Three of the women who accused Trump of making unwanted sexual advances feel the culture may finally change but worry about men’s relative silence.
As the aftershocks from Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct spread to other powerful men in Hollywood and media, a group of women for whom the allegations are “gross but familiar” are wondering if the fallout will reach an even more powerful man – the one in the White House.
During the course of his presidential campaign, more than 10 women came forward with accusations that Donald Trump had touched or kissed them without consent – something he bragged about on the infamous 2005 Access Hollywood tape when he said stars like him could “grab them by the pussy”.
A number of other women accused Trump of unwanted sexual advances. And like so many of the Weinstein stories to come out this month, their claims have remarkable consistency.
Three of them spoke with the Guardian after the allegations against Weinstein – who denies the claims against him – came to light, to revisit their accusations against Trump.
Although they are glad women have spoken up against the Hollywood producer and feel the culture may finally change, they are worried the relative silence of men will continue to allow abusers to rise to power.
They are Cathy Heller, who told the Guardian last year that in the late 1990s Trump forcibly kissed her on the lips the first time they had ever met; Kari Wells, a former model and Bravo Actress, who said Trump aggressively propositioned her in 1992 while he was dating her friend; and Jessica Leeds, who said Trump assaulted her on a plane in the early 1980s when he allegedly groped her breasts and tried to put his hand up her skirt.