Amy Dorris tells the Guardian she was sexually assaulted by US President Trump in his US Open VIP suite in 1997, an allegation his lawyers have denied and called politically motivated.

A screenshot taken from a Guardian interview of Amy Dorris with journalist Lucy Osborne. September 17, 2020.
A screenshot taken from a Guardian interview of Amy Dorris with journalist Lucy Osborne. September 17, 2020. (The Guardian/Screenshot)

A former model has accused US President Donald Trump of sexual assault in 1997 – the latest allegation made against the Republican incumbent just weeks before he seeks re-election.

Amy Dorris told The Guardian that Trump sexually assaulted her in his VIP suite at the US Open tennis tournament in New York – claims he denied via his lawyers.

"I was in his grip, and I couldn't get out of it," Dorris said. In the interview, Dorris can be seen with her arms crossed in front of her body in a protective posture as she details the traumatic assault and his "hard grip."

"It felt like an octopus was holding on to me ... I felt trapped."

'Locker room banter'

Trump has faced more than a dozen allegations of sexual misconduct, including a claim by prominent American columnist E Jean Carroll that he raped her in a department store changing room in the mid-1990s.

But he brushed them aside in his run for the White House.

Shortly before the 2016 election, a tape recording emerged from 2005 in which he was heard boasting about how his fame allowed him to "grab" women by their genitals when he wanted.

Trump dismissed this as "locker room banter" but subsequently apologised.

'I felt violated'

Dorris was 24 at the time of the alleged incidents. Trump was 51 and married at the time to his second wife, Marla Maples.

She provided The Guardian with several photos showing her in Trump's company, and multiple people corroborated her account, saying she told them at the time.

She said she told Trump to stop but "he didn't care." She added, "I felt violated, obviously."

Asked why she continued to be around Trump in subsequent days, Dorris responded, "That's what happens when something traumatic happens – you freeze."

But Trump's attorneys told the newspaper that her version of events was unreliable and there would be other witnesses if she had been assaulted.

They suggested in comments to The Guardian that the allegation could be politically motivated, coming weeks before Trump faces Joe Biden in the November 3 election.

Role model for her daughters

Dorris, now 48, said she decided to come forward to be a role model for her teenage twin daughters.

“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 told The Guardian. 

“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.”

She first told The Guardian her story more than a year ago but asked the newspaper not to publish it.

"I'm sick of him getting away with this," Dorris said.

READ MORE: Two women accuse Trump of sexual assault

Source: AFP