There’s been a lot of talk about sexual assault lately. Women (and men) who have been sexually assaulted by men in positions of power are coming forward and telling their stories. The results — in most cases — have been devastating and swift. Ronan Farrow recently said it “feels like we’re at a tipping point.”
And while there does appear to be a sort of mass reckoning for a lot of these vile, lecherous men, one particularly vile, lecherous man has managed to keep his job.
The President has been accused of inappropriate sexual activity by more than a dozen women over the past 30 years. Some have resulted in litigation, including one messy divorce proceeding, one case settled out of court, and one that is still going on.
In addition to those three lawsuits, there have been more than a dozen more reported cases of unwanted sexual advances. These women have gone on record, describing the kind of gross, aggressive, evil behavior that Trump himself has admitted to. But in each case, he has denied the allegations, claiming to be a victim of political retribution, or the victim of a bunch of women looking for money and fame.
But the thing is? Lately? We’re believing the women. Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K., Brett Ratner. These men are accused of wholly inappropriate and illegal activity, and we believe the women. In the case of the current President of the United States, let’s choose to believe the women.
These are their names.
Kristin Anderson — Trump groped her beneath her skirt in a nightclub in the early ’90s.
Rachel Crooks — In 2005, she encountered Trump in an elevator and turned to introduce herself. They shook hands, but Mr. Trump would not let go. Instead, he began kissing her cheeks, then directly on the mouth.
Jessica Drake — She was invited to meet with Trump at his hotel suite in 2006. Uncomfortable going alone, she brought two friends. Trump grabbed each of them tightly and kissed each one of them without permission. Shortly after they left, he requested that she join him in his suite for $10,000, and offered to fly her on his jet back to Los Angeles.
Cathy Heller — She was grabbed and kissed by Donald Trump in 1997 at a Mother’s Day brunch with her children, her husband, and her husband’s parents at his Mar-a-Lago estate. She avoided a kiss, so he grabbed her and, when he tried to kiss her, she turned her head. He kissed her on the side of the mouth and then left.
Ninni Laaksonen — Miss Finland 2006 appeared with Trump on Letterman in July of that year. Before they went on the air, Trump grabbed her butt.
Jessica Leeds — In the ’80s, Leeds was on a flight next to Trump. He lifted the armrest and began touching her, grabbing her breasts, and tried to put his hand up her skirt.
Temple Taggart McDowell — 1997’s Miss Utah accused Trump of unwanted kisses and embraces.
Mindy McGillivray — In January 2003, she was groped by Trump at Mar-a-Lago “All of a sudden I felt a grab, a little nudge. I think it’s my friend’s camera bag. I turn around and there’s Donald. He sort of looked away quickly.”
Cassandra Searles — Miss Washington 2013 was fondled by Trump during the pageant that year. Trump continually groped her and asked her to go to his hotel room.
Natasha Stoynoff — Trump gave her a tour of Mar-a-Lago in 2005. During the tour, he pushed her against a wall and forced his tongue into her mouth. Afterwards, he repeatedly told her, “We’re going to have an affair, I’m telling you.”
Karena Virginia — In 1998, Trump commented on her legs then he grabbed her right arm, and touched her breast. “Don’t you know who I am? Don’t you know who I am?” he said.
Mariah Billado, Bridget Sullivan, Tasha Dixon, Samantha Holvey — All four of these women leveled similar accusations at Trump between 1997 and 2006: that he barged into a Miss USA or Miss Teen USA dressing room while the contestants were naked.
Asked about this practice during a Howard Stern interview in 2005, Trump said the following:
“I’ll go backstage before a show, and everyone’s getting dressed and ready and everything else….You know, no men are anywhere. And I’m allowed to go in because I’m the owner of the pageant. And therefore I’m inspecting it…. Is everyone OK? You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. And you see these incredible-looking women. And so I sort of get away with things like that.”
Where have I heard that before? Oh, right.
“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. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.”
All of these women describe the exact kinds of behavior he bragged about, and yet we’re told that they’re all lying.
All of them? Really?
No, I don’t think so. Let’s believe these women.