On Wednesday, 11 women came forward with reports that they had been groped or peeped on by Donald Trump. Yesterday, a 12th woman, Lisa Boyne, came forward. Today, a 13th woman, Kristin Anderson, has also come forward, reporting that Trump sexually assaulted her at a nightclub in the early 1990s.
Kristin Anderson was deep in conversation with acquaintances at a crowded Manhattan nightspot and did not notice the figure to her right on a red velvet couch — until, she recalls, his fingers slid under her miniskirt, moved up her inner thigh, and touched her vagina through her underwear.A "phony allegation" that describes exactly what Trump claimed he does on the recording with Billy Bush. That is, just grabbing women's genitalia unsolicited.
Anderson shoved the hand away, fled the couch and turned to take her first good look at the man who had touched her, she said.
She recognized him as Donald Trump...
The episode, as Anderson described it, lasted no more than 30 seconds. Anderson said she and her companions were "very grossed out and weirded out" and thought, "Okay, Donald is gross. We all know he's gross. Let's just move on."
...As Trump has done with others who have made accusations, his campaign said that Anderson is making the whole thing up.
"Mr. Trump strongly denies this phony allegation by someone looking to get some free publicity. It is totally ridiculous," Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said in an emailed statement.
Again, the timeline is this: Over the course of several days leading up to the debate, we heard Trump admit that he kisses and gropes women without their consent, and that he walked in on naked pageant contestants. Women who had been subjected to these acts, many of whom have said they questioned themselves and/or what really happened, thus had their experiences validated by the very man who assaulted them. During the subsequent presidential debate, moderator Anderson Cooper pressed Trump about whether his "locker room talk" had ever been more than just talk. Trump said no. Women to whom he had actually done these things then decided they could no longer keep their stories to themselves.
The suggestion that these women are motivated simply by trying to influence the election elides that Trump invited these accounts to be made public by lying, and very publicly.
Y'all understand that questioning the "timing" is implicitly an argument Trump should have been able to lie during debate w/o consequences.— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) October 13, 2016
It's also pretty rich (and by that I mean "cruel") to accuse a woman of doing this for "free publicity," given that several of the women who have come forward have had their personal contact information widely shared. There is a cost to speaking out. Trump's allies have made sure of that.
UPDATE: A 14th woman has now also come forward:
A former contestant on Donald Trump's reality television show "The Apprentice" spoke out on Friday to accuse the Republican presidential nominee of sexually harassing her when she sought his help after her time on his show.Trump continues to deny that any of the allegations are true. During an event in North Carolina today, he again suggested that two of the women—Jessica Leeds, who accused Trump of groping her on an airplane, and People writer Natasha Stoynoff, who accused Trump of groping her while she was profiling him for the magazine—aren't attractive enough for him to have assaulted, again implying that sexual assault is a compliment.
Summer Zervos, who laid out her allegations at a tearful press conference with attorney Gloria Allred on Friday, said Trump pursued unwanted sexual advances toward her when she met with him at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles to discuss employment opportunities in 2007.
Zervos said she had first met Trump when she was a candidate on the fifth season of "The Apprentice" and later reached out to him for career advice, with the hope of working for the Trump Organization.
She met with him in his New York office, Zervos said, when he kissed her unexpectedly multiple times on the lips, and he later suggested meeting in Los Angeles to discuss her employment.
He also said during the speech that "some woman" should "say falsely" about President Obama what they have said about him. And let's be clear what that means: Trump invited someone to falsely accuse a Black man of sexual assault, which is part of an ugly history in this country.
I take up space in solidarity with the women who are speaking out about having been abused by Trump, and with our President.