Woman Accuses Donald Trump of Sexually Assaulting Her at the 1997 U.S. Open: 'I Felt Violated'

Woman Accuses Donald Trump of Sexually Assaulting Her at the 1997 U.S. Open: 'I Felt Violated'

September 17, 2020

In a new interview, a woman says President Donald Trump sexually assaulted her more than 20 years ago, while she was attending the 1997 U.S. Open with her boyfriend.

“I was in his grip," Amy Dorris recalled, "and I couldn’t get out of it.”

She shared her story with The Guardian in an interview published Thursday

The Trump campaign vigorously denied her account, though a close friend of Dorris' has said they were told about it more than 10 years ago and the details have stayed the same.

Trump has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than a dozen other women, all of which he denies. Former PEOPLE reporter Natasha Stoynoff says he forcibly kissed her during a 2005 interview.

The Department of Justice is currently fighting in court to represent Trump in a defamation case related to a rape allegation by noted magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll, who accused Trump last summer of raping her in a New York City department store dressing room in the 1990s.

Dorris was 24 at the time of the alleged encounter, which she told The Guardian occurred on Sept. 5, 1997. The former model was then dating Jason Binn, Trump’s self-described "best friend," who brought her to the event.

She told The Guardian that Trump, then 51, had followed her to a bathroom inside his VIP suite and when she came out, he allegedly assaulted her. She said he "shoved his tongue" down her throat and groped her while she said she attempted to push him away.

“That’s when his grip became tighter and his hands were very gropey and all over my butt, my breasts, my back, everything,” said Dorris, now 48.

“I don’t know what you call that when you’re sticking your tongue just down someone’s throat,” Dorris added, “But I pushed it out with my teeth. I was pushing it. And I think I might have hurt his tongue.”

The Guardian reported that it corroborated the details of Dorris' allegations with her mother as well as a friend she spoke with immediately following the alleged incident and other friends she told in the years since 1997.

PEOPLE also corroborated the details of Dorris' allegation with a close friend who says her story has never changed since sharing it with them more than a decade ago.

The White House declined to comment about the allegation on the record. The president’s reelection campaign denied Dorris' story and assailed The Guardian's reporting.

“The allegations are totally false,” Jenna Ellis, a Trump campaign legal adviser, told PEOPLE in a written statement. “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.”

Trump was married to Marla Maples, his second wife, at the time.

Dorris said the alleged 1997 incident left her in “shock” afterwards.

“He came on very strong right away,” Dorris told The Guardian. “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.”

Dorris said she told Binn to tell Trump to leave her alone afterwards.

“I felt violated, obviously," she said. "But I still wasn’t processing it and just was trying to go back to talking to everyone and having a good time because, I don’t know, I felt pressured to be that way.”

Dorris told The Guardian she had considered speaking out in 2016 but decided not to because of concern for her twin daughters.

“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 said. “And I’d rather be a role model. I want them to see that I didn’t stay quiet, that I stood up to somebody who did something that was unacceptable.”

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