Reports: Three women accuse Trump of inappropriately touching them years apart

(NBC News) -- Three women accused Donald Trump in articles published Wednesday of having touched them in an inappropriate manner in separate incidents decades apart.

 
The New York Times quoted two women, Jessica Leeds and Rachel Crooks, as describing public encounters during which Trump grabbed or kissed them inappropriately.
 
Separately, the Palm Beach Post quoted Mindy McGillivray of Palm Springs, Fla., as saying Trump groped her 13 years ago at Mar-a-Lago, his estate in Palm Beach.
 
Meanwhile, the British newspaper The Guardian quoted a Miss USA 2001 contestant as saying Trump deliberately walked in to a dressing room during a rehearsal at the pageant while she and another contestant were naked. Unlike the women quoted in the other articles, she did not accuse Trump of having touched anyone.
 
The allegations are emerging in the final weeks of an unprecedented presidential campaign during which Trump has been beset by accusations that he has behaved insensitively toward woman for much of his adult life.
 
Trump's presidential campaign called The Times article "fiction" Wednesday night and specifically accused the newspaper of "coordinated character assassination" in an attempt to swing the race to his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.
 
"To reach back decades in an attempt to smear Mr. Trump trivializes sexual assault, and it sets a new low for where the media is willing to go in its efforts to determine this election," the campaign said in a statement.
 
NBC News has confirmed none of the allegations.
 
Trump has personally denied that he has ever behaved toward women in a way reflected in an 11-year-old video in which he was recorded bragging about having made sexually inappropriate advances to married women.
 
"When you're a star, they let you do it," Trump says in the 2005 video, which was recorded by "Access Hollywood" and obtained last week by NBC News and The Washington Post.
 
In statements and in Sunday night's presidential debate, Trump characterized the remarks as "locker room" banter and said he never actually did what he boasted about.
 
In The Times article, Leeds said Trump accosted her as they sat next to each other on a first-class airline flight more than 30 years ago. Trump, she said, lifted the armrest, grabbed her breasts and tried to put a hand up her skirt.
 
"He was like an octopus. His hands were everywhere," The Times quoted Leeds as saying.
 
Crooks told The Times that in 2005, when she was a receptionist for a company with offices in Trump Tower in New York City, Trump approached her outside an elevator and began kissing her on the cheek and then "directly on the mouth."
 
"It was so inappropriate," Crooks said, according to The Times. "I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that."
 
The Times reported that Trump grew agitated when a reporter called him for comment. "None of this ever took place," he shouted, according to the newspaper, which said Trump accused it of making up the allegations to hurt him and threatened to file a lawsuit.
 
The 2003 Florida incident occurred during a performance at Mar-a-Lago by musician Ray Charles, McGillivray told the Palm Beach Post.
 
"I felt a grab, a little nudge," McGillivray said, according to the newspaper. "I turn around and there's Donald. He sort of looked away quickly. I quickly turned back, facing Ray Charles, and I'm stunned."
 
 
Asked whether it might have been an accident, she said no, the newspaper reported.
 
"This was a pretty good nudge. More of a grab," it quoted her as saying. "It was pretty close to the center of my butt. I was startled. I jumped."
 
The Guardian said the Trump campaign didn't respond to a request for comment about the allegation involving the 2001 Miss USA pageant. The campaign has dismissed similar accusations as having "already been disproven by many other individuals who were present."
 
 

Copyright 2016 NBC News


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