Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has been accused by three different women of touching them inappropriately. The women said they came forward after watching Trump vehemently deny at Sunday’s debate that he’s ever kissed a woman or touched her inappropriately without her explicit permission. Trump was asked the question in response to the recently released 2005 recording of him saying, among other things: “And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the p***y. You can do anything.”
Jessica Leeds, Rachel Crooks, and Mindy McGillivray are the three women. Leeds, now 74 years old, told the New York Times the “assault” happened when she was 38. Leeds said she was traveling on a flight to New York City when she was asked if she wanted to be upgraded to first class. She accepted and was seated next to Trump, who she says she spoke to. The alleged assault happened after Trump lifted the armrest between Leeds seat and Trump’s and grabbed her breasts. “He was like an octopus,” Leeds said. “His hands were everywhere.”
Leeds said she really lost it when Trump tried to put his hand up her skirt. She then returned to her seat in coach without saying a word. Leeds said she didn’t tell anyone about the alleged assault because she saw how women were taught they were at fault for any attention men gave to them. She finally started talking about the assault a year and a half ago, when she saw Trump was going to run for president.
The other woman who spoke to the NYT was Rachel Crooks, who was a 22-year-old receptionist at the time she was allegedly inappropriately touched by Trump. Crooks said she met Trump outside a Trump Tower elevator in 2005 and shook his hand because the company she worked for did business with him. But Crooks said Trump wouldn’t let go of her hand and began kissing her cheeks before kissing her “directly on the mouth.” She said it didn’t feel accidental. “It was so inappropriate,” Crooks told the NYT. “I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that.” Days after the alleged incident, Trump asked for Crooks' phone number, saying he would pass it on to his modeling agency. Even though she didn’t want to she give Trump her number, she said she did because of his ties to the company she worked for.
Asked about the allegations, Trump told a NYT reporter, “None of this ever took place.” He yelled at the reporter and accused the paper of making up the allegations and threatened to sue. “You are a disgusting human being,” Trump told the reporter.
Speaking to the Palm Beach Post, Mindy McGillivray, 36, said Trump groped her 13 years ago at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club. McGillivray recalled the alleged incident, saying, “All of a sudden I felt a grab, a little nudge. I think it’s Ken’s camera bag, that was my first instinct. I turn around and there’s Donald. He sort of looked away quickly. I quickly turned back, facing Ray Charles, and I’m stunned.’’ McGillivray said she “jumped” because it was close to the “center of her butt.” At the time, McGillivray only told her partner about the incident.
In response to McGillivray’s allegation, Trump’s press secretary Hope Hicks said, “There is no truth to this whatsoever. This allegation lacks any merit or veracity.”
The womens' allegations come amidst a newly surfaced 1992 video of Trump making inappropriate comments about a young girl. In the Entertainment Tonight video, Trump talks about a young girl, saying, “I am going to be dating her in 10 years. Can you believe it?” You can watch the clip here.
Just hours after all these stories broke, Natasha Stoynoff of People wrote about her own experience of being sexually assaulted by Trump. Stoynoff wrote that in Dec. 2005, she was at Mar-a-lago to interview Donald and Melania. Donald manuevered her into an isolated room, and then:
We walked into that room alone, and Trump shut the door behind us. I turned around, and within seconds, he was pushing me against the wall, and forcing his tongue down my throat.
Stoynoff wrote that in the incident's aftermath, Trump said, "“You know we’re going to have an affair, don’t you?" She also claims that he attempted to follow her to a massage appointment the following day.