Five women have now come forward with allegations of Donald Trump having inappropriately groped or touched them in years past, including a People magazine writer. Trump has vehemently denied these accusations, calling them “absurd.”
Shortly after the New York Times published a story on Wednesday featuring two women who allege that Trump groped or kissed them without their consent, the Palm Beach Post published a separate but similar account. In it, a woman alleges Trump groped her behind during an encounter at Mar-a-Lago 13 years ago. The fourth woman, who represented Washington in the 2013 Miss USA pageant, also says Trump groped her.
Mindy McGillivray, 36, tells the Palm Beach Post that she was assisting photographer Ken Davidoff while he photographed a Ray Charles concert at Mar-a-Lago when Trump grabbed her.
Though McGillivray said she was startled by the incident, she decided not to say anything for fear of causing a scene. She did, however, tell Davidoff, the photographer, what occurred, saying, “Donald just grabbed my ass!” Davidoff told the paper that he did not witness the groping but never doubted McGillivray’s account.
“All of a sudden I felt a grab, a little nudge,” she said. “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.’’
Cassandra Searles, the former Miss Washington, shared a similar story. She initially addressed her feelings on Trump earlier this year in a Facebook post in which she called him a “misogynist.” She wrote that he “treated us like cattle,” which he “lined up so he could get a closer look at his property.”
According to Rolling Stone, Searles later added new information in the comments under her Facebook post. She wrote: “He probably doesn’t want me telling the story about that time he continually grabbed my ass and invited me to his hotel room.”
Searles isn’t the only former pageant contestant to come out with allegations concerning Trump’s inappropriate behavior. Earlier on Wednesday, BuzzFeed News published a story recounting how Trump walked in on pageant contestants in their dressing room while many of them were naked or nearly naked. And on Thursday morning, Temple Taggart McDowell, who also competed in the 1997 Miss USA pageant, told NBC that when she was first introduced to Trump, he gave her a kiss on the lips.
“I remember being shocked,” she said. “I would have just thought to shake somebody’s hand, and that was his first response with me. I remember feeling kind of embarrassed, like wanting to turn and bite my mouth, like, ‘What just happened?’ [But] because he’s the pageant owner … I just kind of shooed it off and kind of went along.” He greeted her the same way months later when she traveled to his New York office for a meeting, prompting her chaperone to warn her not to enter a room with Trump alone.
Trump has denied the allegations raised by the women. Trump had some harsh words for the reporter who contacted him for comment regarding the New York Times story about whether he kissed a former secretary at Trump Tower and groped an airplane passenger. He told the reporter, per the Times, “You are a disgusting human being.”