Gender

27 Women Who Have Accused Donald Trump of Sexual Misconduct

From sexual harassment to rape, the accusations are more numerous than you think.

Samantha Holvey, Rachel Cooks, and Jessica Leeds speaking at a December 2017 press conference.
Photo Credit: Brave New Films

“Nobody has more respect for women than Donald Trump!” the president claimed on Twitter in early 2016, after several news organizations published accounts that he had harassed and belittled women throughout his career. After hearing him boast in his own words about “grabbing women by the pussy” a few months later, it became easy to see how the scores of women who have come forward with stories of abuse by Trump fit into a sinister pattern. With his online bullying and sexual harassment of prominent women, Trump has made it clear to the general public that his claims of respecting women are counterfeit.

In January, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand renewed the numerous accusations against Trump when she called for a public hearing for all of the women to talk about their experiences. Before the news cycle pushes these stories to the background, it’s worth revisiting the full range of grievances against Trump, which range from sexual harassment—including asking beauty pageant contestants to rate one another's appearances—to full-on rape.

1. Jessica Leeds

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Leeds told the New York Times she was traveling for business in the late-'70s when Trump, who was sitting next to her on the flight, reached his hand up her skirt. "He was like an octopus. His hands were everywhere," Leeds said.

2. Barbara Res

Res worked for Trump as the executive vice president of the Trump Organization throughout the '80s, and recalls regularly hearing him objectify women. The Times writes:

“Ms. Res, his construction executive, remembered a meeting in which she and Mr. Trump interviewed an architect for a project in the Los Angeles area. Out of the blue, she said, Mr. Trump evaluated the fitness of women in Marina del Rey, Calif. 'They take care of their asses,' he said."

Trump made vocal observations about Res’ own body, too. “You like your candy,” he reportedly told her.

Then there were the sexist notions he would articulate to her: “I know you’re a woman in a man’s world. And while men tend to be better than women, a good woman is better than 10 good men.”

3. Ivana Trump

Trump’s first wife accused him of raping her during a fit of rage in 1989.

After reading the accusations in Ivana's deposition against her then-husband, Trump biographer Harry Hurt III wrote in a 1993 book about Trump:

"Then he jams his penis inside her for the first time in more than 16 months. Ivana is terrified… It is a violent assault... According to versions she repeats to some of her closest confidantes, 'he raped me.'"

Ivana later withdrew the accusation of rape, instead saying she had felt "violated" during the encounter.

4. Alair A. Townsend

Townsend worked with Trump while she was New York City's deputy mayor under Ed Koch, and told the Times that Trump was “dismissive” while speaking to her and other women. “It was always, 'Hon,' 'Dear.' Things he wouldn’t have said to a man. It was designed to make you feel small. And he did that repeatedly.”

5. Kristin Anderson

Former model Anderson told the Washington Post that Trump reached under her skirt and touched her vagina without consent at a New York nightclub.

6. Jill Harth

Harth, a makeup artist, told the Guardian that Trump attempted to rape her at a dinner at his Mar-a-Lago resort in the early '90s.

"He was relentless," she said of the incident in which she says Trump pushed her up against a wall and forced himself on her. "I didn't know how to handle it. I would go away from him and say I have to go to the restroom. It was the escape route."

Harth has since sued Trump for sexual assault.

7. Cathy Heller

Heller was attending a Mother's Day brunch with her husband and children at Mar-a-Lago in the '90s, when Trump forcibly kissed her. “He took my hand, and grabbed me, and went for the lips,” she told the Guardian.

8. Lisa Boyne

Entrepreneur Boyne was at a dinner in 1996 with Trump and modeling agent John Casablancas when she says Trump asked her for her opinion on which of the women he should sleep with, she told the Huffington Post. She says Trump also “paraded women in front of their table, looked under women’s skirts, and commented on whether they were wearing underwear.”

9. Antoinette Mahealani Lee

Miss Universe titleholder Brook Antoinette Mahealani Lee recalls Trump asking her opinion of his own daughter Ivanka’s attractiveness, while the 16-year-old co-hosted the Miss Teen USA 1997 pageant alongside her father. "'Don't you think my daughter's hot? She's hot, right?'" Mahealani Lee recalls Trump saying.

10. Karena Virginia

The yoga instructor told the Washington Post that Trump groped her at the 1998 U.S. Open in New York. After grabbing her breast, Virginia says Trump asked her, "Don't you know who I am? Don't you know who I am?"

11. Mariah Billado

The former Miss Teen USA contestant is one of several women who says Trump entered the dressing room without permission in 1997 while they were changing. "I remember putting on my dress really quick because I was like, 'Oh my god, there's a man in here,'" Billado told BuzzFeed.

12. Victoria Hughes

Hughes, another former Miss Teen USA 1997 contestant and former Miss New Mexico, said Trump decided to introduce himself to the teenage contestants in their dressing room. "It was certainly the most inappropriate time to meet us all for the first time," she told BuzzFeed.

13. Temple Taggart McDowell

In another accusation from the 1997 Miss USA pageant, McDowell told the New York Times that Trump twice "kissed me directly on the lips" without her permission when she met him at the pageant.

14. Tasha Dixon

A former Miss Arizona who competed in the 2001 Miss USA pageant echoed other contestants’ complaints that Trump entered their dressing room while the women were changing.

"He just came strolling right in," Dixon said. "There was no second to put a robe on or any sort of clothing or anything. Some girls were topless, other girls were naked." She added, "To have the owner come waltzing in when we're naked or half naked in a very physically vulnerable position, and then to have the pressure of the people that work for him telling us to go fawn all over him, go walk up to him, talk to him."

15. Bridget Sullivan

Sullivan, 2000 Miss New Hampshire, concurred to BuzzFeed News that Trump had entered contestants' dressing room without permission and touched her in a way that made her uncomfortable.

“He’d hug you just a little low on your back,” she told BuzzFeed, then he’d give you “a squeeze that your creepy uncle would.”

16. Melinda McGillivray

McGillivray told the Palm Beach Post that Trump groped her behind during a Ray Charles concert at Mar-a-Lago in 2003.

"He has to face the music; he can't get away with this," McGillivray said. "I want justice."

17. Natasha Stoynoff

The People magazine reporter says Trump attacked her during a 2005 meeting at Mar-a-Lago, she wrote in Time.

"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. She says Trump told her, rather than asked her, that they would have a sexual relationship. "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," she claims he said.

She notes that Melania Trump was pregnant and in the house at the time.

18. Jennifer Murphy

Murphy, a former Fox News anchor said on the "Mornin!!! With Bill Schulz" podcast that after a meeting at Trump Tower in 2005 or 2006, Trump kissed her on the lips without her consent.

19. Carrie Prejean

Prejean, a former Miss California titleholder, wrote in her memoir that Trump would harass beauty contestants by forcing them to rate one other's appearances:

Donald Trump walked out with his entourage and inspected us closer than any general ever inspected a platoon. He would stop in front of a girl, look her up and down, and say, "Hmmm." Then he would go on and do the same thing to the next girl. He took notes on a little pad as he went along. After he did this, Trump said: "O.K. I want all the girls to come forward." …

Donald Trump looked at Miss Alabama.

"Come here," he said.

She took one more step forward.

"Tell me, who's the most beautiful woman here?"

Miss Alabama's eyes swam around.

"Besides me?" she said. "Uh, I like Arkansas. She's sweet."

"I don't care if she's sweet," Donald Trump said. "Is she hot?" …

It became clear that the point of the whole exercise was for him to divide the room between girls he personally found attractive and those he did not. Many of the girls found the exercise humiliating. Some of the girls were sobbing backstage after he left, devastated to have failed even before the competition really began to impress "The Donald."

20. Juliet Huddy

Huddy, a former Miss USA contestant and competitor on "The Apprentice," told Grazia magazine that Trump kissed her without her permission after a 2005 job interview at Trump Tower.

21. Rachel Crooks

Crooks, a current candidate for Ohio representative, told the New York Times that Trump forcibly kissed her on the mouth without her consent when they first met in 2005 at Trump Tower.

22. Samantha Holvey

Holvey, a 2006 Miss USA contestant, agreed that Trump would appear unannounced in the women’s dressing room. "He would step in front of each girl and look you over from head to toe like we were just meat, we were just sexual objects, that we were not people," Holvey said. She said the incident was "the dirtiest I felt in my entire life."

23. Ninni Laaksonen

Laaksonen, a former Miss Finland, told Finnish newspaper Ilta-Sanomat that Trump groped her while the two were backstage at the "Late Show with David Letterman" in 2006.

"Trump stood right next to me and suddenly he squeezed my butt," Laaksonen said. "He really grabbed my butt. I don't think anybody saw it, but I flinched and thought, 'What is happening?'"

24. Jessica Drake

Adult film actress Drake accused Trump of grabbing and kissing her without permission and trying to solicit her for sex in his Lake Tahoe hotel room.

"This is not acceptable behavior for anyone, much less a presidential candidate," Drake said. "I understand that I may be called a liar or an opportunist, but I will risk that in order to stand in solidarity with women who share similar accounts that span many, many years."

25. Summer Zervos

Zervos, a former contestant on "The Apprentice," said at a 2016 press conference that Trump assaulted her during a 2007 meeting at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

"He then grabbed my shoulder and began kissing me again very aggressively and placed his hand on my breast," she said. "I pulled back and walked to another part of the room. He then walked up, grabbed my hand, and pulled me into the bedroom. I walked out." Zervos added that Trump thrust himself on her before she left the room.

Zervos has sued Trump for defamation for calling all of his accusers liars.

26. Brande Roderick

In a 2013 episode of his reality show "Celebrity Apprentice,” Trump said to Roderick, a contestant, “That must be a pretty picture, you dropping to your knees.”

27. Cassandra Searles

Searles, a 2013 Miss USA pageant contestant, described Trump’s lewd behavior at the pageants in a Facebook post, claiming he treated the contestants "like cattle" and had them "lined up so he could get a closer look at his property."

"He probably doesn't want me telling the story about that time he continually grabbed my ass and invited me to his hotel room," she added.

Liz Posner is a managing editor at AlterNet. Her work has appeared on Forbes.com, Bust, Bustle, Refinery29, and elsewhere. Follow her on Twitter at @elizpos.