Mindy McGillivray gets it: She’s a “normie,’’ a “simple” Palm Springs mother who likes to dine at Howley’s and dote on her teenage daughter. She’s never been in the movies. She’s not a household name like Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Still, McGillivray said, the Harvey Weinstein sex scandal has left her disillusioned about celebrity culture – and how sexual-misconduct accusations voiced by movie stars carry more clout than similar accusations by women the public has never heard of.
Women like McGillivray.
“I don’t feel like there’s any justice in our case. It makes me sick,’’ she said.
In 2003, McGillivray said she was groped by Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago when she was 23, a revelation she first shared with The Palm Beach Post last October only because Trump had bragged in a nationally televised presidential debate that he’d never inappropriately touched a woman.
When McGillivray spoke to The Post last fall, she had no idea that she wasn’t alone. Turns out she was one of the first of more than 10 women to come forward in the 2016 campaign with accusations against the then-Republican candidate of unwanted touching or kissing – claims Trump vehemently denied.
Trump was elected president of the United States on Nov. 8.
Nearly a year later, Jolie, Paltrow and dozens of other Hollywood women started going public with accusations about unwanted sexual advances, including rape, by Weinstein.
That result was swift and sound: Weinstein — the powerful Oscar-winning film producer whose credits include “Pulp Fiction’’ and “Good Will Hunting” — was fired from The Weinstein Company and expelled from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. He also is the subject of criminal investigations.
While many women across the world declared victory, McGillivray and many other Trump accusers couldn’t help but wonder what, if anything, they accomplished by coming forward with their claims.
“It is hard to reconcile that Harvey Weinstein could be brought down with this, and Trump just continues to be the Teflon Don,” Trump accuser Jessica Leeds told The Washington Post last week.
(Hours before McGillivray’s accusations were first published in The Palm Beach Post last year, Leeds came forward to The New York Times with her claims that Trump groped her on a plane 30 years ago.)
While the Weinstein scandal has opened old wounds for Trump’s accusers, McGillivray said she is nonetheless happy that the spotlight is being shined again on the problem of sexual misconduct toward women.
“I’m glad they took a big guy down,’’ she said of Weinstein, whose number of accusers now tops 50, including Ashley Judd, Kate Beckinsale and “Game of Thrones” star Lena Headey.
“Maybe it needed to have a couple of celebrities come out to speak their minds. They’ve got more notoriety and credibility than maybe (accusations by) ‘normies’ like myself, someone who is not famous.’’
Earlier this month, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel argued that Trump’s alleged offenses were “not even comparable” to the accusations against Weinstein.
“I mean, Harvey Weinstein brought women up to his hotel rooms. To even make that comparison is disrespectful to the president,’’ McDaniel said CNN. “I mean, Harvey Weinstein admits that he did that.’’
Regardless of Trump’s denials, McGillivray said she stands by her accusations. “It was not just my voice,” she added. “There were multiple women.”
She also noted that since last fall’s presidential campaign – and before the New York Times and The New Yorker published accusations against Weinstein — sexual allegations have brought down other prominent men, including Fox News co-founder Roger Ailes and Fox anchor Bill O’Reilly.
“Now, sexual allegations are starting to (get) traction and starting to get taken more seriously,’’ she said. “Maybe the public is not going to put up with it anymore. We’ve had one year of Donald Trump but I think his support has fallen away.’’
And she said she has no regrets about coming forward last fall, despite backlash from Trump supporters that she said forced her to leave town for a while.
“A year later, I am glad I did it,’’ said McGillivray, who said she came forward in part to set an example for her daughter. “I cherish my privacy, but it was my patriotic duty. I felt like I was obligated.’’