Trump Accuser Says President's Gleeful Tweets About Men Accused in #MeToo Movement Are Dangerous
"He makes his own reality," Cathy Heller tells PEOPLE. "He's denying the Access Hollywood tape. It's dangerous"
When Cathy Heller was introduced to Donald Trump at a Mar-a-Lago brunch in the ’90s, she says he grabbed her and forcibly tried for a kiss on the mouth. When she said no, he kissed her anyway, she says.
“He was really angry,” she told PEOPLE last year. “He really grabbed me and was holding me really tight to kiss me on the mouth.”
Heller came forward soon after the October 2016 release of the infamous Access Hollywood video showing Trump boasting to Billy Bush in 2005 of sexually assaulting women, that because he’s a star he can “grab them by the pussy.”
Although Trump admitted at that time the footage was authentic when he apologized for it during the presidential campaign, he’s been suggesting to multiple people that it’s fake, according to The New York Times. (Access Hollywood went on record almost immediately on Tuesday to reaffirm that “the tape is very real.”)
“He makes his own reality,” Heller tells PEOPLE in a new interview. “He’s denying the Access Hollywood tape. It’s dangerous. Everyone has seen him speaking (on the tape) and it’s him. It’s like he is denying reality.”
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And as for Trump reacting with glee on Wednesday after NBC News announced it had fired Today show anchor Matt Lauer over alleged sexual misconduct?
“Donald Trump is a hypocrite,” says Heller. “I don’t think he should be calling out anyone for sexual harassment or sexual assault, but I don’t think he can control himself.”
Heller is one of at least 10 women who came forward during the campaign who alleged on the record that Trump had touched, grabbed or kissed them without their permission. They wonder when he, too, may suffer any consequences for his actions while accusations against so many other men have been widely believed and led to a loss of their careers and other fallout.
(Trump has denied all allegations against him, tweeting last year that the accusations are “100% fabricated and made-up charges.” He also called the charges “false allegations and outright lies” while on the campaign trail last fall.)
“Things just seem to fall off of Trump, I’m extremely disappointed,” says Jessica Leeds, 75, who alleges Trump tried to kiss her, fondle her breasts and put his hand up her skirt while on a flight to New York in the early 1980s.
With Trump’s denial of the reality of the Access Hollywood tapes, Leeds tells PEOPLE that Trump “can’t seem to recognize what the truth is.”
“Billy Bush got fired for the Access Hollywood tapes, which is an indication that Trump is trying to rewrite the story in his own defense,” she says, “and it is a lie.”