US Election 2016

US election: What are the sexual allegations against Donald Trump?

Donald Trump arrives at a campaign rally in Ocala, Florida - 12 October 2016 Image copyright AP

Donald Trump is facing an increasing number of sexual misconduct claims following his attempt to play down a now-infamous "sex boasts" recording from 2005 in which he says he is "automatically attracted to beautiful (women)".

"I just start kissing them," he says in it. "It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything."

During the second presidential debate, Mr Trump was asked if he had ever grabbed anyone's genitals or kissed them without consent.

He replied: "Women have respect for me. And I will tell you: No, I have not."

Below is a round-up of some of the allegations against Mr Trump, and his responses to them.


Names: Jessica Leeds and Rachel Crooks

Image copyright AP
Image caption Jessica Leeds - alleged Mr Trump groped her on a plane

Claims: Ms Leeds, 74, from Manhattan, says Mr Trump groped her in the early 1980s, when she was sitting beside him in the first-class cabin of a flight to New York.

She told the New York Times that around 45 minutes after take-off, Mr Trump lifted the armrest and started groping her. She claims the business mogul grabbed her breasts and tried to put his hand up her skirt.

She called the encounter "an assault", saying: "He was like an octopus. His hands were everywhere."

Ms Leeds, then 38, says she left her first-class seat and retreated to the standard class cabin.

Meanwhile Ms Crooks, from Ohio, says Mr Trump kissed her on the cheeks and "directly on the mouth" when she introduced herself outside a lift in 2005. At the time Ms Crooks was a 22-year-old receptionist at Bayrock Group, a real estate firm based in Trump Tower.

She says of the alleged incident: "I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that."

Trump's response: His lawyer sent a letter threatening to sue the NYT and calling the allegations "false and malicious".

"Clearly, The New York Times is willing to provide a platform to anyone wishing to smear Mr Trump's name and reputation," the letter says.

The NYT stands by the piece and calls it "public service journalism".


Name: Mindy McGillivray

Image copyright AP

Claim: Ms McGillivray, 36, from California, says Donald Trump grabbed her backside at his Mar-a-Lago resort 13 years ago.

She told the Palm Beach Post that while she never reported the incident to police, she did tell her companion that day. Photographer Ken Davidoff, who Ms McGillivray was assisting, told the newspaper he recalled her pulling him aside and saying: ''Donald just grabbed my ass."

Ms McGillivray says she was standing next to Mr Trump and his then fiancee Melania when Mr Trump allegedly groped her.

Trump's response: Mr Trump's press secretary, Hope Hicks, said: "There is no truth to this whatsoever. This allegation lacks any merit or veracity."


Name: Natasha Stoynoff

Claim: Former People Magazine writer Natasha Stoynoff, in a piece for the publication, alleges Mr Trump pushed her against a wall and forced his tongue down her throat while she was at the Mar-a-Lago resort in 2005.

Ms Stoynoff claims the incident happened during a break while she was interviewing Mr Trump and his then pregnant wife Melania for a feature on their first year of marriage.

She says she was taken by surprise and that the alleged assault was interrupted when the resort's butler entered the room.

He later told her: "You know we're going to have an affair, don't you?"

She says she chose at the time not to report it because she felt ashamed and blamed herself for the incident.

Trump's response: A spokeswoman for the Trump campaign said: "This has never happened. there is no merit or veracity to this fictional story. Why wasn't this reported at the time? Mr Trump was the biggest star on television and surely this would have been a far bigger scoop for People magazine. She alleges this took place in a public space with people around. This is nothing but politically motivated fictional pile-on."


Name: Cassandra Searles

Image copyright Getty Images

Claim: Yahoo News reported on a Facebook post by Ms Searles, who participated in the Miss USA pageant, which was owned by Mr Trump from 2002 to 2015.

In June, the 2013 Miss Washington tagged her fellow 2013 competitors on a picture of the women onstage with Mr Trump that was posted to the social network and wrote: "Do y'all remember that one time we had to do our onstage introductions, but this one guy treated us like cattle and made us do it again because we didn't look him in the eyes? Do you also remember when he then proceeded to have us lined up so he could get a closer look at his property?"

She also alleged that the presidential candidate continually grabbed her backside and invited her to his hotel room.

Trump's response: He has not directly responded to Ms Searles' claims.


Name: Jill Harth

Image copyright Larry Busacca

Claim: Ms Harth told The Guardian in July that, over the course of their acquaintance, Mr Trump leered at her, made inappropriate comments, groped her and eventually cornered her in a bedroom during a 1993 visit to Mar-a-Lago.

There, Ms Harth alleges "he pushed me up against the wall, and had his hands all over me and tried to get up my dress again... I had to physically say: 'What are you doing? Stop it.'"

Ms Harth first spoke about some of her experiences with Mr Trump in a piece by the New York Times looking into his relationship with women.

In 1997, she filed a sexual assault lawsuit against Mr Trump, which she later dropped.

Trump's response: He has denied her claims and called them "meritless".


Name: Jessica Drake

Image copyright AP

Claim: Mr Trump met the porn actress and sex educator at a golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, California, 10 years ago where he tried to persuade her to have sex, Ms Drake, 42, alleges.

Speaking at a news conference in Los Angeles on 22 October, she said she went, with two other women and at Mr Trump's invitation, to his hotel room. Mr Trump was wearing pyjamas when they arrived, she said.

The businessman "grabbed each of us tightly in a hug and kissed each one of us without asking permission".

After Ms Drake returned to her room, she says she received a phone call from a man, possibly Mr Trump, offering $10,000 (£8,200) if she went back to his suite. She could also use his private plane to fly to Los Angeles.

Trump's response: His campaign issued a statement saying: "This story is totally false and ridiculous." It went on: "Mr Trump does not know this person, does not remember this person and would have no interest in ever knowing her... this is just another attempt by the Clinton campaign to defame a candidate who just today is number one in three different polls."


Names: Temple Taggart, Tasha Dixon, Mariah Billado

Claim: Ms Taggart told the New York Times that as the 21-year-old Miss Utah in 1997, Mr Trump kissed her directly on the mouth without her consent.

Ms Dixon told a CBS station in Los Angeles that when she was an 18-year-old competitor in the Miss USA pageant, that Mr Trump walked backstage without warning while the contestants were changing.

"Our first introduction to him was when we were at the dress rehearsal and half naked changing into our bikinis. He just came strolling right in. 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 said.

Ms Billado told Buzzfeed News that Mr Trump walked into the changing rooms of the 1997 Miss Teen USA beauty pageant.

"I remember putting on my dress really quick because I was like, 'Oh my god, there's a man in here," she said.

They are also several other contestants from the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss USA Teen family of pageants - then owned by Mr Trump - that allege similar inappropriate conduct. Some of these claims were made anonymously.

Trump's response: Mr Trump denied Ms Taggart's claim, telling the newspaper he is reluctant to kiss strangers on the lips.

Mr Trump's campaign has not responded directly to the other allegations.


Name: Summer Zervos

Image copyright Getty Images

Claim: Ms Zervos, a former contestant on The Apprentice, said she was sexually assaulted by Mr Trump in 2007 after he invited her to discuss employment opportunities.

In an emotional news conference, she said she met him in a bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel where the businessman greeted her by kissing her on the mouth.

The 41-year-old described sitting next to him on a sofa where he "grabbed my shoulder and began kissing me again very aggressively and placed his hand on my breast".

Ms Zervos said he attempted to lead her into the bedroom and "began thrusting his genitals", but she rejected his advances.

He then began talking as if they were in a job interview, she added, and she was later offered a low-paying job at a golf course owned by Mr Trump.

Ms Zervos said she is a Republican.

Trump's response: Mr Trump's campaign said he "vaguely remembers" Ms Zervos, but insisted the meeting at the hotel didn't happen.

In a statement, he said: "The media is now creating a theatre of absurdity that threatens to tear our democratic process apart and poison the minds of the American public."


Name: Kristin Anderson

Claim: Ms Anderson, now 46, told the Washington Post that Mr Trump reached up her skirt and groped her in a New York night club in the 1990s.

She immediately turned round to find a man sitting on a red velvet couch whom she recognised instantly as the celebrity property mogul.

Ms Anderson, who was working as a waitress at the time, said she was "very grossed out and weirded out".

"It wasn't a sexual come-on. I don't know why he did it. It was like just to prove that he could do it, and nothing would happen," she added.

The newspaper said it had approached Ms Anderson after learning of her story through a third party, and she had spent several days in deliberation before deciding to go public.

Trump's response: Hope Hicks, Mr Trump's spokeswoman, said in a statement emailed to the Washington Post: "Mr Trump strongly denies this phony allegation by someone looking to get some free publicity. It is totally ridiculous."


Name: Cathy Heller

Claim: Ms Heller told the Guardian she met Mr Trump briefly at a Mother's Day lunch in 1997 at Mr Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate. She says she extended her hand to him for a handshake but he "grabbed" her to try and kiss her. When she leaned backwards to avoid him he said "come on" and ended up kissing the side of her mouth before walking away.

Ms Heller is a supporter of Hillary Clinton but her family and friends, including some who were present at the Mother's Day lunch, have come forward to back her story up. She told the story to a Guardian reporter in February but decided not to go public at the time.

Trump's response: Mr Trump's spokesman said in a statement: "There is no way that something like this could have happened in a public place on Mother's Day at Mr Trump's resort. It would have been the talk of Palm Beach for the past two decades."

He accused "the media" of "wheeling out a politically motivated Democratic activist" and said "anyone covering this story should be embarrassed for elevating this bogus claim".

Related Topics