A New York-based yoga instructor on Thursday said that Republican nominee Donald Trump groped her at a tennis tournament in 1998.
Karena Virginia is the 13th woman in the past month to allege that Trump sexually mistreated her.
Speaking at a press conference organized by attorney Gloria Allred, Virginia described waiting for a car to pick her up at the 1998 U.S. Open in Queens, New York, when she noticed Trump and a few other men looking at her.
“Hey, look at this one, we haven’t seen her before,” Trump allegedly said to his friends. “Look at those legs.”
Virginia said Trump then walked over to her and grabbed her right arm. “And then his hand touched the right inside of my breast,” she recounted. She says she flinched, and Trump turned and said to her, “Don’t you know who I am?”
Right then, Virginia said, her car arrived, and she didn’t see Trump again for many years. The next time she saw him, he didn’t remember her.
“Perhaps you do not remember me,” she said Thursday, “but I can assure you I remember you.”
Virginia said that although her encounter with Trump was brief, it affected her for years afterward. She said she had trouble explaining to her husband why she felt so ashamed. “For years, I struggled with what to wear so as not to attract unwanted attention,” she said.
Virginia, who has blogged for The Huffington Post, is the second woman to have sought out Allred, an esteemed women’s rights attorney, while making public allegations about Trump. Allred said Virginia is not planning to take any legal action against Trump, and was motivated to come forward because of her young daughter.
Last week, Allred held a press conference with Summer Zervos, a former contestant on NBC’s “The Apprentice” who alleged that Trump forced himself on her at a hotel in Los Angeles in 2007.
Trump has so far denied all the allegations out of hand, accusing the women of lying in order to gain attention or to aid Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee.
UPDATE: 2:30 p.m. ― The Trump campaign issued the following statement in response to the new allegations: “Discredited political operative Gloria Allred, in another coordinated, publicity seeking attack with the Clinton campaign, will stop at nothing to smear Mr. Trump. Give me a break. Voters are tired of these circus-like antics and reject these fictional stories and the clear efforts to benefit Hillary Clinton.”
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.
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