Two women told The New York Times on Wednesday that United States Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump had sexually assaulted them, days after a video surfaced showing him boasting about forcing himself on women. Earlier in the day two other women had come forward with similar stories. The Palm Beach Post quoted one of the women, and a writer working with People magazine published a first person account of her assault.
The video, which recorded Trump talking to NBC host Billy Bush, was made public on October 8. In it, Trump talks about how he can "get away with" kissing, groping and attempting to have sex with women without waiting for their permission. He later apologised for his comments, but maintained he had never acted on them.
The Trump campaign has sent a legal notice to The New York Times asking the publication to retract the "reckless" and "defamatory" story, PTI reported. Trumps's attorney, Marc E Kasowitz, said, “Your article is reckless, defamatory and constitutes libel per se. It is apparent from, among other things, the timing of the article, that it is nothing more than a politically motivated effort to defeat Mr Trump’s candidacy.”
One of the women, Leeds, quoted by The New York Times, said Trump groped her "like an octopus" on a flight to New York. The business women said she they had never met before and that she did not lodge a complaint as this happened decades ago, when "we were taught it was our fault.” She also accused him of making lewd statements when he met her two years later and appeared to have recognised her.The other woman who spoke to the Times said she had been working with a company in Manhattan's Trump Tower as a receptionist, when she met Trump outside an elevator in the building in 2005. She alleged that she introduced herself to him and they shook hands, when Trump began kissing her cheeks and then kissed her "directly on the mouth.”
While denying the allegations, Trump reportedly accused The New York Times reporter of being a "disgusting human being".
Among other comments recorded on the 2005 tape, Trump is shown talking about a failed attempt to seduce a married woman. The comments provoked severe criticism, including a call from US President Barack Obama for the Republican candidate to be disqualified. Trump's fellow Republican leaders slammed him for his lewd comments, while his wife Melania criticised him. Trump, however, announced that he would continue in the race for the president's post.
The US presidential election will be held on November 8.