NEW YORK (AFP) – Another woman came forward Thursday (Oct 20) claiming that Donald Trump groped her and made inappropriate sexual remarks, adding to accusations of nine other women that have emerged in the past days.
Karena Virginia, 45, a New York-area yoga instructor, said at a news conference that she was assaulted by the celebrity billionaire and Republican presidential nominee at the 1998 US Open tennis tournament.
Virginia, reading from a written statement, said that Trump pointed at her to other men and said “’hey, look at this one. We haven’t seen this one before. Look at those legs’ as if I was an object rather than a person.”
Virginia, who was 27 at the time, said that Trump grabbed her by the arm and touched her breast. “’Don’t you know who I am, don’t you know who I am?’ he said,” according to Virginia’s statement.
“I felt intimidated and I felt powerless,” she said, adding that she “felt ashamed” for wearing a short dress and high heels.
“That feeling of shame stayed with me for a while,” she said.
Virginia spoke to reporters flanked by high-profile discrimination lawyer Gloria Allred, who said that her client “is not considering a lawsuit at this time”.
On Oct 7 The Washington Post released a 2005 video recording that caught Trump boasting in lewd terms about how he could get away with groping women without their consent because he was a celebrity.
After this aired, nine women came forward to accuse Trump of unwanted sexual advances, some of which, if confirmed, amount to sexual assault.
Virginia is the 10th woman to level accusations against the Republican White House contender.
During the third and final presidential debate late Wednesday (Oct 19) with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Trump denied all the accusations, saying they were “fiction” and “have been largely debunked,” even suggesting that Clinton had planted them.
“No one has asked me to come forward,” said Virginia. “In fact, many people advised me not to speak publicly.”
According to an official biography in The Huffington Post, where she sometimes writes, Virginia is “a wellness expert... motivational speaker, energy healer, yogi, inspirational mentor and TV personality,” and as a child “was highly sensitive to angels.”