Donald Trump. Pic/AFP
New York: Two women have said that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump touched them inappropriately in the past, one of them on board an airplane three decades ago and the other in 2005 in Manhattan.
Jessica Leeds, 74, told The New York Times on Wednesday that over three decades ago the mogul, who was seated in first class beside her on a flight to New York, touched her breasts and tried to put his hand under her dress a few minutes after takeoff and without knowing her in advance.
"He was like an octopus," she said, adding "His hands were everywhere." She fled to the back of the plane. "It was an assault", Leeds said. Leeds, a travelling businesswoman at the time of the alleged attack, said she had told at least four people about the incident, and they also spoke with The New York Times.
The second account came from Rachel Crooks, who was a 22-year-old receptionist at Bayrock Group, a real estate investment and development company in the Trump Tower in Manhattan, ran into Trump one morning outside an elevator.
She introduced herself to Trump, and they shook hands, but the mogul would not let go, she said. Then, he began kissing her cheeks and finally "kissed me directly on the mouth". "It didn't feel like an accident, it felt like a violation," she said. "It was so inappropriate," Crooks recalled, "I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that."
After the incident, Crooks returned to her workplace and called her sister, Brianne Webb, in Ohio, to tell her what had just happened. The New York Times said that Trump was informed about these two new claims but rejected them.
Leeds and Crooks have never publicly told their stories but their description of the incidents are similar to those of other women who have claimed that Trump kissed or touched them without their consent. During the second presidential debate with Democratic rival Hillary Clinton on October 9, Trump denied sexually assaulting any women.
Last Friday, a 2005 videotape was made public on which Trump can be heard making lewd and sexist comments about women, including saying that he often kisses women he meets on the mouth. "I just start kissing them," Trump said on the videotape. "It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait."