Former model and actress Amy Dorris is the latest to come forward and accuse Donald Trump of sexual assault, alleging the incident occurred at the 1997 US Open. The president has vehemently denied her claims.
In an interview with the Guardian published on Thursday, Dorris claims she attended the tennis event with Trump while she was dating her then-boyfriend Jason Binn, a friend of Trump’s at the time.
What are Dorris' claims?
According to Dorris, who was 24 at the time of the alleged incident, Trump assaulted her while they were in his VIP box at the tournament. The former model and actress said she went to use the bathroom in the box when Trump approached her.
“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,” she said, adding she pushed him away and may have bit his tongue in the altercation.
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She also claimed she said “no” and told him to “get away” multiple times. Trump, 51 at the time, was still married to his second wife, Marla Maples.
While Dorris presented no direct witnesses to the alleged incident, several people including her mother and a therapist, confirmed that she had told the story to them around the time it allegedly occurred or in the years since.
Dorris also presented her ticket for the tennis championship and several photos she took with Trump during the time they spent together.
*Another woman comes forward to accuse Donald Trump of sexual assault, according to @guardian.— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) September 17, 2020
*Former model Amy Dorris says alleged assault occurred at US Open in 1997.
*”His hands were very gropey…”https://t.co/UVGsPPUOiJ pic.twitter.com/2BoXuM77So
After the alleged incident, Dorris spent more time with Trump and her boyfriend, even attending another day of the US Open the day after. She said she did not leave because she “was there from Florida and I was with Jason. I had no money, nowhere to go. We were going from event to event and it was overwhelming.”
How has Trump reacted?
Through his lawyers, the president “denied in the strongest possible terms having ever harassed, abused or behaved improperly toward Dorris.” They also said Binn, Dorris’ boyfriend at the event, had told them he has “no recollection of Dorris telling him that anything inappropriate had happened with Trump or that she felt uncomfortable around him,” according to the Guardian.
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Dorris said she cannot recall if she told Binn about the alleged incident, but she does remember telling him to warn Trump to stay away from her.
Trump’s lawyers have also questioned why Dorris would spend more time with Trump if she were assaulted, even sitting next to him at the Gianni Versace memorial in the days following what she claimed happened.
They have also questioned the fact that there are no first-hand witnesses to the story, saying the VIP box area would make it difficult for no one to see what allegedly happened. Dorris says the bathroom area was hidden behind a partition, cutting it off from other guests.
Why did Dorris only come forward now?
The timing of the story has also been questioned by Trump’s legal team, with the presidential election only weeks away, suggesting her accusations may be “politically motivated.”
Dorris, who first revealed her allegations to the Guardian 15 months ago, but chose not to go public, said she considered coming forward in 2016 when several other women came forward with stories of allegedly inappropriate behavior by the future president. She said she decided to do so now for her two daughters.
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The president has been accused of sexual misconduct by over two dozen women, though none of the allegations have led to legal action. He is, however, currently facing two civil lawsuits for defamation by two of his accusers, Summer Zervos and E. Jean Carroll. He has denied all allegations against him.
Trump’s critics have capitalized on the latest allegation against the president, saying it adds further weight to previous allegations of inappropriate behavior against women. Carroll herself also weighed in on Twitter, hailing Dorris as a “gallant woman” who is coming forward in support of “all women.”
Dear Amy Dorris: Hail, Gallant Woman!— E. Jean Carroll (@ejeancarroll) September 17, 2020
When you came forward today with your story about @realDonaldTrump you came forward in support of ALL WOMEN.
E. Jean@Tashka9 @Karenavirginia @jillharth @gtconway3d @ThatAlvaJohnson https://t.co/sT4ElLIfsz
Amy Dorris is of course not the first woman to accuse Trump of sexual misconduct. Remarkable to read how consistent the allegations - all denied by the president - have been over the years. https://t.co/Bfi10ie8Vd— Paul Lewis (@PaulLewis) September 17, 2020
The response from conservatives, however, has been minimal, with many also questioning the timing of Dorris’ public revelation, as well as the fact that there are no direct witnesses – although lack of witnesses would not be unusual for such an incident.
“Give me a break. Wouldn’t you tell your boyfriend, who was just in another room, that another man had sexually assaulted you. He said she never mentioned it,” Juanita Broaddrick, who has accused former President Bill Clinton of rape, tweeted.
“Amy Dorris was so traumatized that she waited 23 years and a month before an election to talk about it,” conservative journalist Carmine Sabia added.
Here we go - 2016 all over again ...— Catturd ™ (@catturd2) September 17, 2020
Former model Amy Dorris alleges Donald Trump sexually assaulted her in 1997.
But - she failed to mention it for the last 4 years until right before the election?
Yeah right .... 👉(Farting sound)
So the timing of this latest sexual allegation by Amy Dorris shouldn't be treated as suspicious & should be believed?— W.E. Dupree (@WayneDupreeShow) September 17, 2020
...or that is what Americans have been force-fed to believe, yes? Believe the victim, period?
Question: Has any sexual allegation victim EVER LIED? #realtalk
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