Washington (AFP): Nearly a dozen women have accused Donald Trump of sexual assault or harassment — accusations denied by the real estate mogul who was caught in a newly-surfaced 2005 video boasting that stardom allowed him to grope women with impunity.
Here are short accounts of their accusations.
A former traveling businesswoman, Leeds told The New York Times that Trump groped her on a flight in the early 1980s as they sat next to each other in first class.
About 45 minutes after takeoff, Trump lifted the armrest and began grabbing her breasts and tried to put his hand up her skirt, she said.
“He was like an octopus,” she told the daily. “His hands were everywhere.”
“It was an assault,” she said in an interview.
Crooks said Trump forcibly kissed her in 2005 when she was a 22-year-old receptionist at a real estate company in Trump Tower. She encountered him outside an elevator in the building one morning.
After she introduced herself, he “kissed me directly on the mouth,” she told the Times.
“It was so inappropriate,” Crooks added. “I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that.”
McGillivray, 36, alleged that Trump grabbed her rear end in early 2003, during a one-day gig as a photographer’s assistant at his Mar-a-Lago Florida resort.
“All of a sudden I felt a grab, a little nudge,” she told the Palm Beach Post.
“I turn around and there’s Donald. He sort of looked away quickly,” McGillivray said.
She said Trump’s recent denials of ever having sexually accosted women led her to come forward with her story.
Temple Taggart McDowell
McDowell, a former Miss Utah, told NBC television that Trump had kissed her on the lips when she was a 21-year-old contestant in his Miss USA beauty pageant in 1997.
McDowell said she was introduced to Trump during a rehearsal by her father who was a fan of the real estate baron.
“It was at that time that he turned to me and embraced me and gave me a kiss on the lips,” she said.
Miss Washington 2013, Searles reportedly called Trump a “misogynist” in a Facebook post widely circulated on the media, and said in a comment that he “continually grabbed my ass and invited me to his hotel room” during the Miss USA pageant.
Trump owned the Miss USA pageant from 2002 to 2015.
“Do y’all remember that one time we had to do our onstage introductions, but this one guy treated us like cattle and made us do it again because we didn’t look him in the eyes?” she wrote in her post.
“I love the idea of having a misogynist as the President,” she wrote, adding the hashtags #HeWillProbablySueMe and #iHaveWorseStoriesSoComeAtMeBro.
People Magazine published an account by a former staff writer, who said Trump forced himself on her when she interviewed him in 2005.
At the time, Natasha Stoynoff was on an assignment to interview newlyweds Donald Trump and his wife Melania.
“Trump shut the door behind us,” Stoynoff wrote in People.
“I turned around, and within seconds he was pushing me against the wall and forcing his tongue down my throat.”
“He was fast,” she continued, “taking me by surprise and throwing me off balance. I was stunned. And I was grateful when Trump’s longtime butler burst into the room a minute later, as I tried to unpin myself.”
Harth and her longtime boyfriend were in meetings with Trump to forge a business partnership in 1992, when he treated the couple to dinner and an evening out at a club.
He seated himself between them and proceeded to run his hands up her skirt, all the way to the crotch.
“He was relentless,” said Harth, who was 30 years old at the time of the incident and who later filed a sexual harassment suit against Trump.
“I would go away from him and say I have to go to the restroom,” she told The New York Times. “It was the escape route.”
Zervos was a contestant on Trump’s former reality TV show “The Apprentice,” and after he “fired” her she continued to view the magnate as a career mentor.
In 2007, Trump arranged to meet Zervos at The Beverly Hills Hotel for dinner to talk about employment. Instead, she said, when she showed up she was taken to a bungalow and Trump started kissing and touching her.
“He began kissing me aggressively and placed his hand on my breast,” Zervos told a news conference in Los Angeles.
She added: “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.”
A former aspiring model, Anderson told The Washington Post that Trump had sidled up to her in a nightclub in the early 1990s, reached under her skirt and touched her vagina through her underwear.
“It wasn’t a sexual come-on. I don’t know why he did it,” Anderson told the newspaper.
“It was like just to prove that he could do it, and nothing would happen.”