Anthony Gilberthorpe: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Donald Trump, Mindy McGillivray, Palm Beach woman, Anthony Gilberthorpe, Jessica Leeds

Donald Trump in Panama City, Florida. (Getty)

The Donald Trump campaign has put forth Anthony Gilberthorpe as a witness to refute the claims made by Jessica Leeds in the New York Times on October 12. Leeds claims that she was sexually assaulted on a flight in the early 1980s by Trump, but Gilberthorpe told the New York Post that Leeds’ version of events never happened.

Here is what we know about Gilberthorpe and his claims. This is a breaking story and will continue to be updated.

1. Gilberthorpe Claims He Was on the Plane With Leeds & Trump & Never Saw Anything Inappropriate

In her New York Times interview, Leeds claimed that she had never met Trump before the flight, which happened in the early 1980s. She was moved up to first class and sat next to Trump. She claims he then pulled up an armrest and they began to chat.

She said that Trump grabbed her breasts and even tried to put his hands up her skirt. “I hesitate to use this expression, but I’m going to, and that is, he was like an octopus. It was like he had six arms,” Leeds claimed.

Gilberthorpe claims he was on the plane with Leeds and Trump, but never saw anything inappropriate.

“I have only met this accuser once and frankly cannot imagine why she is seeking to make out that Trump made sexual advances on her. Not only did he not do so (and I was present at all times) but it was she that was the one being flirtatious,” he told the Post.

The 54-year-old Gilberthorpe, a British man, would have been at least 18 at the time of the flight.

Gilberthorpe told the Post that he would be open to a face-to-face meeting with Leeds. “And I’ll tell you what, I would do this whether it was for Trump, for Clinton, for Obama, or for any man who’s been accused of sexually molesting someone when I know he did not,” he said.

Leeds has not commented on Gilberthorpe’s claims yet.

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2. Gilberthorpe Claims Leeds ‘Wanted to Marry’ Trump

Gilberthorpe told the Post that Leeds was the one “trying too hard” to win Trump’s affections. “She wanted to marry him,” Gilberthorpe claims, adding that Trump even excused himself to use the bathroom during the encounter with Leeds.

He says there was no kissing, but Leeds was “very much in your face” towards Trump.

“What she said about Trump is wrong,” Gilberthorpe said. “I mean, no decent human being could sit by and have a woman go on television and tell the United States of America — accuse an individual of sexually molesting. It’s wrong for Trump, it’s wrong for me. But you know something else? It’s wrong for the American people.”

Gilberthorpe has no documents to prove that he was on the flight. However, he insists that he has “a good photographic memory” and “recognized her.”

Gilberthorpe also sat down with Breitbart for an interview, in which he called Leeds’ allegations “wild.” He added:

Now, Trump is old enough, bold enough to look after himself. But you know, sometimes you’ve got to step up to the plate. In fact, always, you have. I really want to stress to you tonight, and to everyone listening, that whether it was Clinton, whether it was Obama, whether it was Donald Trump – if I knew that what was being said about any one of them was a lie, then I would step up to the plate.

Gilberthorpe said that the one part of Leeds’ story that has bugged him is the idea that she would sit next to Trump for 15 minutes and would only leave Trump when he decided “to go lower.”

t was only when he attempted to do more with respect – I’m sorry to say, these are graphic – to go lower, did she actually think, ‘Oh, I’m going.’ Now again, how could anyone sit there for 15 minutes with a man next to her, being watched by the man on the other side of her, and simply say it’s okay for him to do what he’s been doing for 15 minutes, until he went lower, and then she left her seat?

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3. Gilberthorpe Is an Activist Who Claimed British Politicians Had Sex With Underage Boys in the 1980s

Anthony Gilberthorpe, Donald Trump claims, Jessica Leeds


In 2014, Gilberthorpe made headliens in the U.K. He claimed to the Mirror that he saw senior Tory politicians having sex with underage boys. He claimed that they brought underage boys to “sex parties.”

“I am prepared to speak to the inquiry. I believe I am a key witness,” Gilberthorpe told the Mirror.

He also told the Mirror that he personally sent a letter to Magaret Thatcher, naming names. “I outlined exactly what I had witnessed and informed her I intended to expose it,” he said. He also provided pictures of himself with Thatcher to confirm that he knew her.

Gilberthorpe claimed that he was “manipulated” by senior politicians to find boys as young as 15 to to attend these parties.

“I was just 17 when I first went to a conference in Brighton in 1978,” he told the Mirror in 2014. “I couldn’t believe I was rubbing ­shoulders with all these important people and I couldn’t believe that they were taking such a keen interest in me. I would have done anything for them because I was so desperate to make it in politics.”

All of the politicians Gilberthorpe named in the Mirror story were dead at the time. David Mellor, who was a Home Office minister in the 1980s, said in 2014 that Gilberthorpe’s allegations were from a “chap who is annoyed that he was not chosen as a Tory candidate.”

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4. Gilberthorpe Also Had a Newspaper Publish a Fake Engagement Notice

Gilberthorpe’s own questionable past goes beyond that one scandal. As Private Eye reported when his claims about the Tory politicians surfaced, he once got the Gloucester Express to report that he was engaged to a California fashion designer in 1987. However, that whole story was fabricated.

A year later, he won £50,000 libel damages from the Gloucester Citizen, Daily Mirror and Sun, which all reported that he resigned from a councilor office “amid allegations that he is a homosexual, has the killer disease Aids and has obtained £250,000 in cash and property from a disabled old-age pensioner.” Private Eye reported that the reporter at the Citizen claimed in the trial that Gilberthorpe was the source of his story.

UPDATE: Gilberthorpe never collected his £50,000 from the newspapers, which appealed the verdict. They found evidence that questioned his version of events and Gilberthorpe kept delaying reaching a settlement. In the end, the newspapers never had to pay him anything.

Gilberthorpe’s name also pops up in connection with the scandal that brought down the late Tory politician Piers Merchant, who died in 2009. In 2003, Merchant wrote a piece for The Guardian, claiming that Gilberthorpe was a “friend and assistant” who set up the “affair” with a 17-year-old named Anna Cox that brought Merchant’s career to an end. Merchant wrote:

The story was splashed across the Sunday Mirror the next day. Anthony Gilberthorpe had set the whole thing up, ensuring that I was up in York in his flat with Anna, that the room was covered in CCTV and wired for sound. I’d known him for years, he’d been a friend of the family, but he was paid about £25,000.

In his interview with Breitbart, Gilberthorpe said he didn’t care about what was being said about him on social media.

So assured as I am of the evidence that I have is that I have stepped up to the plate. I know what is being said about me on Twitter and various, and frankly, it’s a side issue to me. I’m here, I’ve now come to New York, and I’m prepared to stand up and say – because I’d say it for anyone: ‘Enough’s enough.’ I mean, no guy should go through what this Trump’s going through.

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5. Gilberthorpe’s Story is the Evidence Mike Pence Referred to on the ‘Today Show’

The Trump campaign directed the Post to Gilberthorpe, providing the paper with a note from him. It turns out that the interview with Gilberthorpe is the evidence Mike Pence was referring to on The Today Show.

“Stay tuned, there’s more information coming forward,” Pence said, adding that the campaign was just “hours” away from releasing the evidence.

Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jessica Leeds, Anthony Gilberthorpe


Trump’s attorneys quickly sent a letter to the New York Times, requesting that the paper pull Leeds’ claims. The story also included comments from Rachel Crooks, who claims she was assaulted by Trump in 2005. Trump said he will sue the Times and called the claims “100 percent totally and completely fabricated” at a rally in North Carolina.

“When you looked at the horrible woman last night, you said ‘I don’t think so,'” Trump said at the rally, referring to Leeds.

“The phony story in the failing @nytimes is a TOTAL FABRICATION. Written by same people as last discredited story on women. WATCH,” Trump tweeted on October 13.

One theory the Trump campaign had to debunk Leeds’ story was the armrest detail. As Vox notes, Trump campaign spokesmwoman Katrina Pierson claimed on CNN that first class seats on planes during the early 1980s had fixed armrests, which Trump could not have moved to get closer to Leeds.

However, NYCAviation said that the planes Pierson was referring to all made flights into and out of New York at the time.

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    • The article is incorrect on the Libel case. He was awarded damages but the newspapers appealed and produced evidence that “Gilby” had fabricated the story himself. He got nothing and was lucky they did not press perjury charges, the way national papers would have done.

  1. Can this “witness” prove he was aboard the airplane in first class? I am a republican woman voting for anyone BUT Trump. Most of us have someone in our lives “that matter”…who have been subject to sexual harassment and most have said nothing because it jeopardized their careers. GSK (big pharma) fired a slate of senior management for sexual harassment in the late ’80’s and 90’s. We watched from 2nd story at GSK (Glaxo Inc at the tiime); jaguars towed from headquarters. That was a good sign that Glaxo was no longer putting up with such abuse of women. Trump should have been fired but he was the CEO; he couldn’t fire himself. Now, we must vote our conscience…Republicans for HILLARY!

    • Then you are against the Constitution of the United States. Clinton states she will appoint activists judges who will not follow Constitution. I love my country and children and want the same for them as I have had, the greatest country in the world. I will pray for you.

      • Good question! And why didn’t Leeds describe the guy across the aisle as “young man who looks really out of place here”?

      • My daughter at 19 was flying back from Rome to France then onto Canada and they overbooked seats in France so they put her in First Class she was ecstatic!! So it does happen lovelydestruction!!

    • Mandy Elle—–We all have someone in our lives who matter, my grandkids matter a lot to me. I can’t stand to think of what this United States will be under the leadership of Hillary Clinton. If she get to appoint the next Supreme Court judges, this country is lost for years. We all KNOW the things Hillary and Bill have both done, we only know what Trump is accused of, not proven. It matters more to me the things Hillary has DONE, than the things Trump says or is accused of. Hillary let our men die in Benghazi and lied about that even. She is corrupt through and through. I will be voting for Trump, it is the only choice we have if there is any chance of saving America.

    • And some of us have had a vindictive woman make personal charges for her own gain THAT WERE COMPLETELY BASELESS.
      But we have to defend ourselves anyway.
      So keep your pious attitude to yourself.
      Glad you are proud of voting for a traitor.

  2. I don’t believe one word of this woman’s story. I believe she is a liar and probably works for Killary. Nothing Trump has done can come even close to as bad as the things Killary has done. TRUMP/PENCE 2016

  3. This guy has such a shady past that his credibility is zero. His past daliances with the press suggest he is a serial fantasist who thinks nothing of smearing people or selling out his own friends for cash.

    Perhaps Gilberthorpe presented himself to Trump knowing he’d get some press coverage (and appearance fees) for his effort. Perhaps Trump’s team coached him and compensated him for his time and lack of scruples. Either way, this refutation is pathetically weak and not credible. If they want to add credibility they should explain why a barely 18-year old British kid was flying first class in America in the first place.

  4. hours of news coverage on Trump accusations. seconds of coverage on Hitlery emails.
    most of the news organizations are anything but UNBIASED.

  5. He has a photographic memory??? Leeds looks like someone’s grandmother now compared to what she looked like back then. If nothing happened why would it even grab his attention? This guy is an psycho attention whore.

  6. To reach even the threshold of credibility this guy would need to show his expired passport documenting an 80/81 NYC visit.

    BZ to reporter Levine for concise summary of what’s known.

  7. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that she is lying! She keeps looking away, she studders, she’s hesitant, can’t remember the date, can’t remember where she was flying from, she says it didn’t last long, then she says it lasted about 15 minutes, then she says it seemed like it lasted forever…She’s having a very hard time trying to keep her story straight! Hillary didn’t coach her very well. Mrs. Leeds, how much is Hillary paying you?? You need to quit lying!!!

  8. Confirming details are always important, inconsistencies that are stressed by the accuser more so. She could not come up with a date, airline, I can think of a number of ways she should have been able to even after 35 years, this was international business travel to a trade conference (the business might have records, co-workers might recall, trade group should have record of conference date). Regarding her statement, she said around 35 years ago which puts it around 1981 but she says she did not say anything about it during the late 60s, 70s or 80s because of the business culture of the time, but why would she talk about something in the late 60s that had not happened until 1981. Why did she not press the call button if she wanted help? She indicated that she did not think she would have had a problem with the groping if Trump had stayed above the waist, but was unconformable when he touched her leg. I cases as serious as this, where we are being asked to destroy the accused reputation, and candidacy (thousands of people have donated to Trump’s campaign), there has to be at least some degree of proof or collaboration. The article impugns Trump’s character as support of Leeds story, this is called circular reasoning. Most of the rest of the charges being brought are for kissing, which the women have decided were unwanted only long after the fact. Where is the personal responsibility if you didn’t want to be kissed on the lips, turn away or put up a hand. Don’t decide because you dislike the candidate (I think all of the accusers have indicated support for Hillary) that 10 years later the contact was unwanted. At least judge all the candidates by the same standard, do a Google search of Hillary Clinton kissing to see what I mean, further note in Muslim culture men and women can not be seen touching in public (Hillary with her Middle Eastern experience should know better).

    • I resisted believing that Bill Cosby could have ever drugged and then raped any woman. I used a lot of the arguments you use to doubt his accusers’ credibility and question their motives. Reluctantly, I eventually had to accept the truth about Cosby. I’m not sure if you will ever be able to change your mind; in the mean time Trump will get your vote. A man by his own admission has violated women and in truth hates women.

  9. Trump’s got a lying british pedophilic pimp coming to his rescue; oh, this is inspiring, I think I’m beginning to tear up.

  10. Has anyone asked why was this “eyewitness” looking at Donald Trump’s hands for an entire flight? That’s the only way18 year-old Anthony Gilberthorpe would know that Donald Trump definitely did not grope the female passenger sitting next to him. Who does that anyway? Who goes on a flight, sits in first class and stares at a stranger’s hands for the entire flight?

  11. I have spoken to detectives-having done a lot of true crime research- in the past about ‘witnesses.’They told me if their witnesses were all ‘suit and tie’ squeaky clean with no bads in thier past they would have lost a lot of cases.Many of them proved to be legitmate witnesses confirmed by the perp/s and/or forensics or they were wearing a wire while speakig to the perp/s/ Some were drug addicted prostitutes! You know what you know.
    As far as receiving ‘remuneration’ it came in the form of reduced sentences or cash payments or some ‘deal’ they wanted if said info proved to be true,etc. Many had sordid pasts some were crime case groupies,but in a particular case their information proved valuable.What I am saying is that in spite of someones present OR past it does NOT disqualify them from being a witness!
    Of course, enemies of a certain person/s will try to disqualify them based on their past or present. I say prove it. Not by sniping, but show us actual literal proof. Leeds can’t only her word.One refutation of sorts -a weak one put forth as an aside was ‘why did Tony Gilberthrope recall Trump had on “cuff links”This writer thought it strange.Having a retentive meory my self i understand.He said if you read his partial statement (-all of the research on him is not done as to why he was on the flight who he knew in the US,etc.; so a lot of details lett out and all are pile driving him. His full account isnt yet available.Not very fair or liberal!!) towards the end Trump ‘gave his cufflinks to someone’ on the flight. He has not given -or thats in print -who whether a flight attendent,etc.He does things like that.This little detail -and I have studied witness ‘detail’ accounts and what they can mean as to the correctness of their testimony,etc.;could give some credibility to Tony’s account.