A disturbing video from a 2011 corporate speech shows Donald Trump sexually humiliating a woman in front of thousands of people and going in for what appears to be a nonconsensual kiss, the Huffington Post’s Ryan Grim reports.
The woman is Jennifer Hawkins, the 2004 Miss Universe winner from Australia. In the video, Trump calls Hawkins onstage to join him after telling the audience his philosophy on using revenge to succeed in business: “Get even with people,” he says. “If they screw you, screw them back 10 times as hard. I really believe that.”
Trump, it seems, had spent the previous day being angry with Hawkins because he thought she had slighted him by supposedly declining to introduce him at the event in Sydney. Onstage with Trump, Hawkins laughs apologetically and explains that it was a “miscommunication with my management,” and that she “felt really bad.”
Trump seems to accept this: “When she found out, she got in her car and she got her ass over here, and I love her,” he says. But that doesn’t stop Trump from humiliating her anyway, in a bizarre, unsettling sequence of events.
First, he describes how he would have embarrassed Hawkins onstage, if she really had slighted him. “I was actually going to get up and tell you that Jennifer is a beautiful girl on the outside, but she’s not very bright,” he says. “That wouldn’t have been true, but I would have said it anyway.”
That part feels like an “I’m not touching you! I’m not touching you!” insult strategy that Trump has used before, notably when he called Fox anchor Megyn Kelly a “bimbo” and then claimed he didn’t actually call her that.
Then Trump makes a sexual pun, and lingers on it until the audience gets it: “And you know what? She came tonight, she came — came, she came, she came.” Once the audience finally laughs, Trump adds: “See, so they have the same filthy minds in Australia.”
Finally, Trump abruptly grabs Hawkins around the waist and goes in for a kiss. She turns away and puts her arm between them, and the kiss lands on her cheek.
Hawkins has refused to comment on the sexual assault allegations against Trump, and she hasn’t said anything about this video yet either.
But the grab-and-kiss moment looks a lot like the unwanted sexual advances that several women have accused Trump of making, and what Trump himself bragged about doing in a leaked audio tape: “Just kiss. I don’t even wait,” he said.
Trump’s modus operandi, according to his accusers, is to grab them and try to kiss them on the lips. Sometimes he lands the kiss, and sometimes he doesn’t — but he’s allegedly forceful enough that even if the women try to pull away, he’ll usually land a kiss on the cheek.
Cathy Heller told the Guardian’s Molly Redden a story like this, from a Mother’s Day brunch at Mar-a-Lago:
“He took my hand, and grabbed me, and went for the lips,” she claimed.
Alarmed, she said she leaned backwards to avoid him and almost lost her balance. “And he said, ‘Oh, come on.’ He was strong. And he grabbed me and went for my mouth and went for my lips.” She turned her head, she claims, and Trump planted a kiss on the side of her mouth. “He kept me there for a little too long,” Heller said. “And then he just walked away.”
This also isn’t the first time Trump has publicly humiliated a former Miss Universe. Alicia Machado says that Trump called her “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping,” and invited reporters to watch her working out as a way of publicly shaming her for gaining weight.
And when Hillary Clinton brought that up this year at the first presidential debate, Trump responded by fat-shaming Machado again and telling people on Twitter to “check out” her nonexistent sex tape.
It all suggests a disturbing pattern: Trump feeling entitled to women’s bodies if he’s attracted to them, and feeling entitled to publicly humiliate them if they’ve somehow offended him.