Isabel O’Connor, Student Life Co-Editor
As most of us have heard by now, a vulgar video of Trump discussing his sexual relations with a married woman and the perks of being a star that permit his unlawful actions surfaced October 8th. We are not sure of the objective regarding the timing of this release. However, we do know several assault charges from his ex-wife, a business co-worker, and another young women have been filed against Trump before. In addition, recent allegations were reported just last Wednesday and Friday accusing Trump of further assaults.
In divorce documents, Trump’s ex-wife, Ivana Trump, initially accuses Trump of rape in their own home. The violent details of the assault is written by Harry Hurt III in Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump. Strategically before the book was published, Trump’s lawyers issued a statement from Ivana discarding her previous accusations. She specifically did not want the word “rape,” which she used formerly, to be “interpreted in a literal or criminal sense.” At the time, Trump was represented by Michael Cohen. After Trump’s attorney’s conclusions stating that legally a man can not rape his spouse were shot down, he continued to harass the author before and after the story was published. He claimed he would ruin Hurt’s life and family adding, “what I’m going to do to you is going to be f***ing disgusting”(The Daily Beast). With these words, Cohen could have made anyone fearful enough to change their story – such as Ivana and the many other women who are only now confirming his violations against them.
In 1997, another lawsuit for sexual assault was filed against trump by Jill Harth. Harth and her partner were finishing a business deal with Trump as he inappropriately and sexually teased her throughout the deal’s completion. Furthermore, Trump attempted to rape her in one of his own children’s rooms. Harth retracted her accusations after Trump closed a lawsuit against her partner regarding business matters. Harth reported that Trump’s campaign had contacted her in several attempts to persuade her to change or deny the story. However, Harth fearlessly stuck to her guns, replying, “I’m not doing that.”
In June 2016, an anonymous woman charged Trump with rape in 1994 when she was just thirteen years old. At the time, she had partied with Trump and his friend Jeffrey Epstein who is now referred to as the “billionaire pedophile” (Fusion).
Trump claimed the contents of the video was only “locker room banter” and has persisted to deny every allegation.
Why did David Fahrenthold of The Washington Post leak this shocking video at the time he did? Were there higher executives that planned to take down Trump’s campaign? Sure, a number of individuals in high places would like to see the demise of Donald Trump, but one often sees the simplest answer to be true in most cases. Since then, further allegations against Trump have been reported. Jessica Leeds, Rachel Cook, and Kristen Anderson have all finally disclosed their gruesome encounters with Mr. trump in an array of environments (The Atlantic).
Do you believe that these women have only come forward to distract from Trump’s campaign, as he claims? His erratic behavior and the substantial evidence against him both support the women’s charges. In all likelihood, these women were not going to sit and allow their abuses to be deemed, “locker room banter” and “meritless” yet again, thus empowering Trump to repeat his illicit actions, having weaseled out of his punishment before. Ultimately, the general public can only hope that these women have ended Trump’s appalling cycle of assault.