A Timeline of Donald Trump’s Inappropriate History With Women
On Oct. 7, the direction of the Trump campaign took a major turn when a 2005 video surfaced of the businessman-turned-presidential candidate boasting about how his celebrity privilege has allowed him to grope women and kiss them whether they want it or not. “I just start kissing them,” he told former Access Hollywood host Billy Bush. “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 them by the p*ssy.”
To be clear, the idea that anyone is entitled to a woman’s body—regardless of consent, which, in this instance there was none—is the pervasive foundation of rape culture. Donald Trump’s initial response to public outrage over the newly discovered clip—to dismiss his comments as mere “locker room banter”—didn’t pass muster with many women. Trump was pressed on whether he had acted on his comments during the second presidential debate. “No, I have not,” he said. That answer has been challenged, however, by more than a handful of women who’ve since come forward with claims of sexual assault. While Trump has continued to deny these allegations, the floodgates have opened for women to share their accounts of his inappropriate behavior. To help keep track of these numerous instances, we created a timeline that details instances of Trump’s alleged predatory behavior—which we will continue to update as we approach Election Day.
Early 1980s: Jessica LeedsBefore Trump had his own fleet of private planes, he flew commercial, and on one trip he allegedly groped and made unwanted advances on then-38-year-old businesswoman Jessica Leeds. Leeds, who sat first class next to Trump, recalls that after they finished their meal, he lifted up the armrest and began groping her. “He was like an octopus,” she told The New York Times. “His hands were everywhere. It was an assault.” Leeds relocated seats instead of speaking up, as cultural attitude in those days towards sexual assault placed the blame on victims. “We accepted it for years,” Leeds said of similar unwanted advances. “We were taught it was our fault.”
1989: Ivana TrumpBack when Ivana Trump was divorcing Donald, his former wife detailed a gruesome “rape” scene in a disposition that was later cherry-picked for reporter Harry Hurt III’s 1993 book Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump. The alleged incident occurred after Trump was upset about the results of a scalp reduction surgery to remove a bald spot, which was done by his wife’s plastic surgeon. “Your fucking doctor has ruined me!” he allegedly said before ripping out fistfuls of Ivana’s hair, stripping her clothes and unzipping his pants. “Then he jams his penis inside her for the first time in more than sixteen months. Ivana is terrified… It is a violent assault,” Hurt writes, as The Daily Beast reports. “According to versions she repeats to some of her closest confidantes, ‘he raped me.’” Trump later dismissed the claim as false and The Trump Organization special counsel Michael Cohen defended him, saying, “You cannot rape your spouse. And there’s very clear case law.”
Early 1990s: Kristin AndersonLike Leeds, Kristin Anderson shared a similar story about being groped while sitting next to Trump. When Anderson was at a Manhattan nightclub in the early ’90s, she recalls Trump “groping” her “on the side, on the sly, like you’re some kind of stuffed animal on the couch.” Anderson told The Washington Post that Trump slid his fingers under her miniskirt and underwear without her consent. “It wasn’t a sexual come-on. I don’t know why he did it. It was like just to prove that he could do it, and nothing would happen,” she said. “There was zero conversation. We didn’t even really look at each other. It was very random, very nonchalant on his part…It’s a sexual assault issue, and it’s something that I’ve kept quiet on my own,” Anderson said. “And I’ve always kept quiet. And why should I keep quiet? Actually, all of the women should speak up, and if you’re touched inappropriately, tell somebody and speak up about it. Actually go to the authorities and press some charges. It’s not okay.”
1992: A 10-year-old GirlAnother damaging Trump video that’s emerged during the election cycle is a 1992 segment for Entertainment Tonight where Trump made sexually suggestive remarks about a 10-year-old girl. Yes, really. While spotting the girl in front of an escalator, Trump quipped, “I’m going to be dating her in ten years. Can you believe it?” To add even more disturbing perspective to this event, his daughter Ivanka Trump was also 10 years old at the time—though he’s since joked that he would be dating her too, if she wasn’t his daughter.
1992: Two 14-year-old GirlsThe same year Trump made similar remarks to two 14-year-old girls, as The Chicago Tribune reports, linking to an archived story in their entertainment and gossip column. The wire report states the incident occurred when Trump visited a youth choir outside of the Plaza Hotel. “He asked two of the girls how old they were,” it reads. “After they replied they were 14, Trump said, ‘Wow! Just think—in a couple of years I’ll be dating you.'”
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) October 13, 2016
1993: Vendela KirsebomWhen Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter invited Trump to the 1993 White House Correspondents’ Dinner, it turned out to be a nightmare. Trump was seated next to Swedish model Vendela Kirsebom and harassed her all evening, to the point where she apparently asked to be moved. “After 45 minutes she came over to my table, almost in tears, and pleaded with me to move her,” recalls Carter. “It seems that Trump had spent his entire time with her assaying the ‘tits’ and legs of the other female guests and asking how they measured up to those of other women, including his wife. ‘He is,’ she told me, in words that seemed familiar, ‘the most vulgar man I have ever met.'”
1993: Jill HarthThat same year, Trump also allegedly subjected makeup artist Jill Harth to a “steady string of sexual assaults, as The Guardian reports. He allegedly groped her under a dinner table at the Plaza Hotel’s Oak Room and, later, he allegedly pinned her against a wall in one of his children’s bedrooms and and groped her. “He pushed me up against the wall, and had his hands all over me and tried to get up my dress again,” Harth recalled, “and I had to physically say: ‘What are you doing? Stop it.’ It was a shocking thing to have him do this because he knew I was with George, he knew they were in the next room. And how could he be doing this when I’m there for business?” Harth later formally accused Trump of attempted rape in a 1997 lawsuit.
1994: A 13-year-old GirlBefore Leeds and Crooks spoke out with sexual assault allegations against Trump, he was accused of raping a 13-year-old girl in the apartment of convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. The case, which was recently filed for the third time in New York City, where the alleged rape occurred, consists of two affidavits filed by “Joan Doe” and “Tiffany Doe” which corroborate the victim’s story, as Buzzfeed reports. “Joan” says she was told about the assault after it happened, while “Tiffany”—who was apparently hired as a “recruiter” to bring young girls to Epstein’s apartment—alleges Trump and Epstein raped the victim more than once. Trump’s attorney has denied these accusations, though more information on the case may yet unfold—a hearing has been set for this December in New York.
1996: Five or Six ModelsThe latest accusation of Trump’s inappropriate behavior towards women comes from Lisa Boyne, a health food business entrepreneur who apparently shared a dinner from hell with Trump. Boyne recalls to The Huffington Post that she and a friend, along with “five or six models,” were seated at a semi-circular table with Trump. When the models wanted to get up to leave, Trump refused to get up to let them do so, instead forcing them to walk on top of the table where he “stuck his head right underneath their skirts,” per Boyne’s account, and remarked on their underwear and genitalia. “It was the most offensive scene I’ve ever been a part of,” Boyne said. “I wanted to get the heck out of there.”
1996: Alicia MachadoWhile Trump’s behavior towards former Miss Universe winner Alicia Machado wasn’t physically sexual, it was the definition of predatory and verbally abusive behavior. “He was very overwhelming. I was scared of him. He’d yell at me all of the time,” says Machado in a video clip executed by Hillary Clinton’s campaign. “He’d tell me, ‘You look ugly,’ or, ‘You look fat.’ Sometimes he’d ‘play’ with me and say, ‘Hello, Miss Piggy,’ ‘Hello, Miss Housekeeping.'” Trump also body-shamed Machado when she gained 40 pounds after winning her title, which led to her developing eating disorders. “Long after, I was sick with eating disorders,” she recalls. “I wouldn’t eat, and would still see myself as fat because a powerful man said so. This is a man who doesn’t realize the damage he causes.”
Donald Trump called her "Miss Piggy" and "Miss Housekeeping."
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 27, 2016
After Machado told her story, Trump reacted by slut-shaming her.
Did Crooked Hillary help disgusting (check out sex tape and past) Alicia M become a U.S. citizen so she could use her in the debate?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2016
1997: Five Miss Teen USA ContestantsBack in 1997, Trump created discomfort for at least five teenage Miss USA contestants—including one who was as young as 15—when he visited their dressing room as they were changing. “I remember putting on my dress really quick because I was like, ‘Oh my god, there’s a man in here,’” former Miss Vermont Teen USAMariah Billado told Buzzfeed. His response, according to Billado, was something along the lines of “Don’t worry, ladies, I’ve seen it all before.” Other contestants referred to the incident to Buzzfeed as “shocking” and “creepy.” While 11 of the other contestants from that year’s pageant told Buzzfeed they don’t remember the incident, Trump has gone on the record bragging about his access to dressing rooms before. “I’ll tell you the funniest is that I’ll go backstage before a show and everyone’s getting dressed,” he told Howard Stern. “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. ‘Is everybody OK?’ And you see these incredible looking women, and so I sort of get away with things like that.”
Late 1990s: Cathy HellerHeller says she was at a Mother’s Day brunch at Mar-a-Lago with her family when her mother-in-law introduced her to Donald Trump. When she went to shake his hand, she says he pulled her toward him, and she tried to pull away. “He said ‘Oh, come on,’ and he was angry,” she said. “He really grabbed me, and he was holding me very tight to kiss me on the mouth. He was strong.” She says she turned her head slightly so he couldn’t kiss her fully on the mouth, but she was still shaken and upset that he had the nerve to grab her in such a public manner—and in front of her family. Heller came forward with her story after Trump denied that he ever kissed women without their permission. “It drove me crazy,” she said, “It’s not just locker room talk. That’s who he is. He is a guy who grabs women.” A relative who says she was behind Heller when it happened supports her allegation, as does Heller’s husband, who was also present. The Trump campaign refuted the account.
2003: A 12-year-old Paris HiltonAnother underage girl Trump found attractive was the daughter of family friends, the Hiltons. In 2003, Trump went on the record in an interview with Howard Stern about how he found the then-12-year-old Paris Hilton—a girl he had known since she was a child—hot. “Now, somebody who a lot of people don’t give credit to but in actuality is really beautiful is Paris Hilton,” he said, before admitting to watching Hilton’s sex tape. “I’ve known Paris Hilton from the time she’s 12, her parents are friends of mine, and the first time I saw her she walked into the room and I said, ‘Who the hell is that?’”
2003: Mindy McGillivrayWhen then-23-year-old Mindy McGillivray visited Trump’s Mar-a-Lago with a friend, she had an unfortunate encounter with Donald Trump. While standing next to his then-fiancée Melania, McGillivray recalled to the Palm Beach Post, “All of a sudden I felt a grab, a little nudge. 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.’’
2005: Rachel CooksThe same year Trump made his appalling remarks about kissing women whether or not they wanted it, he did exactly what he allegedly described to Rachel Cooks. The receptionist at a real estate firm in Trump Tower detailed the incident to The New York Times, saying Trump “kissed me directly on the mouth” as she was waiting for an elevator in the building. Like Leeds, Cooks was fearful of telling anyone at the time. “I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that,” she told the Times. She was relieved when she later saw Trump’s 2005 interview with Bush. “I was upset that it had happened to other people, but also took some comfort in knowing I wasn’t the only one he had done it to,” she says. “People should know…this behavior is pervasive and it is real.”
2005: Natasha StoynoffA writer for People has described her alleged assault by Trump in detail. “We walked into that room alone, and Trump shut the door behind us. I turned around, and within seconds he was pushing me against the wall and forcing his tongue down my throat…During the presidential debate, Donald Trump lied about kissing women without their consent. I should know. His actions made me feel bad for a very long time…I’m not sure what locker room talk consists of these days. I only know that I wasn’t in a locker room when he pushed me against a wall. I was in his home, as a professional, and his beautiful pregnant wife was just upstairs.” Trump has since denied Stoynoff’s account.
Why didn't the writer of the twelve year old article in People Magazine mention the "incident" in her story. Because it did not happen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 13, 2016
2006: Jessica DrakeJessica Drake says that she was representing adult film company Wicked Pictures at a celebrity golf event in Lake Tahoe when she met Trump, who was playing, in the gift room before the event. She says he flirted with her and asked her to go on a walk around the golf course. During the stroll, Drake says he asked for her number, which she gave him. He invited her to his room, she says, and she took along two other women because she felt uncomfortable going on her own. When she got to his suite, a pajama-clad Trump “grabbed each of us tightly in a hug and kissed each one of us without asking permission,” she says. Drake adds that he asked for details on what shooting porn was like and asked the women about their personal relationship status—questions that “felt like an interview,” she says. Once she returned to her room, she says, a man called on behalf of Trump to invite her back up to his room, and she declined. Drake recounts that Trump then called her directly to ask her to come back and have dinner with him in his suite and to invite her to a party. She declined, and that’s when she says Trump asked her, “What do you want? How much?” She used the excuse of having to return to L.A. for work to get him to stop asking. A third phone call came—she says she doesn’t know if it was Trump or another male—offering her $10,000. She declined again, and she says she was then told Trump would allow her to use his private jet only if she said yes.
“I am choosing to share my personal exchange in light of the recently released tapes in order to lend my voice, my strength and my support to the other women who are coming forward,” she says.
2007: Summer ZervosWhen former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos approached Trump for a job in 2007, things went horribly awry. Zervos recalls Trump inviting her to dinner in Los Angeles to discuss job prospects, only when she arrived she was escorted by security to his bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Shortly after she walked in, Zervos told The Huffington Post Trump “came to me and started kissing me open-mouthed as he was pulling me towards him. I walked away and I sat down on a chair … He then asked me to sit next to him. I complied, and he then grabbed my shoulder and began kissing me again very aggressively and placed his hand on my breast.” When she got up to walk away, Trump allegedly “grabbed my hand and walked me into the bedroom…He put me in an embrace and I tried to push him away. I pushed his chest to put space between us, and I said, ‘Come on, man, get real.’ He repeated my words back to me ― ‘get reeeal’ ― as he began thrusting his genitals. He tried to kiss me again, and with my hand still on his chest, I said, ‘Dude, you’re tripping right now.” After she rejected him again, she says Trump “paced around the room. He acted like he was a bit angry, and pointed out that someone had delivered a fruit basket…to show me how important he was.”
2012: A Hostess at the Trump National Golf ClubIn 2012, a lawsuit was brought against by former employees for insufficient meal or rest breaks—but it revealed a lot more about what it was like to work at one of his establishments. At the Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., sexism was apparently the norm. Women were fired for not being hot enough—or hidden by management who lacked the heart to fire talented workers just because of their appearance—and retired if they were deemed too old. “I had witnessed Donald Trump tell managers many times while he was visiting the club that restaurant hostesses were ‘not pretty enough’ and that they should be fired and replaced with more attractive women,” former catering director Hayley Strozier told The LA Times in their investigation of the lawsuit. One complaint, however, that’s in line with Trump’s long history of reportedly sexually harassing and assaulting women, was that he was “overly familiar and unprofessional.” According to former restaurant manager Charles West, when Trump saw “a young, attractive hostess working named Nicole” on one of his visits, he “directed that she be brought to a place where he was meeting with a group of men. After this woman had been presented to him, Mr. Trump said to his guests something like, ‘See, you don’t have to go to Hollywood to find beautiful women,'” adding, “He also turned to Nicole and asked her, ‘Do you like Jewish men?’”