Another woman has come forward accusing Donald Trump of sexual misconduct. Joined by famed lawyer Gloria Allred at a press conference in New York on Thursday, October 20, Karena Virginia alleged that the GOP presidential nominee, 70, groped her at the U.S. Open in 1998.
Virginia claimed that she was waiting for a car when Trump approached her at the event in Queens, New York. Per her account, he allegedly grabbed the right side of her breast and said, “Don’t you know who I am?”
In her statement, Virginia said that she decided to come forward after watching Trump’s 2005 exchange with Billy Bush. On October 7, The Washington Post released a video of the mogul bragging about groping women ahead of an Access Hollywood interview. Earlier this week, Bush, 45, was fired from the Today show for his part in the controversy.
“I am here to stand up to Mr. Trump for myself, my family, particularly my daughter, and all the women who deserve to be respected and not subjected to sexual abuse or groped by powerful men who believe that women can be groped, grabbed or kissed at their pleasure,” she told reporters at the Regent Room of the London NYC Hotel on Thursday. “I am also here to support the other women who had the courage to come forward, only to be labeled as liars by Mr. Trump.
“I have lost sleep over this,” she continued, tearing up. “I have been fearful about bringing unwanted attention to me and my loving family, which includes my husband, daughter and son, but in the end I feel that it is my duty as a woman, as a mother, a human being and an American citizen to speak out and tell the truth about what happened to me.”
Virginia claimed that another male was with Trump at the time of the incident. “I was surprised when I overheard him talking to the other man about me,” she recalled. “He said, ‘Hey, look at this one. We haven’t seen her before. Look at those legs,’ as though I was an object rather than a person.
“I was in shock,” she added. “Then my car pulled up and I got in. After I closed the door, my shock turned to shame. I felt ashamed that I was wearing a short dress and heels. That feeling of shame stayed with me for a while.”
Virginia said she saw Trump more than a decade later in a business setting. “He looked me up and down a few times,” she claims of the alleged encounter five years ago. “This time, mixed in with the feelings of shame, I felt disgust toward him.”
Trump has denied all previous allegations against him. On Wednesday, during the final presidential debate, he once again defended himself.
“Mr. Trump, you said your talk about grabbing women was just that — talk,” moderator Chris Wallace said. “Since then … nine women have come forward and have said that you either groped them or kissed them without their consent. Why would so many different women from so many different circumstances over so many different years, why would they all in these last couple of weeks make up … these stories?”
“[The] stories have been largely debunked,” he said, claiming that he doesn’t “know those people.” He later added, “Nobody has more respect for women than I do. Nobody.”
Trump’s team responded to Virginia’s allegations in a statement to Us Weekly. “Discredited political operative Gloria Allred, in another coordinated, publicity seeking attack with the Clinton campaign, will stop at nothing to smear Mr. Trump,” Jessica Ditto, Deputy Communications Director, said. “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.”
Watch Virginia’s press conference in the video above.
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