On Sunday evening’s second presidential debate, moderators put Donald Trump to the test regarding a leaked tape showcasing the Republican nominee bragging about using his celebrity status to “grab [women] by the pussy.”
The leaked tape has cost Trump major Republican Party support over the past few days, including that of John McCain, Mitt Romney and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who disinvited Trump from his fall festival campaign event following the tape’s release.
Immediately before the debate, the presidential contender attempted to deflect the issue by holding a press conference, which included women who had accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault or accused Hillary Clinton of condoning sexual assault.
Regardless of his diversion tactics, the leaked tape came up as the second question of the debate. In response, Trump called his words “locker room talk,” before attempting to move on with the conversation, saying how the decade-old tape didn’t represent him anymore.
No matter how much Trump attempted to downplay the video, or dismiss his “locker room talk” as an isolated incident, lawsuits show that alleged misconduct toward women has peppered much of Trump’s career and business practices.
Indeed, a recent report from USA Today highlights at least 20 separate lawsuits filed against Trump and the managers of his companies for sexual harassment. The accusations levied in lawsuits range from a supervisor testifying that she had to fight to make sure fat female employees kept their jobs, to another woman being fired when she got pregnant.
Outside of the USA Today report, The New York Times has described the plight of Jill Harth, an ex-business partner of Trump’s who alleged that the presidential candidate tried to force his way onto her multiple times. Harth eventually sued Trump for sexual harassment, which included an accusation of attempted rape. Harth eventually withdrew her suit, however, in order to settle a separate contract dispute.
Trump’s history of sexual assault isn’t limited to business dealings. In a deposition, Trump’s ex-wife Ivana initially called an incident where Trump pulled her hair and held her down — presumably against her will — while violating her as “rape,” but retracted her statement because she didn’t want the incident to be “to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense.”
Next, check out why Zach Galifianakis won’t have Donald Trump on “Between Two Ferns.”