Former model Amy Dorris alleged that President Donald Trump sexually assaulted her at the U.S. Open in September 1997, she told The Guardian in an interview, becoming the latest in a string of women to accuse Trump of sexual misconduct.
Trump, who was married to Marla Maples at the time, allegedly “shoved his tongue down my throat” outside the bathroom in his VIP box at the tennis tournament, Dorris alleged to The Guardian, “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,” Dorris alleged, saying she “was pushing him off” and told him, “no, please stop,” but “he didn’t care.”
Dorris, who was 24 years old at the time, was visiting New York City with her then-boyfriend Jason Binn, a friend of Trump, and on subsequent occasions during her trip Trump “continued to pursue her despite her firm rejection of his advances,” though he did not allegedly “seriously assault” her again.
Dorris’ account was corroborated to The Guardian by several people, including Dorris’ mother, friends and her therapist, who told the publication Dorris had shared details of the events with them that matched what she told The Guardian.
Trump, through his attorneys, “denied in the strongest possible terms having ever harassed, abused or behaved improperly toward Dorris” to The Guardian, and Binn reportedly told Trump’s lawyers that he has “no recollection of Dorris telling him that anything inappropriate had happened with Trump or that she felt uncomfortable around him.”
Dorris joins at least 25 women who have previously accused Trump of sexual misconduct in some form—which he has denied—ranging from Trump “ogling” beauty pageant contestants and allegedly walking in on them as they were changing to allegations of rape, and one other assault allegation, made by former model Karena Virginia, also allegedly took place at the U.S. Open in 1998.
“I’m sick of [Trump] getting away with this,” Dorris told The Guardian about her decision to go public now with the allegations, which she first shared with the outlet 15 months ago. “I’m tired of being quiet. It’s kind of cathartic. I just want to get this out. And I want people to know that this is the man, this is our president. This is the kind of thing he does and it’s unacceptable.”
Trump’s lawyers told The Guardian that Dorris’ allegations “did not stand up to any scrutiny and had there been any inappropriate behaviour by Trump outside of the bathroom within the VIP box, there would have been numerous witnesses.” The lawyers also said “it seemed incredible that Dorris would voluntarily choose to be in the vicinity of Trump…in the days following the alleged assault” and that “the timing of the claims so close to the November presidential election suggested they might be politically motivated.” When asked by The Guardian why she had continued to spend time with Trump after he allegedly assaulted her, Dorris said she “had no money, nowhere to go” and her and Binn were “going from event to event and it was overwhelming.” Dorris added that she “did not fully process what had happened until later,” telling The Guardian, “People spend years around people who have abused them, that’s what happens when something traumatic happens, you freeze.”
Trump’s alleged mistreatment of women first became a flashpoint in the 2016 election when tapes surfaced of him bragging about grabbing women “by the pussy,” and gained steam again when the #MeToo movement put the sexual misconduct of powerful men back in the spotlight. Though the allegations against him have drawn considerable scrutiny and critics have called for them to be investigated, Trump has not yet faced any consequences for his alleged sexual misconduct, which he has continued to strongly deny. Two of Trump’s accusers, Summer Zervos and E. Jean Carroll, are currently suing Trump for defamation in connection with their allegations against him.
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The Trump campaign implied to Reuters Thursday that it may take legal action against The Guardian for their reporting. “We will consider every legal means available to hold The Guardian accountable for its malicious publication of this unsubstantiated story,” Trump campaign legal advisor Jenna Ellis said, calling the allegations “totally false.”