Wednesday, September 27, 2023
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Trump Facing Accusations|of Sexual Misconduct in LA

LOS ANGELES (CN) - Embattled Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is facing a fresh accusation of sexual misconduct following the claims of several other women who came forward earlier this week.

During a press conference at the offices of high-profile women's rights lawyer Gloria Allred, former "The Apprentice" candidate Summer Zervos said that Trump made unwanted advances - first in his New York office and then in a Beverly Hills hotel in 2007.

According to Zervos, the first incident occurred after Trump fired her from season five of the show and she hoped the businessman would continue to mentor her.

At the meeting in New York, Trump surprised her by allegedly kissing her on the lips when she arrived at the office. He kissed her again on the lips when she left, she says.

"This made me feel very nervous and embarrassed. This is not what I wanted or expected," she said, adding that Trump's behavior upset her so much she spoke her parents at length about it.

Later that same year, Trump later called Zervos - whom he nicknamed "O.C. Angel" - and asked him to meet him at The Beverly Hills Hotel for dinner.

But rather than take her to dinner Trump invited her to his private bungalow where he kissed her "aggressively" and "placed his hand on my breast," she said. She claims that Trump also thrust his genitals at her.

"I was very conflicted as to what occurred. I wondered if the sexual behavior was some kind of test and whether or not I had passed," a tearful Zervos told the media.

Zervos said that she formerly had the "utmost admiration" for Trump, and that she is a Republican.

"However, after hearing the released audio tapes and your denials during the debate I felt that I had to speak out about your behavior. You do not have the right to treat women as sexual objects just because you are a star," Zervos said.

Allred said the woman does not intend to file a lawsuit and that no criminal complaint was pending.

"Donald Trump thinks that he can do and say whatever he wants," Allred said. "He believes that he can go on national television and deny that he acted on his outrageous and disgusting beliefs as captured in his own words on tape and played throughout the country for all to hear."

Allred has represented several women who came forward with sexual assault claims against comedian and entertainer Bill Cosby.

Trump's campaign has been in freefall since the Washington Post published a 2005 video in which Trump can be heard boasting to giggling "Access Hollywood" then-host Billy Bush about being able to grope women because of his celebrity.

"I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it, you can do anything. Grab them by the pussy," Trump said.

Responding to the allegations at a heated town hall debate on Sunday evening with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Trump denied that he had sexually assaulted any women and dismissed his comments as "locker room talk."

When CNN moderator Anderson Cooper pressed him on whether he did the things he had boasted of on tape, Trump replied: "No. I have not."

On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that two women claim that Trump had sexually assaulted them.

Jessica Leeds said that nearly three decades ago Trump had groped her breasts and attempted to put his hand up her skirt on a flight to New York.

"He was like an octopus," Leeds told the Times. "His hands were everywhere."

Rachel Crooks claims that she encountered Trump in an elevator in Trump Tower in Manhattan, where she was working as a receptionist, when Trump began to kiss on the cheeks after shaking her hand and then kissed her on the mouth.

"It was so inappropriate," Crooks said in an interview. "I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that."

People magazine writer Natasha Stoynoff also published an article on Wednesday in which she recalled Trump trying to force himself on her in 2005 when she was assigned to write a story about the businessman at the landmark Florida estate Mar-a-Lago.

"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," Stoynoff wrote.

Trump has strongly denied the allegations.

The businessman and reality television star appeared to take aim at Stoynoff's appearance while discussing her account at a campaign rally in West Palm Beach, Florida.

"Take a look. You take a look - look at her," Trump said. "Look at her words. You tell me what you think. I don't think so, I don't think so."

He said he was considering a defamation lawsuit against the Times. The paper responded by stating it would "welcome" any legal action.

"We did what the law allows," Times' attorney David McCraw wrote. "We published newsworthy information about a subject of deep public concern. If Mr. Trump disagrees, if he believes that American citizens had no right to hear what these women had to say and that the law of this country forces us and those who would criticize him to stand silent or be punished, we welcome the opportunity to have a court set him straight."

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