Now that Americans are facing the truth about sexual harassment, will they hold President Trump accountable for his own bad behavior?
Last year, after Trump was heard on an "Access Hollywood" tape bragging about assaulting women, 16 accused him of sexually inappropriate behavior, ranging from voyeurism to assault.
They say he grabbed their breasts and genitals, and kissed them without permission. Beauty pageant contestants say he strolled uninvited into rooms where they were naked and vulnerable. None of the women is hiding behind anonymity. They are on the record. The White Housespokeswoman has said they are all lying. Their names are Cathy Heller, Jill Harth, Temple Taggart, Cassandra Searles, Jessica Leeds, Kristin Anderson, Lisa Boyne, Karena Virginia, Mindy McGillivray, Rachel Crooks, Natasha Stoynoff, Jessica Drake, Ninni Laaksonen, Samantha Holvey, Tasha Dixon and Summer Zervos, who has filed a defamation lawsuit against Trump for calling her a liar.
Snippets of their stories are featured in "16 Women and Donald Trump," a new 31/2-minute video compilation by Brave New Films, the nonpartisan, nonprofit studio that makes short films on a range of social justice issues such as prison reform, gun control and immigrant rights.
Anderson, a Southern California photographer, was an aspiring model in her 20s when she happened to sit next to Trump in a Manhattan nightclub in the early 1990s. Without a word, the real estate mogul reached under her skirt, she said: "He did touch my vagina through my underwear."
Virginia, a yoga instructor and lifestyle coach, encountered Trump while waiting for a ride outside the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament in Queens in 1998. A total stranger, he walked right up to her. "Then his hand touched the right inside of my breast," Virginia said. "I felt intimidated, and I felt powerless."
Brave New Films founder Robert Greenwald said he was motivated to revisit the accusations against Trump after the Harvey Weinstein exposes in the New York Times and the New Yorker opened the floodgates on sexual harassment.
When the women first came forward, during the presidential campaign, said Greenwald, "they were threatened and bullied and told they were going to be sued. But it's a different environment now." Many people — Democrats included — now say that Bill Clinton should have resigned the presidency for lying about his affair with Monica Lewinsky and sexually harassing Paula Jones. Why should Trump escape investigation?
For a long time, Trump was silent about the Moore accusations. Then, just before Thanksgiving, in comments to reporters, he gave Moore a pass. He might as well have been talking about himself: "He says it didn't happen. You have to listen to him," Trump told reporters. "I do have to say, 40 years is a long time."
"Mr. Trump, perhaps you do not remember me or what you did to me so many years ago," said Virginia, who spoke at a news conference in October 2016 with attorney Gloria Allred at her side, "but I can assure you that I remember you and what you did to me as though it was yesterday." Source: