Society

Report: Trump Walked In On Teen Beauty Queens Undressing

| by Robert Fowler
Republican presidential nominee Donald TrumpRepublican presidential nominee Donald Trump

Four former contestants of the 1997 Miss Teen USA beauty pageant have accused GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump of barging into their dressing room, where females as young as 15 were changing.

The accusations arrive during a week when the Trump campaign has been engulfed by scandalous remarks the business mogul made 11 years earlier, when he bragged about kissing and groping women without consent.

Four women who competed in the Miss Teen USA pageant nearly 20 years ago recall that the business mogul walked into the facility where they and other teenage girls were changing, BuzzFeed reports.

“I remember putting on my dress really quick because I was like, ‘Oh my god, there’s a man in here,’” said Mariah Billado, the former Miss Vermont Teen USA.”

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The other three contestants requested anonymity but agree with Billado’s account.

From 1996 to 2015, Trump owned the Miss Universe, Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA pageants. In 2005, the business mogul told radio host Howard Stern that he would leverage his status as the pageant owner to make trips to the contestants’ dressing rooms.

“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. ... And you see these incredible looking women, and so I sort of get away with things like that.”

Billado recalled that Trump told her and other startled contestants, “Don’t worry, ladies, I’ve seen it all before.”

The Miss Teen USA pageant features contestants between the ages of 14 and 19 years old. There were 51 contestants in the 1997 pageant and 15 of them were interviewed about the alleged incident. While four of them say that Trump did barge into their facility, 11 did not recall him making an appearance.

Crystal Hughes, the former Miss Maine Teen USA, was skeptical that Trump had entered their changing facility. She said that if Trump had entered the large open space where teenagers were changing, “then everybody would have noticed.”

Hughes added that she believed the four contestants who have accused Trump of barging in on them are “probably lying because they are voting for Hillary Clinton.”

The four former contestants have pushed back against that accusation, asserting that bringing up Trump’s behavior had nothing to do with politics.

“We were all very young, but even at the time, it caught us funny,” said one contestant, who was 17 at the time. She added that since she is now an adult with children, she finds the incident “absolutely inappropriate.”

The accusations are made all the more incendiary after a recently leaked audiotape from 2005, when Trump told television personality Billy Bush that his celebrity allowed him to kiss and grope women without permission.

“You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them,” Trump said into a hot microphone, according to The Washington Post. “It’s like a magnet. I just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it"

"Grab them by the p***y," he continued. "You can do anything.”

Trump has also been accused of mistreating Alicia Machado, who was Miss Universe 1996. Machado has accused the business mogul of calling her racist and sexist names as well as bullying her about her weight, resulting in long-term psychological trauma.

“I was sick — anorexia and bulimia for five years,” Machado told The New York Times. She said that Trump humiliated her about gaining weight when she was just 18.  "My personality wasn’t created yet. I was just a girl."

Billado recalled that the business mogul’s daughter, Ivanka, had mingled with the contestants in their dressing rooms. The former Miss Vermont Teen USA says that she told Ivanka about Trump barging into their dressing room while they were changing.

Billado says that Ivanka replied, “Yeah, he does that.”

Sources: BuzzFeed, The New York Times, The Washington Post / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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