Two more women came forward Friday with allegations that Donald Trump once touched them inappropriately, bringing to at least eight the number of women who’ve accused the Republican nominee of sexual assaulting them in one form or another.
Trump responded in defiant and angry terms, calling another one of his accusers a “liar” and intimating she shouldn’t be believed because she’s not attractive enough for him to pursue.
The back-and-forth between Trump and the growing number of accusers threatens to consume the home stretch of the campaign and turn the election into a referendum on whether people believe the Republican nominee is a sexual predator.
In the first allegation reported Friday, Trump allegedly slid his hands up Kristin Anderson’s miniskirt while she was sitting on a couch conversing with others inside a crowded Manhattan nightclub in the early 1990s. She said he touched her inner thigh and her vagina through her underwear, according to her account in The Washington Post.
“He was so distinctive looking — with the hair and the eyebrows,” she recalled. “I mean, nobody else has those eyebrows.”
Anderson, 46, was a 20-something-year-old woman who aspired to be a model at the time of the alleged encounter, which she said lasted no longer than 30 seconds. Anderson said she and her companions were “very grossed out and weirded out” but thought: “OK, Donald is gross. We all know he’s gross. Let’s just move on.”
A friend of Anderson’s told the Post that Anderson informed a close group of friends about what happened days later at brunch in Manhattan. And another said he heard about it from Anderson at a dinner in 2007.
Later Friday, a former contestant on Trump’s reality TV show “The Apprentice” came forward at a press conference with celebrity attorney Gloria Allred to accuse the Republican nominee of groping her when she asked him for help with her career.
Summer Zervos, a contestant on the show’s fifth season, said Trump kissed her twice on the lips during a meeting between the two in Manhattan in 2007. At a subsequent meeting between the two in Los Angeles, Zervos said Trump invited her to his bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel, where she said the real estate billionaire kissed her and groped her breast.
Zervos said she backed away, at which point Trump grabbed her hand and walked her into the bedroom, where he embraced her as she pushed him away. Zervos recalled telling Trump to “get real,” which she said prompted Trump to thrust his genitals at her and try again to kiss her. Trump then asked what Zervos wanted, the former reality TV contestant recalled, to which she replied that it was her understanding that she had been invited to have dinner.
“He acted like he was a bit angry,” she said in a statement detailing her allegation. “As we were waiting for dinner, I sat across the room from him as far away as possible. He started saying that he did not think that I had ever known love or had been in love. I did not want to discuss my personal life with him.”
While cable networks were airing Allred’s press conference, Trump mocked and belittled his accusers at a campaign rally in North Carolina, suggesting they were not attractive enough to have drawn his interest.
“Yeah, I’m gonna go after her,” he said sarcastically, referring to Jessica Leeds, a woman who told the New York Times on Wednesday that Trump groped her while the two were seated together on an airplane in 1979. “Believe me, she would not be my first choice. That I can tell you. You don’t know. That would not be my first choice.”
Leeds described the alleged encounter in more detail during an interview on Thursday with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
“It was like suddenly he’s like encroaching on my side of the seat, reaching on my side of the seat and his hands were everywhere,” Leeds told CNN. “He was grabbing my breasts and trying to turn me towards him, and kissing me. And then after a bit, that is when his hands starting going — I was wearing a skirt, and his hands starting going towards my knee and up my skirt.”
Asked where Trump had tried to kiss her, she replied, “Wherever he could find a landing spot.”
Leeds’ allegation in the New York Times was published alongside that of Rachel Crooks, who accused Trump of forcibly kissing her outside a Trump Tower elevator in 2005.
Trump was dogged last week when the Post reported on a leaked 2005 “Access Hollywood” video in which the real estate mogul can be heard boasting about forcibly kissing and groping women with impunity because he’s “a star.”
At Sunday’s presidential debate, Trump denied having acted out his words, flatly saying that he hasn’t sexually assaulted any women. Crooks, Leeds, and Zervos have all said they found his denial infuriating, and it motivated them to come forward.
The three women’s allegations are compounded by a first-person account from a former People magazine reporter who claimed Trump forcibly kissed her at his Mar-a-Lago resort in 2005.
In an interview with The Palm Beach Post, also published on Wednesday, another woman said Trump made unwanted sexual advances toward her 13 years ago after a Ray Charles concert at Mar-a-Lago.
Trump has angrily denounced the allegations, calling the women “liars” and the accusations “fabricated,” and has promised to unveil evidence to debunk them.
“These vicious claims about me of inappropriate conduct with women are totally and absolutely false,” Trump said Thursday. “And the Clintons know it, and they know it very well. These claims are all fabricated. They’re pure fiction, and they’re outright lies. These events never, ever happened and the people that said them meekly fully understand.”
He added: “The claims are preposterous, ludicrous and defy truth, common sense and logic. We already have substantial evidence to dispute these lies, and it will be made public in an appropriate way and at an appropriate time — very soon.”
Trump also seemed to suggest that the People magazine reporter lied because she’s not attractive enough for Trump to pursue. “You take a look. Look at her,” he told his supporters. “Look at her words. You tell me what you think. I don’t think so. I don’t think so.”
Powered by WPeMatico