The women came forward after hearing the GOP nominee deny other accusations of inappropriate conduct during the second presidential debate.
Two more women came forward Friday to accuse Donald Trump of sexual assault, even as the Republican nominee continues to deny he ever touched women without their permission and says theirs and other allegations are purely political attacks.
Photographer Kristin Anderson, 46, told The Washington Post she was with friends at a New York club in the early 1990s when Trump, a stranger, put his hand up her skirt.
“The person on my right, who, unbeknownst to me at that time was Donald Trump, put their hands up my skirt. He did touch my vagina through my underwear. Absolutely,” she said in a video interview published Friday by the Post.
Then a waitress and aspiring model in her early 20s, Anderson told the Post she pushed the man’s hand away, turned to look at him and recognized him as Trump, who was already a celebrity and a fixture in the tabloids and at clubs in New York City.
“It wasn’t a sexual come-on. I don’t know why he did it. It was like just to prove that he could do it, and nothing would happen,” Anderson said. “There was zero conversation. We didn’t even really look at each other. It was very random, very nonchalant on his part.”
“Mr. Trump strongly denies this phony allegation by someone looking to get some free publicity,” Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said in a statement. “It is totally ridiculous.”
Trump addressed the new accusations on Friday at a rally in Greensboro, North Carolina.
“I was sitting alone in some club? I really don’t sit alone that much, folks,” he said. During the rally, he also called one of his accusers a “horrible woman” who “would not be my first choice.”
Anderson told other friends, who corroborated her story to the Post, in the days after the encounter with Trump. But she didn’t go to the authorities, nor was she willing to speak to the press, until a 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape surfaced last week in which Trump can be heard describing behavior similar to what she experienced.
“You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful – I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait,” he says in the video. “And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”
On Friday afternoon, a former contestant on Trump’s reality TV show “The Apprentice” came forward to add her accusations to the chorus of women who say they were victimized by the billionaire businessman.
Flanked by attorney Gloria Allred, Summer Zervos read a lengthy statement at a press conference in Los Angeles detailing her accusations. Zervos, a Los Angeles restaurant owner who appeared on season 5 of the competition show, said she met with Trump in 2007, hoping to get a job working for him.
In the statement, she says he kissed her on the lips twice at a meeting at his office in New York, which surprised her and made her uncomfortable, but that she ultimately brushed off as an unusual greeting. A few days later, she says, he asked her to meet him for dinner at the Beverly Hills Hotel Los Angeles, but instead of the restaurant, she was led by his security guard to Trump’s hotel room.
She described Trump making multiple attempts to kiss her, and put his hands on her breast. She said she repeatedly pushed him away.
“He then walked up, he grabbed my hand and 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 and I said come on man, ‘Get real.’ He repeated my words back to me, ‘Get real,’ as he began thrusting his genitals. He tried to kiss me again and with my hand still on his chest I said ‘Dude [you’re] trippin right now’ attempting to make it clear that I was not interested.”
Zervos said she hoped she had made it clear she wasn’t interested in a physical relationship with Trump, and hoped she would be able to work for him. After making several further attempts to contact him for a job, she said, she gave up and “harbored no ill will.”
“Mr. Trump, when I met you I was so impressed with your talents that I wanted to be like you. I wanted a job with your organization. Instead you treated me as though I was an object to be hit upon,” she said. “I was incredibly embarrassed by your sexual advances and shared this information with a select few people close to me.
“Mr. Trump, today I feel that you were interested in me only because you wanted to have a sexual relationship with me and for no other reason,” she continued. “However, after hearing the released audio tapes and your denials during the debate I felt that I had to speak out about your behavior. You do not have the right to treat women as sexual objects just because you are a star.”
Trump says the emergence of the allegations just a few weeks before the election is suspect, blaming his opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton, of colluding with the media to undermine his candidacy.
The GOP nominee and his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, have claimed they have evidence that proves the allegations are false and that the campaign will release the it soon. So far, they have offered blanket denials but no proof to back them up.
Anderson, the photographer, says hearing Trump speak on the “Access Hollywood” tape was a revelation.
“I was just like, wow, that explains it,” she told the Post. “That explains what happened to me.”
Even then, she was reluctant to come forward until The New York Times, The Palm Beach Post and People magazine published stories of four other women who claimed to have had similar experiences with Trump. She said she felt like she had to “back those girls up.”
“I was very young … the whole thing was inconsequential, seemingly, and I brushed it off. But now I feel like it’s a gateway,” she said. Letting men get away with groping women without consequences “sends an awful message to woman that you’re nothing.”
Source: U.S News & World Report