UPDATE 2 — 10/20, 1:39 p.m. EST: Eleven women have now publicly accused Donald Trump of inappropriate sexual advances and/or touching, as Karena Virginia appeared with lawyer and women’s rights advocate Gloria Allred Thursday at a press conference in New York to tell her story.
Virginia said the incident occurred outside the 1998 U.S. Open tennis tournament in Flushing, Queens, while she waited for a car to arrive to pick her up.
“He then walked up to me and reached his right arm and grabbed my right arm,” said Virginia. “Then his hand touched the right inside of my breast. I was in shock. I flinched. ‘Don’t you know who I am. Don’t you know who I am,’ That’s what he said to me.”
Virginia said she was motivated to tell her story after numerous women last week shared similar experiences of being groped by Trump, mostly during the 1990s and early to mid-2000s.
Other women who have come forward with similar accusations not mentioned below: Temple Taggart McDowell, former Miss Utah, who said that in 1997 Trump “embraced me and gave me a kiss on the lips”; Casandra Searles, former Miss Washington, wrote in a June Facebook post that during the 2013 Miss USA pageant Trump “continually grabbed my ass and invited me to his hotel room”; Cathy Heller told the Guardian Sunday that in 1997 at Mar-a-Lago Trump “took my hand, and grabbed me, and went for the lips,” in the lobby. “And he said, ‘Oh, come on.’ He was strong”; Jill Harth, former pageant producer, filed a legal complaint against Trump in 1997, accusing him of “groping” and “forcing [her] into a bedroom belonging to defendant’s daughter Ivanka, wherein [Trump] forcibly kissed, fondled, and restrained [her] from leaving”.
UPDATE – 10/15, 8:35 p.m. EST: Two more women came forward with allegations of unwanted sexual advances by Donald Trump on Friday, the fifth and sixth people to make such accusations against the GOP nominee this week.
One Kristin Anderson says Trump “stuck his hand up my skirt,” at a New York nightclub in the early 1990s while sitting with a group of friends. At the time, Anderson says she didn’t think of it as assault. “But assault in my mind meant something else,” she told CNN. “Hitting is assault. I was very unaware of mental abuse, manipulation, bullying, that is just straight-up bullying.”
The second account comes from NBC’s “Apprentice” cast member Summer Zervos, who said at a press conference set-up by lawyer, Gloria Allred, that Trump kissed her in his New York office during a lunch meeting and in Beverly Hills in 2007 where he “grabbed my shoulder and began kissing me again very aggressively and placed his hand on my breast”.
“I pulled back and walked to another part of the room,” she continued. “He then walked up, grabbed my hand, and then walked me into the bedroom. I walked out. He then turned me around and said, ‘Let’s lay down and watch some telly telly.’ He put me in an embrace and I tried to push him away. I pushed his chest to put space between us. I said, ‘Come on man get real’. He repeated my words back to me, ‘Get real,’ as he began thrusting his genitals.”
Both Donald Trump and his presidential campaign vehemently deny all six stories brought to the public’s attention since Wednesday.
Four more women made public Donald Trump’s unwanted sexual advances Wednesday, describing to the New York Times, Palm Beach Post and People their brief encounters with a man they hardly knew who, unprovoked, attempted to intimately force himself on them.
The revelations come less than a week after Trump denied actually carrying out what could be interpreted as sexual assault, described on a behind-the-scenes Access Hollywood recording in 2005.
Two of Trump’s victims told their stories to the New York Times after Sunday’s presidential debate when the Republican nominee denied ever having done any of the things he told Billy Bush a decade ago.
One, Jessica Leads, now 74, said that in the early 1980s she was seated next to Trump in first-class on a commercial flight to New York. After 45 minutes in the air, Leads says Trump lifted the armrest between them and started grabbing her breasts and attempted to touch under her skirt.
“He was like an octopus,” Ms. Leads recalled. “His hands were everywhere.”
The second woman, Rachel Crooks, was a 22-year old receptionist at a company located in New York’s Trump Tower in 2005. Ms. Leads says she encountered Trump one morning outside one of the building’s elevators where he shook her hand and then proceeded to kiss her cheeks and “directly on the mouth”.
“It was so inappropriate,” Ms. Crooks said. “I was upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that.”
Asked for comment Wednesday, Trump denied both stories and shouted at the New York Times reporter that he would sue the publication if the allegations were printed.
“You are a disgusting human being,” Trump told the interviewer.
The third accusation was conveyed by Mindy McGillivray of Palm Springs, Fla., who told the Palm Beach Post that she was groped by Trump at his Mar-a-Lago residence in 2003 after a public event there. Immediately following the incident, McGillivray told the photographer she was assisting that “Donald just grabbed my ass!”
The final story came from beat writer, Natasha Stoynoff, who interviewed Donald Trump and his wife Melania for People in December 2005 at Mar-a-Lago, less than a year after their marriage.
In a story for People published Wednesday evening, Stoynoff writes that during a break in the interview, Trump lured her into a separate room, shut the door, walked briskly forward and began to push her up against a wall, “forcing his tongue down my throat.”
Stoynoff then says that when the interview was set to resume, but before Melania returned, Trump told her: “You know we’re going to have an affair, don’t you? Have you ever been to Peter Luger’s for steaks? I’ll take you. We’re going to have an affair, I’m telling you.”
Also on Wednesday, a fifth Miss Teen USA 1997 pageant contestant confirmed to BuzzFeed News that Trump walked in on the girls’ dressing room while they were changing clothes before that year’s event.
Miss Vermont, Mariah Billado, says that she recalls Trump announcing upon his arrival backstage that “he’d seen it all before.”
Victoria Hughes, Miss New Mexico, said that the 1997 participants were age 15 to 19. “We actually never once saw (Trump) during the two-week period while he came into the dressing room prior to the show,” she said.
In a 2005 interview with radio host Howard Stern, Trump said that he had walked into the dressing rooms at beauty pageants before, being the owner of Miss USA and Miss Universe from 1996 until 2015.
“No men are anywhere, and I’m allowed to go in, because I’m the owner of the pageant and therefore I’m inspecting it,” Trump told Stern. “‘Is everyone OK?’ You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. ‘Is everybody OK?’ And you see these incredible-looking women, and so I sort of get away with things like that.”
[New York Times] [Palm Beach Post] [People] [BuzzFeed] [CNN] [Yahoo News] [Photo courtesy Carlo Allegri/Reuters via Daily Beast]