Three women are making claims that Donald Trump touched them inappropriately without their permission.
In a New York Times report report published Wednesday, Jessica Leeds, 74, and Rachel Crooks claim that the businessman-turned-GOP candidate made sexual advances on both of them — but decades apart.
After Trump denied on Sunday evening’s second presidential debate ever kissing and touching the genitals of women without their permission — “No, I have not” — as he stated in the leaked 2005 Access Hollywood video published Friday by The Washington Post, both Leeds and Crooks came forward.
Leeds told The Times that more than 30 years ago, she sat next to Trump on a first-class flight to New York while on a business trip. “He was like an octopus,” she claims of Trump grabbing her breasts and attempting to put his hand up her skirt. “His hands were everywhere.”
At the time, 38-year-old Leeds, who worked at a paper company, moved to the back of the plane after being upgraded to first class. “It was an assault,” she told the NYT.
In an interview with CNN‘s Anderson Cooper, Leeds explained that she decided to tell her story when Trump announced his candidacy for president last year. “I didn’t start telling my story until a year-and-a-half ago when it became apparent he was making a serious run for the presidency,” she said in the sit-down that aired Wednesday. “Over the year and the half that I’ve been telling it, it doesn’t change it at all. It still infuriates me when I think about it. But it was a long time ago.”
Crooks, similarly, made claims in the NYT report that Trump forced himself on her in 2005. While working as a receptionist at a real estate investment and development company in the Manhattan Trump Tower, the then 22-year-old Crooks met Trump outside on elevator in the building. According to Crooks, she introduced herself to the businessman and they shook hands — but he would not let go.
He “kissed me directly on the mouth,” Crooks told NYT. “It was so inappropriate,” she said. “I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that.”
Trump denied the claims made by both Crooks and Leeds to The New York Times and stated, “None of this ever took place.” According to NYT, he shouted at the reporter who questioned him and threatened to sue if the publication reported him. “You are a disgusting human being,” he told the reporter, according to NYT.
Both Leeds and Crooks never reported Trump to authorities.
A third woman, Mindy McGillivray, is also making claims that Trump groped her 13 years ago at Mar-a-Lago when she was 23. According to Palm Beach Post, McGillivray, then 23, worked as an assistant to photographer Ken Davidoff during a 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,” McGillivray told PBP of being grabbed by Trump, who attended the event with his wife, Melania.
“This was a pretty good nudge. More of a grab,” McGillivray, who also did not press charges, recalled. “It was pretty close to the center of my butt. I was startled. I jumped.”
On Friday, Trump issued an apology after footage of him making lewd comments about Nancy O’Dell and Arianne Zucker to Billy Bush on-board an Access Hollywood bus was published in The Washington Post. “I never said I’m a perfect person nor pretended to be someone that I’m not. I’ve said and done things I regret and the words released today on the more than decade-old video are one of them,” he said in a video apology. “Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong and I apologize.“