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 feeling “sick” and “violated”.
In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, Amy Dorris alleged that Trump accosted her outside the bathroom in his VIP box at the tournament in New York on 5 September 1997.
Dorris, who was 24 at the time, accuses Trump of forcing his tongue down her throat, assaulting her all over her body and holding her in a grip she was unable to escape from.
“He just shoved his tongue down my throat and I was pushing him off. And then that’s when his grip became tighter and his hands were very gropey and all over my butt, my breasts, my back, everything.
“I was in his grip, and I couldn’t get out of it,” she said, adding: “I don’t know what you call that when you’re sticking your tongue just down someone’s throat. But I pushed it out with my teeth. I was pushing it. And I think I might have hurt his tongue.”
Via his lawyers, Trump denied in the strongest possible terms having ever harassed, abused or behaved improperly toward Dorris.
Dorris, who lives in Florida, provided the Guardian with evidence to support her account of her encounters with Trump, including her ticket to the US Open and six photos showing her with the real estate magnate over several days in New York. Trump was 51 at the time and married to his second wife, Marla Maples.
Her account was also corroborated by several people she confided in about the incident. They include a friend in New York and Dorris’s mother, both of whom she called immediately after the alleged incident, as well as a therapist and friends she spoke to in the years since. All said Dorris had shared with them details of the alleged incident that matched what she later told the Guardian.
Dorris, now 48 and a mother to twin daughters, said she had considered speaking publicly about the incident in 2016, when several women made public similar accusations against the then Republican candidate for president. But she decided against coming forward, in part because she thought that doing so might harm her family.
“Now I feel like my girls are about to turn 13 years old and I want them to know that you don’t let anybody do anything to you that you don’t want,” she said. “And I’d rather be a role model. I want them to see that I didn’t stay quiet, that I stood up to somebody who did something that was unacceptable.”
Dorris said she spent several days with Trump in September 1997 after being taken 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, regularly travelling to Miami for modelling 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 5 September, Dorris said Binn took her to meet Trump at his office in Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan, before they went together to the US Open in Queens.
“He came on very strong right away,” Dorris said of Trump. “It seemed typical of a certain guy, people who just feel like they’re entitled to do what they want … even though I was there with my boyfriend.”