President Donald Trump was accused of sexual misconduct by yet another woman on Thursday morning, as former model Amy Dorris shared with The Guardian her story of being forcibly kissed and groped by Trump while attending the 1997 US Open tennis tournament in New York.
Dorris, who is now 48 and lives in Florida, says that she had several encounters with Trump during a trip to New York in September ’97. Her boyfriend, a friend of Trump’s, took her to meet the real estate mogul at Trump Tower, and they then attended the Open with him alongside others in a luxury suite.
Dorris says that she was assaulted by the President when she got up to go to the bathroom, which was hidden from the other guests by a wall. She says that Trump was waiting for her when she got out and forced himself on her.
“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,” she told The Guardian.
“I was in his grip, and I couldn’t get out of it. 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.”
Dorris added that, though she made an effort to dress more conservatively during the rest of her time in New York, Trump continued to make advances despite her firm rejection.
Through lawyers, Trump denied the allegation to The Guardian, arguing that Dorris did not report the assault to law enforcement and questioning why she would continue to spend time with Trump after the alleged attack.
That specific defense is not unlike the one raised by Harvey Weinstein’s defense team during his recent trial for the rape of two women who maintained contact with the disgraced producer after their assaults. Lawyers described friendly messages between Weinstein and the women as “so unlike what one would expect to be communications between a true rape victim and her alleged rapist.”
However, there is of course no uniform or “correct” response to sexual assault, and given that 80 percent of rapes are committed by someone known to the victim, it is far from uncommon for a woman to continue to spend time with someone who’s attacked her.
“Most individuals think, I can put it behind me; I can move on with my life and forget about what happened to me. I don’t want it to get worse. I don’t want this person who sexually assaulted me to ruin my friendships or put my job in jeopardy,” said forensic psychiatrist Barbara Ziv as part of a testimony for the prosecution in Weinstein’s trial.
According to The Guardian, Dorris’s account was corroborated by people she confided in over the years about the assault, as well as photos and documentation proving that she spent time with Trump and attended the 1997 US Open. She said that she stayed near Trump in the following days because she wasn’t in a position to interrupt the plans for the trip, and was still processing what had happened to her.
“I was there from Florida and I was with (her then-boyfriend) Jason. I had no money, nowhere to go. We were going from event to event and it was overwhelming.
“People spend years around people who have abused them, that’s what happens when something traumatic happens, you freeze.”
Dorris, who joins two dozen other women in accusing the President of sexual misconduct in some form, says she decided she was ready to go public with her story in order to be a role model to her teen daughters, and because she was frustrated by seeing all of the President’s other accusers called liars themselves.
“I’m tired of being quiet,” she said. “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.”