US Elections 2016

My story was distorted: Trump's ex-girlfriend

A man taking a picture of a Sound Of Power speaker in the shape of a bust of Mr Trump. Ms Brewer Lane is disputing the New York Times' account of her meeting with the presumptive Republican presidential nominee in 1990.
A man taking a picture of a Sound Of Power speaker in the shape of a bust of Mr Trump. Ms Brewer Lane is disputing the New York Times' account of her meeting with the presumptive Republican presidential nominee in 1990.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK • A woman who told the New York Times (NYT) that Mr Donald Trump, who is set to win the Republican presidential nomination, had asked her to change into a swimsuit on their first encounter is now accusing the newspaper of distorting her story.

Ms Rowanne Brewer Lane, who was a 26-year-old model when she first met Mr Trump in 1990, appeared yesterday morning on a Fox Channel programme to dispute the allegations in the article, the Politico news site reported.

"Actually, it was very upsetting. I was not happy to read it at all," Ms Brewer Lane said on the show Fox & Friends.

She said NYT had promised her and her agent several times that "they would make sure that the story that I was telling came across... accurately".

"They spun it to where it appeared negative. I did not have a negative experience with Donald Trump, and I don't appreciate them making it look like that I was saying that it was a negative experience because it was not," Ms Brewer Lane said.

The article in question, published at the weekend, said Ms Brewer Lane was asked by the property mogul to put on a swimsuit during their first meeting at a pool party in Mar-a-Lago, his estate in Palm Beach, Florida. The article called it "a debasing face-to-face encounter between Trump and a young woman he hardly knew", and said "this is the private treatment of some women by Trump, the up-close and more intimate encounters".

Ms Brewer Lane, who later became Mr Trump's girlfriend, told the show's host, Ainsley Earhardt, that she did change into a swimsuit after Mr Trump asked if she would like to put on one.

"I went back out to the pool party and he made a comment, 'Now that's a stunning Trump girl right there.' I was actually flattered by it. I didn't feel like it was a demeaning situation or comment at all, and that's what I told the Times, and they spun it completely differently."

Within an hour after the interview was broadcast, Mr Trump tweeted: "Wow, Rosanne Brewer Lane, the most prominently depicted women in the failing @nytimes story yesterday, is on @foxandfriends saying Times lied."

Standing by the article, an NYT spokesman, speaking to Politico, said: "Ms Brewer Lane was quoted fairly, accurately and at length. The story provides a lot of context for the reader, including that the swimsuit scene was the 'start of a whirlwind romance' between Ms Brewer Lane and Mr Trump."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 17, 2016, with the headline 'My story was distorted: Trump's ex-girlfriend'. Print Edition | Subscribe