U.S. President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign on Thursday denied a Guardian newspaper report in which a former model accused the New York real estate developer of sexually assaulting and groping her at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in 1997.
The Guardian reported that Amy Dorris told the paper in an interview that Trump assaulted her outside a bathroom in his VIP box at the tournament that year. She was 24 at the time, the newspaper said.
“He just shoved his tongue down my throat and I was pushing him off. And then that’s when his grip became tighter and his hands were very gropey and all over my butt, my breasts, my back, everything,” the newspaper quoted Dorris as saying.
The president’s re-election campaign on Thursday said the allegations were not true.
“The allegations are totally false. We will consider every legal means available to hold The Guardian accountable for its malicious publication of this unsubstantiated story,” said Jenna Ellis, a legal advisor to Trump’s campaign.
Efforts by Reuters to reach Dorris by phone for comment were unsuccessful.
The Guardian said in an email it stood by its reporting.
The newspaper published photos that it said were provided by Dorris, a former model, showing her with Trump and said that it interviewed several people who Dorris confided in at the time of the incident. It said that in total she provided six photos showing the two together, as well as her ticket to the tournament on the day she said the incident occurred.
Trump has faced a number of allegations of sexual misconduct prior to his time in office. Shortly before the November 2016 election, an Access Hollywood recording from 2005 revealed him boasting about groping women. Trump dismissed the comments as “locker room banter” and apologized.
Dorris, a mother of twins, told the newspaper she considered coming forward in 2016 but decided against doing so, partly out of fears for her family.
“Now I feel like my girls are about to turn 13 years old and I want them to know that you don’t let anybody do anything to you that you don’t want,” she said.
Faces 2 defamation cases
Trump was not harmed politically by the more than a dozen accusations of past sexual misconduct levelled at him during the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump has denied all the allegations.
While those cases generally involved groping and kissing without consent, in 2019, E. Jean Carroll alleged forced penetration in an incident in the 1990s. Trump denied the allegation, saying Carroll “isn’t my type.”
Carroll has launched a defamation suit based on Trump’s comments about her allegation, with the Justice Department recently taking the unprecedented step of wanting to take over his defence in the case.
Trump also faces a defamation suit still working its way through the courts from Summer Zervos, a former contestant on The Apprentice who accuses him of unwanted kissing and groping.
New York State prosecutors are also wanting access to Trump Organization financial records, a process currently tied up in the courts. The investigation is believed to have been spurred by claims by former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen as well as porn actress Stormy Daniels that Trump paid hush money payments to her and another woman to buy their silence over alleged extramarital affairs.