More than two dozen women have accused Donald Trump of sexual harassment and assault, from unwanted touching and groping to, in the case of the writer E. Jean Carroll, of rape. An exhaustively reported book coming out at the end of October, All the President’s Women: Donald Trump and the Making of a Predator, by the journalists Monique El-Faizy and Barry Levine will reveal, per Esquire, “another 43 allegations of alleged inappropriate behavior, including 26 instances of unwanted sexual contact.” Are you as surprised and shocked as I am?
An exclusive excerpt published by Esquire tells the story of one of those instances, when Donald Trump grabbed a woman named Karen Johnson by the pussy and kissed her while at a New Year’s Eve party at Mar-a-Lago sometime in the early 2000s, while Trump was still dating Melania.
As Johnson recounted to El-Faizy and Levine, she and her husband were both regular visitors to Mar-a-Lago, and had even held their wedding reception there. Here’s how the book describes Trump’s assault:
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 says Trump grabbed her at her crotch, and recalled how she was shocked to hear the Access Hollywood tape when it came out. “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,” she said, per the excerpt. According to El-Faizy and Levine, Johnson’s account is corroborated by a friend who told said she told him about Trump’s assault “years before Trump ran for office.”
After assaulting her, Trump hunted her down. He called her, despite her having never given him her number, and offered to fly her to New York City. Johnson declined:
“Don’t worry about it, he’ll never know you were gone,” she said Trump told her. “He said he’d have me back by six o’clock. This was like crazy. He was going to fly me to New York for the day to see him. I said, ‘No, no, no.’” But Trump persisted. When he was in Florida, he called and said he would send a car to bring her to Mar-a-Lago. “I kept saying, ‘No, no, no,’” she said. “I was scared. I didn’t know what to do.”
In time, Johnson said, the calls stopped. She never went back to Mar-a-Lago.
Johnson, naturally, was hesitant for years to come forward with her story. “I feared that because I had been a dancer many years before they would say to me, ‘Well, you must have asked for it,’” she told El-Faizy and Levine. “What he did was very traumatizing to me. And it still is,” she added. “You know, I didn’t ask for that. I was literally just walking through a room... no matter what my past is, I don’t deserve to be treated that way.”
But ultimately, she said, “This is about a monster, an immature child running around who has no respect for anybody but himself and his giant ego.”