Filmmaker, Defying Threats, to Air Documentary Alleging Donald Trump Made Life in Scottish Town 'Hell Over The Years'
With just a week before the election, British documentary filmmaker Anthony Baxter thinks it is important for Americans to see the Donald Trump he has come to know in Scotland.
In his new film You’ve Been Trumped Too, Baxter says he reveals Trump’s multi-year “bullying and harassment” endured by Scots who live near the controversial luxury golf course in Balmedie, on the Scottish coast. The doc shows how Trump has tried to wrench local residents’ land from them via eminent domain to expand his golf course, and the saga of a family whose water supply was cut off during construction of the course.
Trump International threatened on Oct. 27 to “pursue legal action against those who have propagated these highly defamatory claims” in Baxter’s film, according to a statement obtained by PEOPLE.
So Baxter decided to livestream the doc for free Thursday at 8 p.m. EST on Facebook Live, “to get the film out to as many people as possible,” he says. It also opened in New York City theaters last Friday.
“I think it’s a very important story,” Baxter says. “Donald Trump’s reaction, of course, is to take some time off from campaigning to issue a legal threat and we’re all used to that kind of behavior from him. He has access to lawyers and he uses that card time and time again to try and silence people.”
Baxter focuses the film on 92-year-old Molly Forbes and her farmer son, Michael. Trump’s workers allegedly cut off their water supply in 2010 while building the golf course.
Trump never fixed it, according to Baxter, forcing Molly to take a wheelbarrow to a local stream to fetch fetid drinking and bathing water for half a decade.
“He made their lives hell over the years,” Baxter tells PEOPLE. And not just the lives of the Forbes family but those of other villagers near the golf course. This includes Trump’s constructing “Mexican-style border walls” around homes, in addition to the threats to take over properties via eminent domain to expand the course.
The film is a sequel to Baxter’s You’ve Been Trumped, which aired on the BBC in 2012 and first introduced viewers to Molly and Michael, who works on a small farm adjacent to the Trump golf course. Trump threatened legal action against the BBC back then, but nothing came of it, Baxter says.
“It’s very important not to be cowed by Trump’s bullying behavior,” Baxter says. “Some media organizations are. They do kind of quake when these kinds of letters arrive. I feel it is important to stand firm and tell the truth.”
This truth, says Baxter, is that the Forbes family refused to sell their property to Trump, and when their water supply was not properly fixed, “Donald Trump’s response to Michael was to go on national television and brand him a pig and his farm a slum.”
The Forbes family was without working water for five years after the Trump contractor broke the pipe, Baxter says. “I was so shocked to discover that Molly was still without a proper working water supply after Donald Trump announced he was running as a presidential candidate,” Baxter says.
Trump International denies these claims, and said in a statement to PEOPLE that the company “has never, and would never, conduct the type of activity claimed by Molly Forbes. These allegations are highly offensive, defamatory and categorically untrue.”
Trump International also states that when a “clay pipe was unintentionally disrupted by our lead contractor” it was repaired immediately. The company also claims that Michael Forbes, “is the joint owner of an antiquated, make-shift ‘well’ located on Trump land, the maintenance and operation of which is not the responsibility of the company.”
Baxter says the claim that the water supply was “fixed in a very short space of time is not true at all” and that in Scotland, a landowner has the responsibility for a private water supply.
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The filmmakers created a Kickstarter campaign that has raised over $75,000 to help with the film’s release on Facebook and in theaters.
Baxter hopes the film will be a lesson in the reality of how Trump operates. “I was here in New York when Trump announced he was running, that he would be the greatest jobs president that God ever created,” says Baxter.
“Well, in Scotland he promised he would deliver 6,000 jobs and he’s delivered 95, most of them low-paid, part-time jobs. The reality of the situation is, he promises the earth and delivers nothing.
“In Scotland we’ve seen he’s bullied and harassed the ordinary people, the people he says he’s going to stand up for as president here in America,” Baxter says.
“At the same time he’s destroyed a stretch of coastline in Scotland to build a golf course for the super rich,” he continues. “The numbers are very very small, he’s losing millions of pounds every year and for what?
And that drinking water problem for the Forbes family?
The film shows Michael Forbes in November of 2015 “risking arrest by going onto Trump’s land to dig up the road built over his pipe and he fixes the pipe himself and now they have fresh water again after five years,” Baxter says. “They now have water but no thanks to Trump, it all came down to them fixing it themselves.”