This article is being continually updated.
As the number of women accusing Donald Trump of sexual misconduct or harassment abruptly spiked, his surrogates began asking, "Why now?"
"These allegations are decades old," Trump surrogate A.J. Delgado told MSNBC's Chris Hayes. "If somebody actually did that, Chris, any reasonable woman would have come forward and said something at the time."
In fact, women have been making allegations that Donald Trump has sexually assaulted or harassed them for decades, including in sworn court filings. Some of the behavior women have described to reporters closely parallels Trump’s own characterization of his conduct in a recently unearthed 2005 recording.
“I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait,” he told then-”Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush. (Access Hollywood is owned and distributed by NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBC News and MSNBC.) In the tape, Trump brags about how being a star means “you can do anything,” including “grab them by the pussy.”
Other charges against Trump are substantially more serious. In a deposition taken during their divorce proceedings in 1989, Ivana Trump, the mother of Trump’s three eldest children, said he raped her, but when it was reported on again last year, she said "the story is totally without merit." A set of claims from a Jane Doe who alleges Trump raped her in 1994, when she was 13, is pending in federal court. Trump’s attorney has called that accusation “categorically untrue and an obvious publicity stunt aimed at smearing my client.”
On Thursday, Trump said at a rally, "These vicious claims about me of inappropriate conduct with women are totally and absolutely false," and promised to present "substantial evidence to dispute these lies."
Here are the allegations that have been publicly made against Trump, from oldest to newest, as well as his or his campaign's responses to the claims. NBC News has also reached out to these women individually. None of these allegations have been independently verified by NBC News.
Allegation of rape in 1989, made public in 1993
In a deposition filed during Trump’s contentious 1990 divorce from his first wife Ivana, she described an incident she said took place in 1989. Ivana claims that Trump had gone to her plastic surgeon for painful scalp surgery, and lashed out at her afterward, ripping out hair from her scalp. Then, “He raped me,” Ivana reportedly told her close friends, according to the 1993 book that first reported the deposition, “Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump.”
The book’s author, Harry Hurt III, described Ivana locking herself in her room and crying all night. The next morning, Hurt wrote, Trump asked “with menacing casualness, ‘Does it hurt?’” Trump has denied the account, including the scalp surgery.
In a statement published in Hurt’s book, Ivana Trump said, “During a deposition given by me in connection with my matrimonial case, I stated that my husband had raped me. [O]n one occasion during 1989, Mr. Trump and I had marital relations in which he behaved very differently toward me than he had during our marriage. As a woman, I felt violated, as the love and tenderness, which he normally exhibited towards me, was absent. I referred to this as a ‘rape,’ but I do not want my words to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense.”
In July 2015, when The Daily Beast revived the story, a Trump attorney, Michael Cohen, told the website, “Understand that by the very definition, you can’t rape your spouse.” In fact, it is illegal in New York to rape your spouse.
Cohen also said Ivana was describing how “she felt raped emotionally. … She was not referring to it [as] a criminal matter, and not in its literal sense, though there’s many literal senses to the word.”
In a September affidavit this year seeking to keep their divorce records sealed, Ivana Trump acknowledged, "When we settled our divorce, Donald requested that we have a confidentiality clause whereby I would not discuss either the divorce or our marriage. I now recognize the purpose of this clause was to protect our family and its privacy," she wrote. Trump’s attorneys have previously disclosed that under the terms of the settlement, Ivana Trump needs prior permission from her ex-husband to speak about him.
When contacted with a request for comment, Hope Hicks, a spokesperson for the Trump campaign, passed along the statement Ivana issued to The Daily Beast in July 2015: “I have recently read some comments attributed to me from nearly 30 years ago at a time of very high tension during my divorce from Donald. The story is totally without merit. Donald and I are the best of friends and together have raised three children that we love and are very proud of. I have nothing but fondness for Donald and wish him the best of luck on his campaign. Incidentally, I think he would make an incredible president.”
Allegation of sexual assault in 1992 and 1993, made in a court filing in 1997
In a complaint filed in federal court in 1997, Jill Harth said that Trump, in the course of a business meeting, “repeatedly put his hands on [her] thighs” and attempted “to touch [her] intimate private parts.”
It didn’t end there, Harth said in an interview with the Guardian. She described how Trump subsequently pushed her into his daughter Ivanka’s room and “he pushed me up against the wall, and had his hands all over me and tried to get up my dress again, and I had to physically say: ‘What are you doing? Stop it.’”
Harth said Trump urged her to leave George Houraney, then her longtime business and romantic partner: “He constantly called me and said: ‘I love you, baby, I’m going to be the best lover you ever had. What are you doing with that loser, you need to be with me, you need to step it up to the big leagues.’”
Harth told New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof in an interview published October 7, 2016 that as she and her partner continued to work with Trump on a partnership related to their American Dream Enterprise, Trump continued to press her for sex over her objections. “‘Let’s go in my room, I want to lie down,’ and he’d pull me along,” Harth told Kristof. “I’d say, ‘I don’t want to lie down,’ and it would turn into a wrestling match. … I remember yelling, ‘I didn’t come here for this.’ He’d say, ‘Just calm down.’” Harth has said she feared jeopardizing the business relationship.
Eventually, Harth’s partner sued Trump for breach of contract, and Harth says her sexual harassment suit was dropped as part of the terms of the settlement in that case. Four years later, she acknowledges, she began a consensual romantic relationship with Trump that lasted months. “I was scared, thinking, ‘what am I going to do now?’” Harth told Kristof. “When he called me and tried to work on me again, I was thinking maybe I should give this a try, maybe if he’s still working on me, I should give this rich guy a chance.” Houraney, Harth’s former partner, has said of her allegations, “I know they’re all true.”
Trump has denied Harth’s allegations. In response to Harth retelling her account, Trump’s campaign shared with reporters emails Harth wrote in 2015 and 2016 in enthusiastic support of Trump’s campaign.
When NBC News contacted the campaign for comment, Hicks responded that “it is disheartening that one has to dignify a response to this absurd claim. Mr. Trump denies each and every statement made by Ms. Harth as these 24-year-old allegations lack any merit or veracity.”
Allegation of rape in 1994, made public in a court filing in April 2016
An unnamed woman has alleged in federal court that Trump raped her when she was 13 at the home of now-registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Initially filed in California in April, a civil complaint was refiled in a federal court in New York in June.
On one occasion, the woman known as Jane Doe alleges in her complaint, “Defendant Trump tied Plaintiff to a bed, exposed himself to Plaintiff, and then proceeded to forcibly rape Plaintiff. During the course of this savage sexual attack, Plaintiff loudly pleaded with Defendant Trump to stop but with no effect. Defendant Trump responded to Plaintiff’s pleas by violently striking Plaintiff in the face with his open hand and screaming that he would do whatever he wanted.” Afterward, according to the complaint, “Defendant Trump threatened Plaintiff that, were she ever to reveal any of the details of the sexual and physical abuse of her by Defendant Trump, Plaintiff and her family would be physically harmed if not killed.” The complaint also includes an affidavit from an unnamed individual who said she witnessed the assault. A federal district court judge has set a status hearing for December 16.
“In the event we are actually served this time, we intend to move for sanctions for this frivolous filing,” Alan Garten, Trump’s attorney, told LawNewz.com in October.
A Trump campaign spokesperson told NBC News, “This is a hoax. It has been filed and dismissed on several occasions. It is frivolous, sanctionable and obviously politically motivated nonsense.”
Allegation of unwanted kissing in 1997, made public in May 2016
Even before the 2005 tape of Trump describing forcible kissing surfaced, Temple Taggart McDowell described to the New York Times how, as a 21-year-old contestant in the Miss USA pageant, which Trump owned at the time. “He kissed me directly on the lips. I thought, ‘Oh my God, gross.’ He was married to Marla Maples at the time. I think there were a few other girls that he kissed on the mouth. I was like ‘Wow, that’s inappropriate.’”
McDowell confirmed the account in an interview with NBC News on Wednesday night.
"I don't even know who she is," Trump told NBC News on October 12. "She claims this took place in a public area. I never kissed her. I emphatically deny this ridiculous claim."
Allegations of groping in 2013, made public in June 2016
In a Facebook post in June, Cassandra Searles, former Miss Washington 2013, wrote, "He probably doesn't want me telling the story about that time he continually grabbed my ass and invited me to his hotel room." NBC News has reached out to Searles and the Trump campaign for comment on this allegation and has not yet received a response.
Allegation of a hostile work environment between 2004 and 2015, published October 3, 2016
In a story published by the Associated Press in October, some “Apprentice” crew members and contestants who spoke anonymously citing a confidentiality agreement said that Trump repeatedly made lewd remarks about female contestants.
One crew member said Trump asked male contestants if they would sleep with a female contestant, in her presence: "We were in the boardroom one time figuring out who to blame for the task, and he just stopped in the middle and pointed to someone and said, 'You'd f--k her, wouldn't you? I'd f--k her. C'mon, wouldn't you?’ … Everyone is trying to make him stop talking, and the woman is shrinking in her seat."
In another account from an anonymous crew member, Trump allegedly “would look at one of the female cast members, saying, 'You're looking kind of hot today, I love that dress on you,' then he would turn to one of the male cast members and say, 'Wouldn't you sleep with her?' And then everyone would laugh.”
When asked about the allegations by NBC News, Hicks responded that “an unnamed person makes an unsubstantiated and false claim.”
Allegations of walking in on young pageant contestants changing in 1997 and 2001, made public October 11 and 12, 2016
Five women who competed in the 1997 Miss Teen USA pageant, then owned by Trump, told BuzzfeedTrump walked into their dressing room while they were changing. “I remember putting on my dress really quick because I was like, ‘Oh my god, there’s a man in here,’” Mariah Billado, the former Miss Vermont Teen USA, said in an interview with Buzzfeed.
“The youngest girl was 15, and I was the eldest at 19," former Miss New Mexico Teen USA Victoria Hughes told Buzzfeed. “It was certainly the most inappropriate time to meet us all for the first time."
Three other contestants spoke anonymously.
Jessica Ditto, deputy communications director at the Trump campaign, told NBC News in response, “These accusations have no merit and have already been disproven by many other individuals who were present. When you see questionable attacks like this magically put out there in the final month of a presidential campaign, you have to ask yourself what the political motivations really are and why the media is pushing it. Here’s the reality – Mr. Trump has a fantastic record of empowering women throughout his career, and a more accurate story would be to show how he’s been a positive influence in the lives of so many."
Miss Arizona, Tasha Dixon, told CBS Los Angeles of her 2001 experience in the Miss USA pageant, “Our first introduction to him was when we were at the dress rehearsal and half naked changing into our bikinis. He just came strolling right in. There was no second to put a robe on or any sort of clothing or anything. Some girls were topless. Other girls were naked.” Dixon added, “Who do you complain to? He owns the pageant. There’s no one to complain to. Everyone there works for him.”
NBC News has reached out to the campaign for comment on Dixon's allegation.
In a 2005 recording released by CNN on October 9, Trump, when asked repeatedly about his personal involvement with Miss USA and Miss Universe pageant contestants, told the provocative radio personality Howard Stern that he would go backstage where women were getting dressed.
“I’ll tell you the funniest is that I’ll go backstage before a show and everyone’s getting dressed,” Trump told Stern. “No men are anywhere, and I’m allowed to go in, because I’m the owner of the pageant and therefore I’m inspecting it. ... ‘Is everyone OK’? You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. ‘Is everybody OK?’ And you see these incredible looking women, and so I sort of get away with things like that.”
Two allegations of sexual assault in early 1980s and 2005, reported October 12, 2016
Jessica Leeds told the New York Times she was seated next to Trump on an airplane to New York in the early 1980s. Forty-five minutes into the flight, she said, Trump sexually assaulted her, grabbing her breasts and attempting to put his hand up her skirt. “It was an assault,” Leeds told the Times.
Rachel Crooks told the Timesthat in 2005, while she was a 22-year-old receptionist working at a company located in Trump Tower, she introduced herself to him. After shaking hands, Crooks said, Trump began kissing her cheeks and “kissed me directly on the mouth....It was so inappropriate. I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that.”
In an interview with the Times, Trump said, “None of this ever took place," and told the reporter, “You are a disgusting human being."
The campaign also issued a statement on October 12 from senior communications adviser Jason Miller, who said, “This entire article is fiction, and for the New York Times to launch a completely false, coordinated character assassination against Mr. Trump on a topic like this is dangerous. To reach back decades in an attempt to smear Mr. Trump trivializes sexual assault, and it sets a new low for where the media is willing to go in its efforts to determine this election. 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. Further, the Times story buries the pro-Clinton financial and social media activity on behalf of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, reinforcing that this truly is nothing more than a political attack. This is a sad day for the Times.”
Trump has threatened to sue the Times and demanded a retraction. The Times stands by the story.
Allegation of groping in 2003, reported October 12, 2016
Mindy McGillivray told The Palm Beach Postthat in 2003 at Mar-a-Lago, while she was assisting a photographer, Trump grabbed her rear. "All of a sudden I felt a grab, a little nudge ... I turn around and there’s Donald. He sort of looked away quickly." She added that she said to herself, "‘OK, am I going to say something now and make a scene or be quiet?’ I chose to stay quiet."
A spokeswoman for the Trump campaign told NBC News, "There is no truth to this whatsoever. This allegation lacks any merit or veracity.”
Allegation of sexual assault in December 2005, reported October 12, 2016
Natasha Stoynoff, who regularly covered Trump for Peoplemagazine throughout the 2000s, wrote in the magazine that Trump assaulted her at Mar-a-Lago. When Melania Trump stepped away, Stoynoff wrote, Trump offered to give her a tour. "We walked into that room alone, and Trump shut the door behind us," she wrote. "I turned around, and within seconds he was pushing me against the wall and forcing his tongue down my throat." Later, Trump allegedly said to her, “You know we’re going to have an affair, don’t you?” and waited for her at her massage appointment.
In response, Trump tweeted, "Why didn't the writer of the twelve year old article in People Magazine mention the "incident" in her story. Because it did not happen!"
At the time, Stoynoff said, she didn't report it because "I doubted my recollection and my reaction. I was afraid that a famous, powerful, wealthy man could and would discredit and destroy me."
Allegation of sexual assault in early 1990s, reported October 14, 2016
Kristin Anderson told the Washington Post that she was chatting with friends at a Manhattan nightclub in the early 1990s when, in the words in the Post, there was a man sitting next to her and his "fingers slid under her miniskirt, moved up her inner thigh, and touched her vagina through her underwear." She immediately recognized the man as Donald Trump, she told the paper. Friends of Anderson told the Post they heard the story from her at the time. A spokeswoman for the Trump campaign told the Post, “Mr. Trump strongly denies this phony allegation by someone looking to get some free publicity. It is totally ridiculous."
Allegation of sexual assault in 2007, reported October 14, 2016
Summer Zervos, a contestant on "The Apprentice" Season 5, which aired in 2005, said in a press conference with attorney Gloria Allred that Trump sexually assaulted her during a meeting at the Beverly Hills Hotel about employment opportunities. Zervos said Trump "came to me and started kissing me open-mouthed as he was pulling me towards him. I walked away and I sat down in a chair. He was on a love seat across from me and I made an attempt at conversation. He then asked me to sit next to him. I complied. He then grabbed my shoulder and began kissing me again very aggressively and placed his hand on my breast. I pulled back and walked to another part of the room. He then walked up, grabbed my hand and walked me into the bedroom. I walked out."
At one point, said Zervos, "I said, Come on man, get real. He repeated my words back to me, 'get real' as he began thrusting his genitals. He tried to kiss me again with my hands still on his chest, and I said, dude, you’re tripping right now, attempting to make it clear I was not interested."
Trump said in a statement Friday: "I vaguely remember Ms. Zervos as one of the many contestants on The Apprentice over the years. To be clear, I never met her at a hotel or greeted her inappropriately a decade ago. That is not who I am as a person, and it is not how I’ve conducted my life."
Allegation of of grabbing and unwanted kissing attempt in late 90s, reported October 15, 2016
In an interview with The Guardian, New York resident Cathy Heller, now 63, claims that Donald Trump grabbed her and tried to kiss her at a Mother's Day event at his Mar-a-Lago estate nearly 20 years ago. NBC News has not independently verified her account, which alleges that "he grabbed me and went for my mouth and went for my lips."
"I was angry and shaken," Heller told the newspaper. She told the newspaper she believes the incident occurred in 1997. The Guardian reported that two other accounts, one from an acquaintance and the other a relative, matched Heller's story.
The Trump campaign denied the allegation in a statement on Saturday. "There is no way that something like this would have happened in a public place on Mother’s Day at Mr Trump’s resort," campaign communications advisor Jason Miller said in a statement. "It would have been the talk of Palm Beach for the past two decades."
"The reality is this: for the media to wheel out a politically motivated Democratic activist with a legal dispute against this same resort owned by Mr. Trump does a disservice to the public, and anyone covering this story should be embarrassed for elevating this bogus claim," Miller said in the statement.
Allegation of non-consensual touching in 1998, reported October 20, 2016.
Yoga instructor and lifestyle coach Karena Virginia alleged that Trump and other men approached her as she waited for a car service at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in Flushing, New York, and that Trump touched her right breast.
"I was quite surprised when I overheard him talking to the other men about me. He said, 'Hey, look at this one, we haven't seen her before. Look at those legs.'" Virginia said at a press conference with women's rights lawyer Gloria Allred. "As though I was an object, rather than a person."
"He then walked up to me and reached his right arm and grabbed my right arm, then his hand touched the right inside of my breast. I was in shock. I flinched," she continued.
She said Trump then asked her, "Don't you know who I am? Don't you know who I am?" Virginia said that for years afterwards she blamed herself because she was wearing a short skirt and heels.
Allred served as an elected delegate for Clinton during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July.
Trump campaign spokeswoman Jessica Ditto responded in a statement: "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."
Allegation of non-consensual hugging and kissing, and propositioning, in 2006, reported October 22, 2016.
Adult film star Jessica Drake alleged that she met Trump in 2006 at a golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, California, where she was working at a booth for Wicked Pictures. She said Trump invited her to his hotel room, where he tightly hugged and kissed her and two female companions without asking their permission.
Drake said that Trump later called her and asked her to return to his suite to have dinner and go to a party. She said that after she declined, he asked her: "What do you want? How much?"
Drake said she then received another call from either Trump or another man calling on his behalf, in which the caller offered her $10,000 to return to Trump's suite. Drake said she declined.
She added that she had told friends at the time about what happened, but declined to name them out of respect for their privacy. The Trump campaign called Drake's claims "totally false and ridiculous," adding that Trump "does not know this person."
Allegation of groping in 2006, reported October 27, 2016
A former Miss Finland was the latest woman to accuse Trump of unwanted groping. Ninni Laaksonen told the local Finnish newspaper, Ilta-Sanomat, that Trump grabbed her rear before she and other pageant contestants appeared with him on the "Late Show with David Letterman" in 2006.
“Trump stood right next to me and suddenly he squeezed my butt. He really grabbed my butt," she told the paper according to the British Telegraph.
Laaksonen said she was told Trump liked her because she looked like his wife, Melania, when she was younger.
"It left me disgusted," she said.
Trump has threatened to sue all of the women who have accused him of sexual aggression, calling them liars and fame-seekers.