Donald Trump suggests woman isn’t attractive enough for him to have sexually assaulted her

'Look at her,' says the Republican presidential candidate at a Florida rally

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The Independent US

Donald Trump has denied a claim he made inappropriate sexual advances towards a magazine writer in his own home by telling his supporters to “look at her” – suggesting she was not attractive enough to have assaulted.

In an article published on Wednesday by People magazine, journalist Natasha Stoynoff said Mr Trump had pushed her against a wall and forcibly tried to kiss her during an interview in 2005.

Ms Stoynoff’s story is one of a number of allegations of sexism and sexual assault to hit the Republican presidential candidate’s campaign following the leak of a video clip in which he said he had the right to do “whatever he wanted” with women, as he was a “star”.

“I’m automatically attracted to beautiful [women]. I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait,” Mr Trump told presenter Billy Bush in the footage recorded in 1995 during the production of television programme Access Hollywood.

Mr Trump apologised for “causing offence” with his comments, having initially dismissed them as “locker room banter”.

In her article, Ms Stoynoff said she had travelled to the businessman’s home in Florida to interview him and his newly pregnant wife Melania for a People feature on their first wedding anniversary.

“When we took a break for the then-very-pregnant Melania to go upstairs and change wardrobe for more photos, Donald wanted to show me around the mansion,” she wrote. “There was one “tremendous” room in particular, he said, that I just had to see.”

“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.”

She described Mr Trump as “a looming figure” and said he was “fast, taking me by surprise and throwing me off balance”.

But at a rally in Florida yesterday, the presidential candidate refuted the story and said: “She said I made inappropriate advances. And by the way, the area was a public area, people all over the place. 

“Take a look. You take a look. Look at her. Look at her words. Tell me what you think. I don’t think so.”

Mr Trump questioned the veracity of the story by asking why Ms Stoynoff had not mentioned the assault in her feature at the time.

“Why didn’t they make it part of the story? I was one of the biggest stars on television with The Apprentice and it would have been one of the biggest stories of the year,” he said.

Ms Stoynoff said she told a colleague at the magazine about the incident but was afraid of the possible consequences of making the story public.

“Like many women, I was ashamed and blamed myself for his transgression,” she wrote. “I doubted my recollection and my reaction.”

“I was afraid that a famous, powerful, wealthy man could and would discredit and destroy me, especially if I got his coveted People feature killed.”

Other women who claim Trump asssaulted them include Jessica Leeds, now 74, who told the New York Times he had groped her while they were travelling in the first-class cabin of a flight to New York over 30 years ago. They had not met before.

Ms Leeds alleged the billionaire groped her breasts and tried to put his hand up her skirt. “He was like an octopus”, she said. “His hands were everywhere.”

Another woman, Rachel Crooks, told the paper that Mr Trump had kissed her on the mouth after she introduced herself to him in Trump Tower.

Mr Trump vehemently denied the claims. He said: “None of this ever took place…I don’t do it. I don’t do it.”

A spokesman for his campaign added that the claims in the New York Times article were “absurd”. 

He said: “This entire article is fiction, and for the New York Times to launch a completely false, coordinated character assassination against Mr Trump on a topic like this is dangerous.

“To reach back decades in an attempt to smear Mr Trump trivialises sexual assault, and it sets a new low for where the media is willing to go in its efforts to determine this election."