An astounding 43 new allegations of sexual misconduct against President Donald Trump are featured in the upcoming book All the President’s Women: Donald Trump and the Making of a Predator by journalists Barry Levine and Monique El-Faizy. Twenty-six of those 43 allegations entail instances of unwanted touching by Trump, according to an exclusive excerpt published by Esquire.
The passage details an allegation by a new accuser named Karen Johnson, whose story is sadly familiar to anyone who has paid attention to the multiple allegations of sexual misconduct levied against Trump since his 2016 presidential run. According to Johnson, the incident occurred at Mar-a-Lago in the early aughts, shortly before the then-reality show host proposed to Melania Trump.
Johnson claims in the book, which hits stores October 22, that she was assaulted by Trump at a New Year’s Eve bash held at his Florida club. From the excerpt:
At the New Year’s Eve party, Johnson, wearing a black Versace dress, danced with her friends. Shortly after glittering balloons fell from the ceiling at the stroke of midnight, her husband said he wasn’t feeling well and the relative was ready to go. Johnson decided to make a quick trip to the restroom before they headed home. “I hadn’t seen [Trump] that whole entire night,” said Johnson, who was in her late thirties at the time. “I was just walking to the bathroom. I was grabbed and pulled behind a tapestry, and it was him. And I’m a tall girl and I had six-inch heels on, and I still remember looking up at him. And he’s strong, and he just kissed me,” she recounted to us. “I was so scared because of who he was… I don’t even know where it came from. I didn’t have a say in the matter.”
Johnson alleges Trump harassed her after the incident by constantly calling her and trying to pressure her into meeting with him, even insisting on sending private planes to pick her up when they were in different cities. Johnson says she rebuffed him by insisting that she had to take care of her terminally ill husband, who had multiple sclerosis. But Trump was undeterred and kept calling. Johnson says she never returned to Mar-a-Lago.
Years later, Johnson says she was shocked to hear the leaked Access Hollywood tape because Trump was boasting about things she says he had done to her.
“When he says that thing, ‘Grab them in the pussy,’ that hits me hard because when he grabbed me and pulled me into the tapestry, that’s where he grabbed me—he grabbed me there in my front and pulled me in,” Johnson says in the book.
Johnson wasn’t the only accuser struck by Trump’s notorious “grab ‘em by the pussy” remark and his subsequent denial during the second presidential debate of ever doing so. Trump accuser Jessica Leeds recalled being particularly enraged that the mogul denied ever sexually assaulting anyone because the remark essentially describes what she claims he did to her on an airplane in the late ’70s.
“I wanted to punch the screen,” Leeds told The New York Times in October 2016. According to Leeds, Trump raised an armrest separating them on a first-class flight and then put his hand up her skirt. “He was like an octopus,” Leeds said. “His hands were everywhere … It was an assault.”
People writer Natasha Stoynoff then came forward to allege that Trump had shoved her against a wall and forcefully kissed her when Melania had momentarily stepped away while the journalist was profiling the then-newlyweds. Like Johnson’s, the alleged attack took place at Mar-a-Lago. And like Johnson, the incident took her completely by surprise.
“I turned around, and within seconds, he was pushing me against the wall, and forcing his tongue down my throat,” Stoynoff wrote in a first-person account for People. “Now, I’m a tall, strapping girl who grew up wrestling two giant brothers. I even once sparred with Mike Tyson. It takes a lot to push me. But Trump is much bigger—a looming figure—and he was fast, taking me by surprise and throwing me off balance. I was stunned.”
Several other women, including former Trump Organization employee Rachel Crooks and former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos, have accused Trump of forcibly kissing them. Earlier this year, famed writer E. Jean Carroll accused Trump of raping her when they were alone in a department store dressing room in the ’90s.
The stories don’t differ much, but they bear repeating: The women interact with Trump in a business or social setting, and the minute they happen to be alone with him, he surprises them by allegedly physically overpowering them. The accusations paint a portrait of an alleged serial predator who feels entitled to violate anyone in arm’s reach in any way he sees fit.
Trump has repeatedly denied all claims of sexual assault. The White House has not yet responded to a request for comment.
How many women have to speak up before an alleged predator is held accountable? It took at least 20 before Harvey Weinstein was charged, and 50 years before Bill Cosby had to face the music. But when you’re the most powerful man in the world, credible accusations from dozens of women don’t even seem to move the needle.