trump’s pocketbook.

This week the department chain Nordstrom announced it no longer working with Ivanka Trump for the fall season and is reducing the amount of Trump merchandise stocked.

Attorney: Accusers silence finally broken by Trump’s denial of sexual assault

Fort Lauderdale Attorney Adam Horowitz knows how hard it is for victims of sexual assault – be it rape or unwanted kissing and groping – to come forward.

So the lawyer who has represented other alleged victims in civil actions in Florida says he is not surprised that women claiming they were sexually assaulted by Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump kept their stories to a close circle of friends for years, even decades.

He does not represent as of yet any of the woman who has accused Trump of groping or other sexual misconduct.

Attorney Adam Horowitz represents 20 women accusing doctors of sexual misconduct. ‘Patients have a right to know what their doctors are accused of,’ he says. (Thomas Cordy / The Palm Beach Post)
Attorney Adam Horowitz has represented victims of sexual assault. He says that Trump’s denial of abuse was the final straw for women to come forward with their allegations against him. (Photo: Palm Beach Post)

Trump’s accusers said it was the last straw when they saw him during Sunday’s debate deny he ever forced himself on any women despite audio tape of him bragging about it. Trump was forced to answer the question by the moderator, CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

“Nothing gets a victim more irate as the perpetrator denying it and making excuses for his behavior,” said Horowitz, who has no connection with the Trump accusers. “He was not taking ownership of his action and they also knew they weren’t alone.”

mindy-maralago-575
Mindy McGillivray of Palm Springs, Fla., says she was helping a photographer at a concert at Mar-a-Lago when Trump touched her. (Photo courtesy of Davidoff Studios)

The Palm Beach Post in an exclusive reported that Mindy McGillivray said Trump groped her 13 years ago while she was at his Palm Beach club Mar-a-Lago.

People magazine writer Natasha Stoynoff also came forward to say she was attacked by Trump at Mar-a-Lago during an interview.

The New York Times has a separate story about of two other women who say Trump made unwanted sexual advances to them in the early 2000s.

Trump’s campaign has said the women are lying and are part of coordinated effort on the media’s part to smear the candidate and tilt the election in the favor of Democrat Hillary Clinton. He has dismissed what was caught on audio tape as “locker room talk.”

“It may be an October surprise to Donald Trump, but these women have told other people before,” Horowitz said.

Trump’s campaign rounded up women who have made accusations against Clinton’s husband – former President Bill Clinton – of sexual assault, saying their voices should be heard. They say Hillary Clinton worked to discredit their stories.

Horowitz represents 20 women accusing doctors of sexual misconduct. The Palm Beach Post in July investigated doctors accused of sexually abusing their patients and how they were allowed by the state to keep practicing for years.

The lawyer said that many women have been victims of this kind of unwanted advance and that this election has laid bare this an ugly culture.

“Just this week on Twitter thousands of women are reporting their first instance of sexual assault. It is empowering to them to tell their stories,” Horowitz said. “There is strength in numbers.”

Yet, when the assault actually happens, the victim feels completely isolated and powerless.

“Sexual abuse is still a stigma and nobody wants that label attached to them,” Horowitz said. “At the same time, most of these women don’t think they will be believed.”

Context is also important because the person doing the groping is a person of power – an employer, a doctor, a person of standing in the community – then women must consider if coming forward will “interfere with their professional development or advancement in the workplace,” he said.

“You kind of just want to leave it alone – that is how some women feel,” Horowitz said.

He said the Trump accusers have little to gain by coming forward.

It is too late to press criminal charges against Trump and any civil monetary redress would be difficult because these incidences happened so long ago.

“They certainly are not in it for the money,” he said. “It is not a surprise that the women who have come forward are being attacked and being challenged.

“It is amazing that this is what our election is coming down to,” Horowitz said. “At the same time if it empowers women to tell their stories and if this exposes this culture than it is a positive thing.”

With thousands in attendance, Donald Trump holds a rally in Boca Raton on the eve of Florida's primary election at the Sunset Cove Amphitheater in Boca Raton, March 13, 2016. (Daniel Owen / The Palm Beach Post)
Donald Trump at a rally earlier this year in Boca Raton, March 13, 2016. (Photo: The Palm Beach Post)