News People The four women who have accused Donald Trump of sexual assault
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The four women who have accused Donald Trump of sexual assault

Four women have shared their personal experiences of Trump.
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Four women have this week accused US presidential candidate Donald Trump of sexual assault – claims the Republican nominee’s camp vehemently denies.

Two women, Rachel Crooks and Jessica Leeds, shared their stories with The New York Times in an explosive article Mr Trump’s Senior Communications Advisor dismissed as “fiction”.

“It is absurd to think that one of the most recognisable business leaders on the planet with a strong record of empowering women in his companies would do the things alleged in this story, and for this to only become public decades later in the final month of a campaign for president should say it all,” Jason Miller said.

Another alleged victim, Mindy McGillivray, shared her story with The Palm Beach Post, while a fourth, a journalist named Natasha Stoynoff, wrote her own account for People magazine.

In the same week, four contestants in the 1997 Miss Teen USA pageant recounted to Buzzfeed how Mr Trump walked into the dressing room while women were changing, some of them as young as 15.

These women shared their stories in response to a question asked of Mr Trump during this week’s presidential debate, regarding a leaked 2005 video in which he bragged about kissing and groping women without consent.

“Just for the record, are you saying … that you did not actually kiss women without [their] consent?” host Anderson Cooper asked.

“I have not,” Mr Trump said.

These are the women levelling the allegations against Mr Trump.

Jessica Leeds

Who: A 74-year-old businesswoman.

The alleged assault: Ms Leeds told The New York Times she was 38 when Trump assaulted her in the first class section of a flight to New York City.

“It was over 35 years ago … I was a sales rep … the stewardess asked me would I like to be moved up to first class,” Ms Leeds said in a video interview.

“I sat down next to a young man, blonde, tall, he introduced himself as Donald Trump.

“We just chatted back and forth … it wasn’t until they cleared the meal that somehow or another the arm rest in the seat disappeared and it was a real shock when, all of a sudden, his hands were all over me.

“I hesitate to use this expression but I’m going to – he was like an octopus, it was like he had six arms. He was all over the place.

“If he had stuck to the upper part of the body I might not have gotten that upset. When he started putting his hand up my skirt, that was it.”

Rachel Crooks

Who: A former receptionist at Bayrock Group, a real estate company based in Trump Tower.

The alleged assault: Ms Crooks spoke to The New York Times about an incident that took place in 2005, when she was just 22 years old.

Ms Crooks encountered Mr Trump outside an elevator in Trump Tower and decided to introduce herself as a business associate, shaking his hand. Then, Ms Crooks alleged Trump began to kiss her on her cheeks before he “kissed me directly on the mouth”.

“It was so inappropriate,” Ms Crooks said. “I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that.”

Rachel Crooks. Photo: LinkedIn
Rachel Crooks. Photo: LinkedIn

Mr Trump and his team have threatened to sue The New York Times for libel over the article.

The paper responded with a letter arguing the article had no effect on the reputation Mr Trump has already created for himself through his own words and actions.

Natasha Stoynoff

Who: A best-selling author and former writer for People magazine.

The alleged assault: In a piece published by People on Thursday, Ms Stoynoff recalled an encounter with Mr Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, that left her “badly shaken”.

Ms Stoynoff was sent to interview Mr Trump and his new wife Melania in December 2005, the same year Trump was recorded making lewd comments about women to Access Hollywood host Billy Bush.

The group took a break from the interview so Mrs Trump could change for photos. Mr Trump offered to give Ms Stoynoff a tour of the property, especially one room he said she ‘just had to see’.

“[M]r 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.”

Mr Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, where two of the assaults allegedly occurred. PHoto: Getty
Mr Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, where two of the assaults allegedly occurred. Photo: Getty

Ms Stoynoff said Mr Trump’s efforts were interrupted by his long-time butler, who burst into the room to tell them Mrs Trump would return soon. Rattled, Ms Stoynoff tried to resume the interview, when Mr Trump continued his advances.

“The butler left us, and I fumbled with my tape recorder. Trump smiled and leaned forward,” Ms Stoynoff recalled.

“’You know we’re going to have an affair, don’t you?’ he declared, in the same confident tone he uses when he says he’s going to make America great again. ‘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’.”

Natasha Stoynogg in her author's photo.
Natasha Stoynoff in her author’s photo.

Mindy McGillivray

Who: A 36-year-old from Florida.

The alleged assault: Ms McGillivray told the Palm Beach Post Mr Trump grabbed her backside when she visited Mar-a-Lago to assist a photographer friend in covering a Ray Charles concert at the estate in 2003.

Ms McGillivray, who was 23 at the time, recalled standing next to Mr Trump and his wife while Mr Charles said his goodbyes after the concert finished.

“All of a sudden I felt a grab, a little nudge. I think it’s Ken’s camera bag, that was my first instinct,” Ms McGillivray said.

“I turn around and there’s Donald. He sort of looked away quickly. I quickly turned back, facing Ray Charles, and I’m stunned.

“It was pretty close to the centre of my butt. I was startled. I jumped.’’

Ms McGillivray told the Post she said to herself, “‘OK, am I going to say something now and make a scene or be quiet?’ I chose to stay quiet.”

Ms McGillivray’s companion, photographer Ken Davidoff, said he remembered her pulling him aside and telling him, “Donald just grabbed my ass!”.

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