A  longtime friend and financial supporter of Hillary Clinton is reported to have funded $500,000 in an effort to assist the women who were ready to come forward with their allegations of sexual misconduct against President Donald Trump before the 2016 presidential election.

According to a report by the New York Times, Susie Tompkins Buell, founder of the clothing brand Esprit, handed over the money to celebrity lawyer Lisa Bloom, who was handling the cases of women accusing Trump of sexual harassment.

So who exactly is Buell?

Buell is the founder of the American clothing line, Esprit and is also the pioneer of San Francisco-based Susie Tompkins Buell Foundation, a body that lends support to women who want to work in public service, especially in politics. 

Born as Susan Russell in 1943, Buell grew up in the affluent neighborhood of Russian Hill in San Francisco. She lost her father when she was just 15 years old.

Due to her rebellious nature, Buell did not finish high school and neither went to college.

In 1963, she met Doug Tompkins while he was hitchhiking and the pair married the same year. They were married for 25 years and had two daughters. After remarrying in 1996, Buell changed her birth name to the one she uses presently.

According to an article published in June 2016 by Los Angeles Times, Buell was described as Clinton’s “soul mate.”

The report stated that despite the fact that Buell wasn’t into politics, she became one of the closest allies to the Clintons and who helped the Democrat leader further her political ambitions. Buell’s connection with the Clintons is not confined to just Hillary. 

Buell also reportedly donated $100,000 in a bid to help former President Bill Clinton win his first presidential election. She reportedly recalled a conversation she had with Bill regarding poverty and said, “I really wanted a president who would look out for them [people in poverty].”

Buell added, “They asked me what I wanted.”

“I remember saying, ‘I want him [Bill Clinton] to be president.’ I had no idea about how the money part of this worked.” 

The report further stated that Buell’s friendship with Clinton consolidated when she came visiting c to thank her for the donation.

She reportedly said with regards to Clinton, “I was attracted to Bill Clinton, but as soon as I met Hillary, it was much deeper for me.”

The New York Times report stated that Buell did not comment on the issue of her giving money for the sexual harassment cases. However, she did express her frustration over the fact that Trump was not held accountable for his actions unlike other powerful men who faced consequences last year for the similar reasons.

The report said that Bloom solicited financial donors by stating that she was working with the women who might “find the courage to speak out” against Trump. If the donors provided financial assistance, then these funds could be used to give these women security, relocation facilities and a possible “safe house.”

However, Bloom stated that the funding did not bring the desired results. One of the accusers requested $2 million after which she decided not to speak, stated the report.

The report further stated that Bloom did not mention the names of the donors who gave financial help. Two Democrats who knew about these financial arrangements said that Buell gave $500,000 to Bloom’s firm in a final attempt to assist the women accusing Trump. These two sources also stated that non-profit group American Bridge 21st Century Foundation — founded by Democratic activist David Brock — also donated $200,000 to the same cause.

However, the bid was not productive, and Bloom said she refunded most of the cash "keeping only “some funds to pay for our out-of-pocket expenses accrued while working to vet and prepare cases."

“It doesn’t cost anything to publicly air allegations,” said Bloom.

“Security and relocation are expensive and were sorely needed in a case of this magnitude, in a country filled with so much anger, hate and violence,” she added.