“To paraphrase a well-known expert on personal morality: Those that live by the sordid shall die by the sordid”
Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump has been the target of sexual assault claims from various women long before he announced his candidacy for President on June 16, 2015. For example, in 1989, after Trump had a painful operation on his scalp to remove a bald spot, he took his anger out on his then wife Ivana, pinioning her arms, tearing her hair out by the fistful, then tearing off her clothes and forcibly raping her.
According to an account of the incident published by The Daily Beast in 2015, when Ivana Trump returned to the master bedroom in the morning after spending the night crying in the bathroom, her husband asked her in a sinister tone:
“Does it hurt?”
In 1997, Trump was sued by Jill Harth, the co-owner of a small Florida event company called American Dream Enterprise. In the deposition, Harth claimed that when she, her boyfriend George Houraney and Donald Trump conducted business to have his hotels host their events, Trump repeatedly made unwanted sexual advances and tried to rape her.
In April 2016, a woman currently using the pseudonym “Jane Doe” filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump and financier and convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, claiming that she was coerced into engaging in depraved sexual activities with the two men. Though the case has been dismissed twice, on October 7, 2016, U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams called for a status conference hearing on December 16, 2016, at 11:30 am at the U.S. District Court. On the day Judge Abrams made her decision, a video surfaced of Donald Trump in 2005 discussing women in a crude manner with then Access Hollywood correspondent Billy Bush and declaring that his fame and fortune gave him the right to sexually assault women with impunity.
“I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful… I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait…Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”
Since then, accounts of Donald Trump’s criminally lewd behavior toward women have been turning up left, right, center, over, under, sideways and down. For example, on October 12, 2016, People published an account by writer Natasha Stoynoff in which she described an incident in December 2005 when she was sexually assaulted by the Donald:
“Our photo team shot the Trumps on the lush grounds of their Florida estate, and I interviewed them about how happy their first year of marriage had been. When we took a break for the then-very-pregnant Melania to go upstairs and change wardrobe for more photos, Donald wanted to show me around the mansion. There was one “tremendous” room in particular, he said, that I just had to see.
“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.
“Now, I’m a tall, strapping girl who grew up wrestling two giant brothers. I even once sparred with Mike Tyson. It takes a lot to push me. But Trump is much bigger — a looming figure — and he was fast, taking me by surprise and throwing me off balance. I was stunned. And I was grateful when Trump’s longtime butler burst into the room a minute later, as I tried to unpin myself.
“The butler informed us that Melania would be down momentarily, and it was time to resume the interview.
“I was still in shock and remained speechless as we both followed him to an outdoor patio overlooking the grounds. In those few minutes alone with Trump, my self-esteem crashed to zero. How could the actions of one man make me feel so utterly violated? I’d been interviewing A-list celebrities for over 20 years, but what he’d done was a first. Did he think I’d be flattered?
“I tried to act normal. I had a job to do, and I was determined to do it. I sat in a chair that faced Trump, who waited for his wife on a loveseat. The butler left us, and I fumbled with my tape recorder. Trump smiled and leaned forward.
“‘You know we’re going to have an affair, don’t you?’ he declared, in the same confident tone he uses when he says he’s going to make America great again. ‘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.’”
Though one of Stoynoff’s colleagues was adamant about speaking to the managing editor and killing the story, Stoynoff, blaming herself and wanting to forget the matter, opted not to speak up at the time.
In response, Trump typically dismissed Natasha Stoynoff’s claim, making sure to speak of her in disparaging terms:
“Why wasn’t it part of the story that appeared 12 years ago? Why didn’t they make it part of the story? I was one of the biggest stars on television with the Apprentice and it would’ve been one of the biggest stories of the year.”
“You take a look. Look at her. Look at her words. Tell me what you think. I don’t think so. I don’t think so…These people are horrible people. They’re horrible, horrible liars. And interestingly, it happens to appears 26 days before our very important election. Isn’t that amazing?”
However, more women came forward with disturbing reports of The Donald’s sleazy behavior. The day Stoynoff’s account dropped, The New York Times reported that Jessica Leeds, 74, and Rachel Crooks, 33, were each physically violated by Trump.
According to Leeds, she was seated next to Donald Trump on an airline flight in 1980 when she was 38. Approximately three-quarters of an hour after takeoff, Trump grabbed her breasts and reached under her skirt to fondle her nether regions.
“He was like an octopus. His hands were everywhere.”
Rachel Crooks noted that when she worked as a receptionist at Bayrock Group, a real estate investment and development company inside the Trump Tower in Manhattan, she met Donald Trump and introduced herself with a handshake. However, Trump would not let go and began kissing her on the cheeks and on the mouth.
“It was so inappropriate. I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that.”
On the same day the two preceding reports surfaced, 36-year-old Mindy McGillivray told The Palm Beach Post that in 2003, when she was 23, she was working as an assistant to photographer Ken Davidoff ,who was shooting late R&B piano virtuoso Ray Charles at a concert held at Mar-a-Lago, a private estate in Palm Beach, Florida owned by Donald Trump, and that after the concert, Trump groped her.
“Ray already performed. He’s ready to leave. He’s saying his goodbyes to everyone. 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… This was a pretty good nudge. More of a grab. It was pretty close to the center of my butt. I was startled. I jumped.’”
People also published an account from reality television contestant Richard Hatch, who appeared on Donald Trump’s television program The Celebrity Apprentice, in which he describes Trump speaking crudely to the women who appeared on the show:
“Watching him in the boardroom making sexual comments to Marlee Matlin, to all of the women on the Apprentice, it was obvious that that’s just a part of who he is. It was obvious and it was grotesque. It was blatant and it was frequent. He did it with Lisa Rinna; He did it with Marlee Matlin. He did it with whomever happened to be there at the time.
“He went back and forth with Marlee. No matter how she responded, no matter how politely, he would push it a step further with comments about her looks, and how she was making him feel, and about what he thought of her, and how happy he would be to do something with her. It was a lot of innuendo, far beyond the norm. It was odd and weird, and people in the boardroom would look at one another, but he didn’t care. [Matlin] was with her interpreter, Jack, and I thought, ‘Gosh, I wonder if he’s comfortable with this?’
“He did it in front of Ivanka. That was not just uncomfortable for me. It was weird. I was fascinated as a people watcher to think what could possibly be going on in that woman’s mind. He didn’t care that she was there; he didn’t seem afraid that she would hold him accountable or say anything about his boorish behavior. None of that happened. He was just that way, and it didn’t matter to him one bit that his daughter was listening in.”
Even more disturbing, yet another report surfaced on October 12 that Mariah Billado, the former Miss Vermont who competed in Miss Teen USA in 1997, claimed that Donald Trump walked into the dressing room while several contestants — some as young as 15 — were changing.
“I remember putting on my dress really quick because I was like, ‘Oh my god, there’s a man in here.”
According to Billado and the three anonymous women who corroborated her story, Trump responded with words to the effect of:
“Don’t worry, ladies, I’ve seen it all before.”
The following day, People reported that Temple Taggart McDowell, representing Utah in the 1997 Miss USA pageant, noted that Donald Trump had forcibly given her unwanted kisses numerous times. McDowell remembers:
“I was very young, and I remember feeling kind of embarrassed, like wanting to turn and almost wipe my mouth. Like, what just happened?”
Though Donald Trump claimed that his discussion of his desire to and perceived right to sexually assault women captured on video in 2005 was mere “locker room talk,” judging from the stories that have very recently become public knowledge, what the camera captured was not a fluke nor an out of character moment, much less an isolated incident. Clearly, Donald Trump is pathologically and criminally misogynistic and electing him would set a terrible and dangerous example.