A former model has spoken out against President Donald Trump, accusing him of committing sexual assault against her during the US Open tennis tournament, in an incident that left her ‘sick’ and ‘violated’.
Speaking to the Guardian, the former model, named Amy Dorris, alleged that Trump sexually assaulted her on September 5 1997 outside the bathroom in his VIP box during the tournament held in New York.
“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,” Dorris said.
“I was in his grip, and I couldn’t get out of it,” she said, adding: “I don’t know what you call that when you’re sticking your tongue just down someone’s throat. But I pushed it out with my teeth. I was pushing it. And I think I might have hurt his tongue.”
“Now I feel like my girls are about to turn 13 years old and I want them to know that you don’t let anybody do anything to you that you don’t want,” she said. “And I’d rather be a role model. I want them to see that I didn’t stay quiet, that I stood up to somebody who did something that was unacceptable.”
Dorris, now a native of Florida, was able to provide the Guardian with evidence that she did indeed spend time with Trump over that period, including a ticket to the event and six photos in which she can be seen with the real estate mogul. At the time of the alleged incident, Trump was 51 and married to his second wife, Marla Maples.
Trump, via his lawyers, strongly denies any allegations of improper conduct towards Dorris.
“He came on very strong right away,” Dorris said of Trump’s behavior on the day. “It seemed typical of a certain guy, people who just feel like they’re entitled to do what they want … even though I was there with my boyfriend.”
Dorris said the alleged incident happened after she got up to go to the bathroom, which was hidden behind a partition wall just metres from where Trump’s guests were watching the tennis. “I was having some issues with my contact lenses,” she said. “I remember going in there to moisten my lens.”
Per Dorris’ account, Trump was waiting for her as she turned the corner of the bathroom. “Initially I thought that he was waiting to go to the bathroom, but that wasn’t the case, unfortunately,” she said. She alleges Trump forced himself on her after a brief exchange in which she recalls nervously laughing and telling him: “No, get away.”
Dorris claims that she told Trump “no, please stop” but that “he didn’t care”. “It doesn’t matter who you are,” she said. “Any time anyone says no, no means no. And that just didn’t work out for me. It wasn’t enough.”
Now 48 and a mother to twin daughters, Dorris said she contemplated going public with the incident in 2016, when several women recounted similar experiences with Trump, who was then the Republican candidate for president. However, Dorris saw the response that some of these women received and so chose not to speak out in order to prevent any harm from being inflicted on her family.
The Guardian were able to corroborate Dorris’ account with several people in which she confided with over the incident. A couple of friends, her mother and a therapist all confirmed that Dorris has shared details of the incident with them after it happened in 1997.
“I just kind of was in shock,” she added. “I felt violated, obviously. But I still wasn’t processing it and just was trying to go back to talking to everyone and having a good time because, I don’t know, I felt pressured to be that way.”
“I 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.” She did not fully process what had happened until later, she added. “People spend years around people who have abused them, that’s what happens when something traumatic happens, you freeze.”
“When you invade someone’s space, it doesn’t matter if you were raped, it’s sexual assault, and it’s not OK,” she said. “You don’t touch someone unless they want to be touched. And I did nothing to encourage him to touch me.”
“I’m sick of him getting away with this,” she said. “I’m tired of being quiet. It’s kind of cathartic. I just want to get this out. And I want people to know that this is the man, this is our president. This is the kind of thing he does and it’s unacceptable.”