After the Washington Post published a leaked tape in October 2016 showing Donald Trump speaking to Billy Bush of Access Hollywood, describing groping and kissing women without their consent, the Trump campaign saw falling poll numbers and a mass exodus of support from horrified Republicans. Trump responded to the onslaught of criticism by saying that what he described was just “locker room talk”—not a description of something he’d ever actually done.
Within less than a week, the New York Times published the accounts of two women who alleged that Trump had done precisely what he’d so lewdly described on tape—groped and kissed them without consent. Other accounts poured out, and at a time when some 17 women had gone public with tales of unwanted sexual touching or inappropriate behavior by Trump, the candidate gave a speech denying their accusations. By Election Day several new accusers had come forward, but Trump’s polling had rebounded, and he managed to consolidate enough Republican support to eke out an Electoral College victory. In February 2019, Trump faced the first new such allegation since coming to office, when a former campaign worker said he had kissed her without consent.
Here is a complete list of the now 21 women who have come forward under their own names to accuse the president of sexual assault, unwanted touching or kissing, or other inappropriate sexual behavior.
- In May 2016, the New York Times published the story of Temple Taggart, who alleged that in 1997, when she was the 21-year-old Miss Utah, Trump introduced himself to her by kissing her on the lips: “I thought, ‘Oh my God, gross.’ He was married to Marla Maples at the time. I think there were a few other girls that he kissed on the mouth,” Taggart said.
- That same month, Bridget Sullivan, a former Miss New Hampshire, told BuzzFeed that in 2000, at a time when Donald Trump owned the Miss USA pageant, Trump walked though backstage dressing rooms while contestants were naked.
- In June 2016, Cassandra Searles, Miss Washington USA 2013, alleged that Trump repeatedly grabbed her butt: “He probably doesn’t want me telling the story about that time he continually grabbed my ass and invited me to his hotel room,” she wrote in a Facebook post.
- In July 2016, months before the Access Hollywood tape came to light, Jill Harth, a makeup artist, spoke to the Guardian about her sexual assault allegations against Trump, which she detailed in a 1997 lawsuit accusing Trump of “attempted rape.” She recounted how in 1992 and 1993, Trump made unwanted verbal sexual advances and groped her several times, including in one 1993 episode at his Mar-a-Lago estate. Harth had come there with her boyfriend at the time to finalize and celebrate a beauty-pageant-related business deal. Harth alleged that Trump, while giving a tour of the estate, pulled her into the bedroom of one of his children, pushed her against a wall, and was “all over” her, trying to get his hands up her dress. “I had to physically say: ‘What are you doing? Stop it,'” Harth recalled.
- In an October 12, 2016 New York Times story that followed the Access Hollywood tape by recounting two new accusers’ stories, Jessica Leeds recalled being seated in first class next to Donald Trump on a flight in the early 1980s. She remembered that about 45 minutes after takeoff, Trump allegedly pushed up the armrest between their two seats and began grabbing her breasts and trying to stick his hands up her skirt. “He was like an octopus,” Leeds told the Times. “His hands were everywhere.”
- The other woman in the Times story was Rachel Crooks, who in 2005 was a receptionist at a real estate company based in Trump Tower. Then 22 years old, she ran into Donald Trump outside one of the building’s elevators. Crooks alleged that when she introduced herself to Trump and shook hands, he would not let go of her hand and instead began kissing her on the cheeks and finally on the mouth.
- Mindy McGillivray spoke to the Palm Beach Post for a story also published on October 12, about her alleged encounter with Donald Trump in 2003, while she was assisting with a photo shoot for a Ray Charles concert at the Mar-a-Lago resort. She told the Post that after the show had ended, she was standing near Donald and Melania Trump when all of a sudden she felt someone grab her butt. When she turned around, she recalled, she saw Donald Trump, who quickly turned away.
- The same evening, People published a personal essay by journalist Natasha Stoynoff alleging that in December 2005, Trump had pushed her against a wall and began kissing her while she was on a reporting assignment at Mar-a-Lago. “I was stunned,” she wrote. “And I was grateful when Trump’s longtime butler burst into the room a minute later, as I tried to unpin myself.”
- Jennifer Murphy came forward with allegations that Donald Trump had kissed her on the lips during a job interview. Murphy, whose story was published by Grazia on October 12, was a contestant on season 4 of “The Apprentice” who said she planned to vote for Donald Trump.
- The same day, five contestants who competed in the 1997 Miss Teen USA pageant told BuzzFeed that Trump walked through their dressing rooms while the girls, between the ages of 15 and 19, were changing, causing two of the five—Maria Billardo and Victoria Hughes—to rush to cover themselves up. Eleven other contestants contacted by BuzzFeed did not remember Trump entering the changing room.
- That week, two Miss USA contestants made similar allegations to the Guardian and CBS about Trump walking into their changing room during the 2001 pageant. Tasha Dixon, a former Miss Arizona, told CBS that Trump walked into the changing room while some girls were fully naked. “Who do you complain to?” Dixon said. “He owns the pageant.” The other contestant spoke to the Guardian anonymously, and recalled a similar moment from the 2001 pageant: “He walked in, he stood, and he stared. He was doing it because he knew that he could.”
- On October 13, the Huffington Post published an account by Lisa Boyne that in 1996, when she was 25 and a think tank employee living in Manhattan, she attended a dinner with Trump and several models. The models, Boyne alleged, were forced to walk across the table where Trump was sitting so he could peer up their skirts, commenting on their genitalia and whether they were wearing underwear.
- On October 14, the Washington Post published the story of former model Kristin Anderson, who alleged that in the early ’90s, Donald Trump—who Anderson said had not introduced himself—slid his hand up her skirt and touched her vagina through her underwear at a Manhattan nightclub.
- Also on October 14, Summer Zervos, a former candidate on The Apprentice, spoke at a press conference with attorney Gloria Allred. There she alleged that in 2007, across several meetings about potential job opportunities, Donald Trump kissed Zervos and later groped her. Zervos alleged that at one meeting, Trump had her brought to his bungalow at a Beverly Hills hotel, where he immediately began kissing her, put a hand on her breast and “thrust his genitals” at her while she pushed him away several times and made clear that she didn’t want to take part in such activity. In January 2017, Zervos and Allred filed a defamation suit against Trump in New York state after he called Zervos and other accusers “liars.”
- Cathy Heller told the Guardian in story published October 16 that in 1997, when she was at a Mother’s Day brunch at Mar-a-Lago with her husband and kids, Trump grabbed and kissed her without her consent. Trump was making the rounds meeting members at the club, and when he approached her table, Heller stood up and extended her hand to greet him. Trump, she alleges, grabbed her hand, pulled her towards him, and attempted to kiss her on the lips. When she tried to twist herself out of his reach, he said “Oh, come on” and kissed her on the side of her mouth.
- Karena Virginia alleged in a late October 2016 press conference that while she was attending the US Open in 1998, Trump grabbed her arm and touched her breast. Virginia was 27 at the time and attended a match with a group of doctors as part of her job as a pharmaceutical rep. She recalled that the incident occurred while she was standing beside a street waiting for a ride. Trump allegedly approached and immediately began making comments about her appearance to a group of men nearby. “Look at her legs,” she recalled him saying as he approached her. “Don’t you know who I am?”
- Ninni Laaksonen, a former Miss Finland and Miss Universe contestant, alleged in an interview with the Finnish newspaper Ilta-Sanomat in late October 2016 that Trump groped her before an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman in 2006, when she was 20 years old. “Before the show we were photographed outside the building,” Laaksonen said. “Trump stood right next to me and suddenly he squeezed my butt. He really grabbed my butt…. I don’t think anybody saw it but I flinched and thought: ‘What is happening?’”
- During a October 22 press conference with attorney Gloria Allred, adult film star Jessica Drake alleged that Trump forcibly kissed her and two female friends in 2006. Drake said the episode occurred when she was attending a Tahoe golf tournament on behalf of an adult film company. Trump, she said, asked for her phone number when they met earlier in the day. She provided it, and later he invited her up to his room, and she went, bringing two friends. “When we entered the room, he grabbed each of us tightly in a hug and kissed each one of us without asking permission. He was wearing pajamas.” Drake says that after answering a series of questions from Trump about her personal life, she returned to her room. At that point, she received several phone calls from Trump asking her to return to his suite. After several refusals, Trump allegedly said to her “What do you want? How much?”
- In December 2017, Samantha Holvey, a former Miss North Carolina, told CNN that before the Miss USA contest in 2006, Trump lined up all of the contestants and inspected them “one by one, like we were pieces of meat and he was trying to decide which piece of meat he wanted.” Holvey also said that Trump barged into the dressing room while women were changing.
- In February 2019, former Trump campaign staffer Alva Johnson filed a federal lawsuit alleging that Trump had kissed her without her consent in August 2016, before a rally in Tampa, Florida. The lawsuit by Johnson, who is black, also contends she was paid less than white counterparts on the campaign. Johnson, who is the first person to come forward with sexual assault allegations against the president since he took office, told the Washington Post that Trump had grabbed her hand and leaned in to kiss her, to which she turned away, causing the kiss to land on the side of her mouth.
The question remains as to why the allegations made by women before the Access Hollywood tape’s release—like those of Jill Harth or Temple Taggart—didn’t receive far broader attention when they first surfaced. The Guardian reporter who first recounted Harth’s story in July told the Columbia Journalism Review that the lack of initial attention may stem from a common pattern in sexual assault allegations: Few people pay attention to women’s stories until a man’s voice affirms them. “Trump came out in leaked video and said, in so many words, that sexual assault is something that he does regularly,” she said. “It wasn’t any woman saying it; it was a powerful man running for president saying it that got people to take it seriously, which is remarkable.”
This article was originally published on October 15, 2016, and has since been revised as recently as February 2019 to include new information and accusers.