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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Explained: Amy Dorris’s sexual assault allegation against Donald Trump

Amy Dorris is a 48-year-old former model. She alleges Donald Trump forcefully groped and kissed her in his VIP box at the tennis tournament in New York, when she was 24 years old.

By: Explained Desk | Margao | Updated: September 23, 2020 11:02:55 am
Amy Dorris, who is Amy Dorris, Amy Dorris Donald Trump, Trump sexual assault, Trump sexual assault allegation, Indian ExpressPresident Donald Trump arrives at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020, en route to Nevada. (The New York Times: Doug Mills)

A woman has come forward to accuse Donald Trump of sexually assaulting her during the US Open Tennis Tournament over two decades ago, adding to the list of more than two dozen sexual misconduct allegations over the last 40 years against the US President.

Amy Dorris, a former model, told The Guardian that Trump forcefully groped and kissed her in his VIP box at the tennis tournament in New York, when she was 24 years old. Dorris alleged that Trump had held her in a grip she could not escape from and forced his tongue down her throat.

Meanwhile, the US President, who is currently in the middle of an aggressive re-election campaign, has denied the allegations.

Who is Amy Dorris?

Amy Dorris is a 48-year-old former model and actress, who now lives in Florida with her husband and two daughters. She is the 25th woman to have accused Trump of sexual misconduct. When she first met the real estate tycoon at the US Open Tennis Tournament in September 1997, Dorris said she was working as a model in Miami.

According to her IMDB profile, she is best known for starring in two episodes of the US television series — ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’ — and also features in a number of films, including ‘The Accidental Husband’ and ‘Any Given Sunday’. She has also worked as a model in New York and Chicago.

In her interview with The Guardian, Dorris said she had previously considered going public with her allegations against Trump in 2016, when several women had come forward to accuse the then-Republican presidential candidate of sexual harassment. However, she decided against it to protect her family.

Dorris said she ultimately chose to speak up now as her twin daughters were older and she wanted to be a good role model for them. “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 told The Guardian. “I want them to see that I didn’t stay quiet, that I stood up to somebody who did something that was unacceptable,” she told The Guardian.

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What are the allegations she has made against Donald Trump?

Amy Dorris told The Guardian that Trump forced himself on her in his VIP box at the tennis tournament on September 5, 1997.

She said she was first introduced to Trump by her then-boyfriend, magazine publisher Jason Binn, who was a close friend of the real estate mogul. Trump was 51 at the time of the incident and was married to his second wife, Marla Maples.

On September 5, 1997 Dorris and Binn met with Trump in his office in Trump Towers before leaving to watch the tennis match in his private box. Describing her first meeting with Trump, Dorris said, “He came on very strong right away.”

“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,” she added. Later that day, while they were in the VIP enclosure at the tournament, Dorris slipped away to fix her contact lens that was giving her trouble. When she stepped out once she was done, Trump was allegedly waiting outside the bathroom.

“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.”

She claims that she asked him to stop several times, but he ignored her pleas and continued to assault her. She said that Trump did not attack her again during her stay in New York, but he relentlessly pursued her despite her firm refusal, The Guardian reported.

Her mother, a friend in New York and her therapist corroborated the details of the incident, confirming that she had called them up and informed them about her encounter with Trump in 1997.

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How has Trump reacted to the allegations?

The Trump campaign categorically denied Dorris’ allegations and claimed that they were politically motivated. “The allegations are totally false,” Trump’s legal adviser Jenna Ellis said, according to the New York Times. “We will consider every legal means available to hold The Guardian accountable for its malicious publication of this unsubstantiated story. This is just another pathetic attempt to attack President Trump right before the election.”

His lawyers claimed that Dorris’ ex-boyfriend Binn told them that he had no recollection of the incident, The Guardian reported. The lawyers claimed it seemed strange that Dorris would choose to spend time with Trump during the US Open and a Versace memorial event even after the alleged attack.

When asked why she voluntarily met with Trump and Binn post the incident, Dorris told The Guardian, “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 said she dressed more conservatively in the days that followed the incident to dissuade Trump from making any more advances.

The lawyers alleged that if Trump had behaved inappropriately in a public place, then there would have been witnesses who could confirm her claims.

Previous sexual misconduct allegations against the US President

Between the 1970s and 2020, more than two dozen women have accused Donald Trump of sexual misconduct. He has so far denied every single claim, and has even mocked some of the women.

At least 10 women, like Dorris, have accused him of forcefully groping and kissing them without their consent. An American journalist named E Jean Carroll accused the US President of raping her in the dressing room of a Manhattan department store in the 1990s. He responded by calling Carroll a liar and claiming she was not his “type”. She then filed a defamation lawsuit against him.

Last week, the Justice Department made the unusual decision of seeking to substitute the private legal team defending Trump in the case with government lawyers, the New York Times reported.

In a recent post on Twitter, Carroll hailed Dorris’ bravery. “Dear Amy Dorris: Hail, Gallant Woman!” She wrote. “When you came forward today with your story about (Donald Trump), you came forward in support of ALL WOMEN. Ravishing regards, E. Jean.”

Carroll also shared a link to an interview she had conducted with yoga instructor and lifestyle coach Karena Virginia, who accused Trump of assaulting her at the same US Open Tennis Tournament a year after Dorris had attended.

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