Donald Trump allegedly barged in on teenage beauty queens in various states of undress, some as young as 15-years-old. Four different women who competed in the 1997 Miss Teen USA beauty pageant have told BuzzFeed that he came into their dressing room.
“I remember putting on my dress really quick because I was like, ‘Oh my god, there’s a man in here,'” said Mariah Billado, the former Miss Vermont Teen USA.
She remembers Trump saying something along the lines of, “Don’t worry, ladies, I’ve seen it all before.”
Trump’s actions with women are under close scrutiny after the release of a tape from 2005 that shows him bragging about committing sexual assault.
When Billado told Trump’s daughter Ivanka, who served as co-host, that he had entered the dressing room she said, “Yeah, he does that.”
The other three women who remember Trump entering the dressing room have asked to remain anonymous for fear of getting pulled into a “media firestorm,” as BuzzFeed puts it.
One of those women called it “shocking” and “creepy,” and, along with another woman, recalls girls rushing to cover their bodies.
Some of the contestants BuzzFeed was able to reach by phone said they do not recall the incident. Some said they did not believe it could have happened. But Trump has admitted to this behavior himself, although not explicitly with underage girls.
“I’ll tell you the funniest is that I’ll go backstage before a show and everyone’s getting dressed,” Trump can be heard telling Howard Stern in recordings released by CNN. “No men are anywhere, and I’m allowed to go in, because I’m the owner of the pageant and therefore I’m inspecting it…’Is everyone OK?’ You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. ‘Is everybody OK?’ And you see these incredible looking women, and so I sort of get away with things like that.”
One of the women wishing to remain anonymous, and who was 17 when the incident allegedly occurred, said, “At the time, you’re a teenager, you’re intimidated — it’s Donald Trump, he runs the pageant.”
She added that it felt like “it was his given right” to enter the dressing rooms “because he owned the pageant.”
A lawsuit alleging Donald Trump raped a 13-year-old girl is set to be heard in December.