Don’t just listen to Donald Trump boast about sexual assault. Listen to the women who’ve accused him

Donald Trump has repeatedly been accused of sexual assault, including repeated groping and rape.
Donald Trump has repeatedly been accused of sexual assault, including repeated groping and rape.
Image: Reuters/ Lucas Jackson
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

The only thing surprising about Donald Trump’s groping remarks is that they’ve caused a wave of condemnations from people who’ve previously stood quietly by as the Republican nominee makes his bid for the White House.

In the recording, Trump told “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush he might lunge for a kiss with Days of Our Lives actress Arianne Zucker.

“I’ve gotta use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her,” he said. “You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful—I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything … Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything,”

Several politicians have withdrawn their support for Trump in response, and many others have strongly condemned him.

It’s difficult to ignore boasting about sexual assault from a presidential nominee. But we’ve heard about such behavior from Trump before—from the women he lunges at.

Earlier this year, the New York Times interviewed dozens of women who’ve worked with Donald Trump. Temple Taggart, a former Miss Utah who was 21 when she met Trump in 1997, described Trump behaving exactly as he boasts in the recording.

“He kissed me directly 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. I was like, ‘Wow, that’s inappropriate.’”

This happened repeatedly, she said. In response, Trump told the New York Times he was reluctant to kiss strangers on the lips.

Since the recording was published, CNN anchor Erin Burnett said her friend had experienced the same behavior from Trump.

“That’s exactly what Trump did to me,” Burnett said, quoting her friend. “Trump took Tic Tacs, suggested that I take them also. He then leaned in … catching me off guard and kissed me almost on the lips. I was really freaked out.”

In 1997, Trump was sued for sexual harassment. The New York Times recently published details of the plaintiff’s allegations. Jill Harth, who regularly met with Trump in the ‘90s to form a business partnership, described how Trump repeatedly groped her, pushed her against a wall, and tried to kiss her.

In 1993, she said Trump was showing her around his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. “I was admiring the decoration, and next thing I know he’s pushing me against a wall and has his hands all over me,” Harth told the New York Times. “He was trying to kiss me. I was freaking out.”

She said Trump repeatedly tried to grab her and that she once vomited as a defense mechanism. Trump has denied these accusations.

During a deposition in the ’90s, Trump’s ex-wife Ivana described how her then-husband raped her. She used the word “rape” to describe the assault, where Trump held her down and pulled at her hair, though later retracted her use of the word and said she felt “violated” but didn’t want the word rape “to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense.”

Earlier this year, a federal lawsuit filed by “Jane Doe” alleges that Trump raped Doe in 1994, when she was 13 years old. The lawsuit claims that Trump tied her to the bed and when she screamed at him to stop, he hit her in the face and said he would do “whatever he wanted.” The lawsuit includes statements from a witness. Trump has repeatedly denied these allegations.

“As I have said before, the allegations are categorically untrue and an obvious publicity stunt aimed at smearing my client,” Alan Garten, Trump’s attorney, recently told “In the event we are actually served this time, we intend to move for sanctions for this frivolous filing.”

A conference hearing on the rape lawsuit will not be held until December 16. Those specific allegations have not been verified.

But given the long history of allegations against Trump, the recently released recording is certainly in keeping with Trump’s behavior towards women. His boasts of sexually assaulting women will come as no surprise to the women he gropes.

Quartz has contacted Trump’s campaign for comment and will update this post with any response.