Yoga instructor Karena Virginia alleged during a Thursday press conference with high-profile attorney Gloria Allred that Donald Trump grabbed her arm and touched her breast while she was waiting for a car at the U.S. Open in Flushing, Queens in 1998.
Virginia is the tenth woman to come forward with allegations against Trump since the second presidential debate. She relayed her story through tears, and alleged that Trump had approached her with a group of men while she was waiting for a car. “Hey, look, that is one. We haven’t seen her before. Look at those legs,” he said, according to Virginia, who said she was 27 at the time of the incident.
Trump then approached her, Virginia alleged, and grabbed her arm, touching her breast.
“Don’t you know who I am?” he said, according to Virginia. “Don’t you know who I am?”
Virginia said that she made her escape when the car arrived, but that the incident affected her behavior for years afterward.
“I felt intimidated and I felt powerless,” Virginia said, adding that she blamed herself for Trump’s actions and stopped wearing short dresses, afraid that her appearance had been the cause of his unwanted attentions.
Allred told reporters that Virginia told her husband and friends about the incident at the time that it occurred, and is not currently considering a lawsuit against Trump.
At the beginning of the conference, Virginia stated that nobody asked her to come forward.
“In fact, many people advised me not to speak publicly about what Donald Trump did to me out of concern that I would also be attacked by him,” she said.
She also cited Trump’s comments in the final presidential debate on Wednesday, when he denied the barrage of allegations of sexual misconduct leveled against him as “lies and fiction.”
“I have been advised that Mr. Trump will probably call me a liar,” Virginia said, noting also his interjection towards Clinton at the end of the debate: “Just another nasty woman.”
The Trump campaign released a statement calling Virginia’s account a “coordinated, publicity seeking attack with the Clinton campaign,” but did not dispute her story.
“Discredited political operative Gloria Allred, in another coordinated, publicity seeking attack with the Clinton campaign, will stop at nothing to smear Mr. Trump. Give me a break. Voters are tired of these circus-like antics and reject these fictional stories and the clear efforts to benefit Hillary Clinton.” – Jessica Ditto, Deputy Communications Director
This post has been updated.