US presidential nominee Donald Trump has again come under pressure as more women claim to have been sexually abused by the billionaire businessman from New York.
The allegations were reported on Wednesday by The New York Times,The Palm Beach Post and Yahoo News.
This comes after the release of a 2005 tape in which Trump is heard making vulgar comments about women and having a conversation about trying to have sex with a married woman.
One woman told the Times she was seated next to the Republican nominee during a flight to New York some three decades ago, and Trump started groping her suddenly.
“He was like an octopus,” Jessica Leeds, now 74, told the paper. “His hands were everywhere. It was an assault."
Another woman, Rachel Crooks, also told the Times that he kissed her without her permission. “I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that,” she said.
The Trump campaign has denied many of the allegations made against him, and called the Times article "a completely false, coordinated character assassination."
"It is absurd to think that one of the most recognizable 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," Trump spokesman Jason Miller said in a statement.
"To reach back decades in an attempt to smear Mr. Trump trivializes sexual assault, and it sets a new low for where the media is willing to go in its efforts to determine this election,” the statement added.
“None of this ever took place,” Trump told the Times on Tuesday night, and threatened to sue the publication if the paper went ahead to run the story.
“You are a disgusting human being,” he told the reporter, who contacted him before publishing the story. "I don't do it. I don't do it,” he said.
And in a letter to New York Times editor Dean Baquet on Wednesday night, Trump’s lawyer said the article is an attempt to damage Trump's presidential campaign.
“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,” Marc E. Kasowitz wrote.
After TheWashington Post released a recording last week that shows Trump making vulgar remarks about women, Republican officials, including governors, senators and congressmen across the US have disavowed the billionaire.
Trump’s apology for the remarks also failed to quell the unprecedented controversy over his comments, prompting growing demands by Republicans for him to quit the race.
Even Trump’s vice presidential candidate Mike Pence refused to defend the billionaire politician on Saturday, saying that he was “offended” by the obscene comments.
On Monday, however, Pence reiterated his support for Trump, saying he expressed remorse for his controversial comments.
Four women accused Donald Trump of groping or kissing them without their
consent in news reports published Wednesday, just days after the
Republican presidential nominee insisted in a debate that he had never
engaged in such behavior.
One of the women alleges that Trump
grabbed her breasts and tried to put his hand up her skirt during a
flight more than three decades ago, the New York Times reported. Another
says he kissed her on the mouth outside an elevator in 2005, according
to the same report. A third woman says Trump groped her rear end at his
Mar-a-Lago resort 13 years ago, the Palm Beach Post reported. The
fourth, then a People magazine reporter, says Trump kissed her without
her consent when the two were alone in 2005 right before an interview
she was about to conduct with Trump and his wife.
his campaign denied the allegations. But in each of the first three
instances, the newspapers spoke to people close to the women — a
universe that includes friends, family members, significant others and
colleagues — who verified that they told them their stories about what
they say happened months or years ago. In the fourth, the reporter wrote
a detailed first person account of what she says happened on People's
The GOP presidential nominee was considering filing a
lawsuit against the Times and was consulting with advisers about his
legal options, according to two people close to him. The two people, who
requested anonymity to discuss private conversations, said Trump is
furious about the accusations made against him in the story and with the
newspaper for publishing them.
Early Thursday morning, Trump's
campaign released a letter from attorney Marc E. Kasowitz demanding a
retraction from the Times. "Failure to do so will leave my client with
no option but to pursue all available actions and remedies," it said.
The letter was addressed to Times executive editor Dean Baquet.
a statement issued by his campaign shortly after the Times report was
published, spokesman Jason Miller said, “This entire article is
fiction.” Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks told the Palm Beach Post "there
is no truth" to the third allegation. Hicks denied the fourth account in
a statement, saying it "never happened."
The news came five
days after The Washington Post reported Friday on a 2005 video in which
Trump can be heard making vulgar comments on a hot microphone about
physically forcing himself on women sexually.
At Sunday's debate, Trump was asked by a moderator whether he had ever behaved in such a way.
“No, I have not,” he responded.
CBS News on Wednesday reported 1992 footage filmed for "Entertainment
Tonight" in which Trump is heard commenting about a young girl, "I'm
going to be dating her in ten years."
Also Wednesday, Rolling
Stone published a story that included the allegations of Cassandra
Searles, Miss Washington 2013. In a comment she appended to a post she
had put on Facebook earlier this year suggesting that Trump treated
pageant contestants “like cattle,” Searles wrote, “He probably doesn’t
want me telling the story about that time he continually grabbed my ass
and invited me to his hotel room.” Yahoo covered her post and comment in
Jessica Leeds, 74, told the Times that she sat beside
Trump in the first-class cabin of a flight to New York when she was 38.
She didn't know him. Leeds said Trump groped her and tried to reach up
her skirt. “His hands were everywhere,” she said.
woman, Rachel Crooks, was at the time a 22-year-old receptionist at a
real estate company in Trump Tower who said she came face to face with
Trump outside an elevator there in 2005. She said that after she
introduced herself to Trump and they shook hands, he would not let go,
then kissed her cheeks and “kissed me directly on the mouth.”
“I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that,” she said.
later, Trump, then recently married to his wife Melania, came to her
office and requested her phone number, saying he planned to give it to
his modeling agency. Crooks was skeptical, but agreed. She was never
contacted by the agency, the Times reported.
nor Leeds reported their descriptions to the authorities. But the Times
quotes Leeds's neighbor, Crooks's boyfriend at the time and her sister,
each of whom said that the women previously told them about their
alleged encounters with Trump.
Both Leeds and Crooks say they support Hillary Clinton's campaign for president, the Times reported.
McGillivray, 36, told the Palm Beach Post that Trump groped her rear
end at Mar-a-Lago in 2003 when she was there accompanying a photographer
friend who was shooting a Ray Charles concert.
“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," she said.
"Ken" is Ken Davidoff, the photographer, with
whom the paper also spoke. Davidoff said he did not witness the alleged
incident but recalled that McGillivray told him about it right after it
Natasha Stoynoff, the reporter who wrote that she went
to Mar-a-Lago to interview Trump and Melania Trump for a feature story
on their first wedding anniversary, said Trump kissed her without her
consent when they were alone in a room.
"I turned around, and
within seconds, he was pushing me against the wall, and forcing his
tongue down my throat," Stoynoff wrote.
She wrote that he told her later, "You know we’re going to have an affair, don’t you?"
in her statement denying the allegation, said, "Mr. Trump was the
biggest star on television and surely this would have been a far bigger
scoop for People magazine."
In a Tuesday phone interview with the Times, Trump denied the claims made by Leeds and Crooks.
of this ever took place,” he said. As a reporter questioned him about
the women’s claims, he told her: “You are a disgusting human being,”
according to the Times.
Miller, in his statement, accused the
Times of a “completely false, coordinated character assassination”
against Trump. He called it a “political attack.”
Palmieri, communications director for Democratic presidential candidate
Hillary Clinton's campaign, said the reports show Trump lied on the
debate stage on Sunday.
“This disturbing story sadly fits
everything we know about the way Donald Trump has treated women. These
reports suggest that he lied on the debate stage and that the disgusting
behavior he bragged about in the tape is more than just words,”
Palmieri said in a statement Wednesday night.
"Entertainment Tonight" footage reported by CBS News, Trump can be heard
asking a young girl at Trump Tower, "You going up the escalator?"
"Yeah," she responds.
"I'm going to be dating her in ten years, can you believe it?" Trump is heard saying.
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the CBS report.
the video reported by The Post on Friday, Trump says he is
“automatically attracted” to beautiful women, and “I just start kissing
them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait.”
He adds: “And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”
“Whatever you want,” says another voice, apparently that of Billy Bush, then of “Access Hollywood.”
“Grab them by the p---y,” Trump says. “You can do anything.”