One of the two women who accused Donald Trump of sexual misconduct in a New York Times on Wednesday said in an interview Thursday that the Republican presidential candidate touched her “wherever he could find a landing spot,” CNN reports.
Jessica Leeds, 74, was 38 at the time of her encounter with Trump on a flight where he reportedly lifted up an armrest, grabbed her breast and tried to put his hand up her skirt.
“The guy in the seat across the aisle could see. And I kept thinking, maybe the stewardess is going to come and he’ll stop, but she never came,” Leeds told CNN’s Anderson Cooper in an interview.
Leeds told Cooper that Trump touched her for “about 15 minutes,” and he touched her “wherever he could find a landing spot.”
At a campaign stop in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Thursday, Trump denied Leeds’ claims and those of the four other accusers who came forward Wednesday. His lawyer accused the New York Times of libel and threatened to sue if they did not retract the article and issue an apology.
Leeds told Cooper that she decided to tell her story after watching Sunday’s presidential debate, during which Trump denied ever having kissed or groped a woman without her consent.
“I didn’t start telling my story until a year and a half ago when it became apparent he was making a serious run for the presidency,” she said. “Over the year and a half that I’ve been telling it, it doesn’t change it at all. It still infuriates me when I think about it. But it was a long time ago.”
Leeds told Cooper that while she hopes this whole thing will blow over by Monday, she also hopes that “anybody and any woman who has a story to tell” will have an opportunity to get it off their chest. Leeds hopes that it will start a dialogue so that “we’ll make some progress on this issue.”
CNN reports that Trump spokesman Jason Miller responded, “It is absurd to think that one of the most recognizable business leaders on the planet with a strong record of empowering women in his companies would do the things alleged in this story, and for this to only become public decades later in the final month of a campaign for president should say it all.”
Read more at CNN.