A Rumson woman has accused Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump of sexually assaulting her in 1998, according to news reports Thursday.
Karena Virginia, a 45-year-old life coach and yoga guru, claims that she was waiting for a car at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in Queens, New York, when Trump, whom she had not met, made comments about her body as he walked by before grabbing her by an arm touching her breast, she said at a press conference in New York, according to NBC News.
From the report:
“I knew who he was, but I had never met him. He was with a few other men,” she said at a press conference in New York Thursday. “I was quite surprised when I overheard him talking to the other men about me. He said, ‘Hey, look at this one, we haven’t seen her before. Look at those legs.’ As though I was an object, rather than a person.”
“He then walked up to me and reached his right arm and grabbed my right arm, then his hand touched the right inside of my breast. I was in shock. I flinched,” she continued.
Trump then asked her, “Don’t you know who I am? Don’t you know who I am?” she said.
Speaking to reporters in the company of women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred, a Hillary Clinton supporter who has represented other women with sexual misconduct claims against Trump, Virginia said her “shock turned to shame,” and for years afterward felt she was to blame for the incident because she was wearing a short dress and high heels at the time, NBC reported.
“I have been fearful of bringing unwanted attention to my loving family and me,” said Virginia, who was 27 and single at the time of the alleged incident. “But in the end, I feel that it is my duty as a woman, as a mother, a human being and as an American citizen to speak out and tell the truth.”
More than a dozen women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct in the two weeks since a 2005 hot-mic recording of Trump boasting about grabbing women by their genitals became public. Trump had termed the earlier accusations “totally false” and a spokeswoman for his campaign called Virginia’s claim a publicity stunt, the New York Times reported.
From the Times:
Reading from a statement, Ms. Virginia addressed the Republican candidate directly: “Mr. Trump, perhaps you do not remember me or what you did to me so many years ago. But I can assure you that I remember you and what you did to me as though it was yesterday. Your random moment of sexual pleasure came at my expense and affected me greatly.”
Virginia is “not considering a lawsuit at this time,” Allred said, but wanted to speak out in response to Trump’s “ludicrous” denial of the allegations against him, according the report.