Amy Dorris, a former model, has accused United States President Donald Trump of groping and assaulting her in September 1997, The Guardian reported on Thursday. Dorris told The Guardian that Trump assaulted her in his VIP box at the US Open tennis tournament in New York when she was 24.
This becomes one more of over two dozen sexual misconduct and assault allegations against Trump, who is seeking to be reelected as president in November. Before the 2016 presidential election, a tape of Trump speaking disparagingly about women and the way he treated them was leaked. In it, Trump talked about how he can “get away with” kissing, groping and attempting to have sex with women without waiting for their permission. He had later apologised for his comments.
“He just shoved his tongue down my throat and I was pushing him off,” Dorris told The Guardian. “And then that’s when his grip became tighter and his hands were very gropey and all over my butt, my breasts, my back, everything. I was in his grip, and I couldn’t get out of it.” She said she told him “no, stop”, but “he didn’t care”.
Trump, through his lawyers, has strongly denied the incident. His lawyers have argued that if an incident such as this one had occurred at the US Open, there would have been many witnesses.
Dorris said she had considered speaking out in 2016 too, when multiple such accusations were being levelled against Trump, but did not do so to protect her family. “Now I feel like my girls are about to turn 13 years old and I want them to know that you don’t let anybody do anything to you that you don’t want,” she said.
The former model spoke to The Guardian 15 months ago but did not want to go public at the time, the British daily said.
The Guardian corroborated her account of events by speaking to people she had confided in after the assault, including her therapist. Dorris also provided pictures of the time spent with Trump over those few days while she was with her boyfriend. Trump was at the time married to Marla Maples, his second wife, according to the newspaper.
Dorris said that she was in shock following the assault, and did not remember if she spoke to her boyfriend Jason Binn in detail about the episode. Trump’s lawyers said Binn told them he did not remember her telling him that the president had been inappropriate with her or that she felt uncomfortable in his presence.
His lawyers also questioned the timing of Dorris’ interview, saying it was politically motivated since it comes so close to the presidential election. They also asked why Dorris sat next to Trump and continued to spend time around him in the days after the alleged assault. “…I still wasn’t processing it and just was trying to go back to talking to everyone and having a good time because, I don’t know, I felt pressured to be that way,” Dorris said.
Dorris said that even after she rejected him and even dressed differently the following day – in a “more conservative” outfit – Trump still made advances on her.
Legal advisor to the Trump presidential campaign Jenna Ellis said Dorris’ allegations were false. “We will consider every legal means available to hold The Guardian accountable for its malicious publication of this unsubstantiated story,” The New York Times quoted her as saying. “This is just another pathetic attempt to attack President Trump right before the election.”
Trump is currently in the midst of a case filed by E Jean Carroll, who has accused the president of raping her in a departmental store in the 1990s.