A former model has come forward to accuse Donald Trump of sexually assaulting her at the US Open tennis tournament more than two decades ago, in an alleged incident that left her ill and raped.
In an exclusive interview with The Guardian, Amy Dorris alleged that Trump approached her in front of the bathroom in her VIP dressing room during the New York tournament on September 5, 1997.
Dorris, who was 24 at the time, accuses Trump of sticking his tongue down her throat, assaulting her all over her body and holding her in a socket she was unable to escape.
‘I feel sick, raped’: former model alleges sexual assault by Donald Trump
He just pushed his tongue down my throat and I pushed him away. And then that’s when her grip got tighter and her hands were very groping and all over my butt, my breasts, my back, everything.
I was in her grip, and I couldn’t get out of it, she said, adding: I don’t know what you call it when you put your tongue right down someone’s throat. But I pushed it with my teeth. I was pushing him. And I think I could have hurt his tongue.
Through his lawyers, Trump has denied in the strongest terms that he ever harassed, abused or acted badly towards Dorris.
Dorris, who lives in Florida, provided the Guardian with evidence to support her account of her meetings with Trump, including her ticket to the US Open and six photos showing her with the real estate mogul over several days At New York. Trump was 51 at the time and was married to his second wife, Marla Maples.
Dorris with Donald Trump at the US Open in 1997. She alleges the assault took place behind the bulkhead in the background.
Her account was also corroborated by several people she spoke to about the incident. They include a friend in New York City and Dorriss’ mother, both of whom she called immediately after the alleged incident, as well as a therapist and friends with whom she spoke in the years that followed. All said Dorris shared details of the alleged incident with them that matched what she later told the Guardian.
Dorris, now 48 and a mother of twin daughters, said she considered speaking publicly about the incident in 2016, when several women went public with similar accusations against the then Republican candidate for the Presidency. But she decided not to come forward, in part because she believed it could harm her family.
Now I feel like my daughters are about to turn 13 and I want them to know that you don’t let anyone do anything to you that you don’t want, she said. And I would be more of a role model. I want them to see that I didn’t stay silent, that I stood up to someone who did something unacceptable.
Dorris said she spent several days with Trump in September 1997 after being whisked to New York for a long weekend by her then-boyfriend Jason Binn. At the time, Dorris was living with friends in Boca Raton, Florida, traveling regularly to Miami for modeling and occasional acting work. Binn, the founder of several luxury fashion and lifestyle magazines, was a friend of Trump; in 1999, he reportedly described the real estate businessman as his best friend.
On Friday, September 5, Dorris said Binn took her to meet Trump at his office in Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan, before heading to the US Open in Queens together.
He came very strong right away, Dorris said of Trump. It seemed typical of a certain type, people who just feel allowed to do whatever they want even though I was there with my boyfriend.
Amy Dorris sat between Donald Trump and Jason Binn at the US Open in Queens 1997
The couple were joined by other Trump friends in their private dressing room, a luxury carpeted suite with a balcony facing the courtyard. Photos from the day show Dorris alongside Trump and his friend Marylou Whitney.
Dorris said the alleged assault happened when she got up to go to the bathroom, which was hidden behind a partition a few feet from where Trumps’ guests were watching tennis. I was having problems with my contact lenses, she says. I remember going there to moisten my lens.
When she left, she claims, Trump was waiting outside. I initially thought he was waiting to go to the bathroom, but unfortunately he wasn’t, she says. She alleges that Trump forced himself on her after a brief exchange in which she recalls giggling and telling her: No, go.
She alleged that she told Trump no, please stop but he didn’t care. It doesn’t matter who you are, she said. Every time someone says no, no means no. And it just didn’t work for me. It was not enough.
I was sort of in shock, she added. I felt violated, obviously. But I still didn’t treat him and I was just trying to start talking to everyone again and having a good time because, I don’t know, I felt like I had to be that way.
Dorris doesn’t remember if she told Binn all the details of the alleged assault, but says she asked him to tell Trump to leave her alone. She said she told Binn: Hes all over me. I can not handle this. You have to do something.
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Binn did not respond to a request for comment. However, according to Trump’s lawyers, Binn told them he didn’t remember Dorris telling him that something inappropriate had happened with Trump or that she felt uncomfortable around him.
Dorris said that shortly after the alleged incident she phoned a friend who lived in the city and told them what had happened. I think I just felt safe knowing I had someone in New York that I could go to, God forbid it got worse, she said.
She said Trump had not seriously assaulted her again while in New York City, but continued to pursue her despite his firm refusal of her advances.
The day after the alleged assault, Dorris and Binn returned to the Trumps’ box at the US Open. Dorris said she decided to wear a conservative outfit of khakis, a blue knit sweater and loafers in an effort to discourage further advances from Trump.
Along the way, the couple stopped at the Trumps apartment in Trump Tower, where they posed for photos with celebrities who also visited the real estate mogul before attending tennis, including musicians Lenny Kravitz and Sean Combs, aka Puff Daddy.
Posing with Puff Daddy, left, and Lenny Kravitz, second from right, at Trump Tower.
Dorris said Trump continued to pursue her, asking questions such as: could you see yourself living here? It didn’t matter if I changed my clothes, it was always the same situation, she said. I didn’t feel myself at all on this second day. It was as if something had been taken away.
They were later joined in the asset box by more VIP guests, including Leonardo DiCaprio and illusionist David Blaine, with whom they posed for photos. DiCaprio, Blaine, Kravitz and Combs did not respond to requests for comment.
David Blaine, second from right, and Leonardo DiCaprio, second from left, in the US Open box.
Two days later, on September 8, 1997, Dorris said she attended a memorial service for Gianni Versace with Binn and Trump.
When asked why she continued to spend time with Binn and Trump in the days following the alleged assault, Dorris replied: I was over there from Florida and I was with Jason. I had no money, nowhere to go. We went from event to event and it was overwhelming. She didn’t fully address what happened until later, she added. People spend years with people who have abused them, that’s what happens when something traumatic happens, you freeze.
Trump’s attorneys said the Dorriss version of events did not stand up to scrutiny and that if there had been inappropriate behavior by Trump outside of the bathroom in the VIP lodge, there would have been many witnesses.
Dorris signs autographs with Donald Trump
Lawyers for Trumps said it seemed incredible that Dorris would voluntarily choose to be near Trump, at the US Open and at the Versace Memorial, in the days following the alleged assault. They said Binn raised similar questions about his account. Trump’s lawyers also questioned why Dorris was sitting next to Trump at the Versace memorial, when she could have been sitting on the other side of Binn.
They said Dorris had never raised the allegations with any law enforcement agency or Trump, and said the timing of the claims so close to the November presidential election suggested they could be politically motivated.
The Guardian first heard about Dorriss’ accusation against Trump from a model agent she had worked with in Chicago, whom she confided in. Dorris first shared his allegation with the Guardian in confidence 15 months ago, but was not sure whether to make it public. She recently decided she was ready to take this step, in part to be a role model for her daughters, who are now teenagers.
When you invade someone’s space, it doesn’t matter if you’ve been raped, their sexual assault, and that’s not OK, she says. You don’t touch someone unless they want to be touched. And I didn’t do anything to encourage him to touch me.
Dorris said she was also frustrated to hear Trumps’ many other accusers being accused of lying. I’m sick of him getting away with this, she said. I’m tired of being calm. His kind of cathartic. I just wanna get this out. And I want people to know he’s the man, he’s our president. This is the kind of thing he does and it is unacceptable.
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