Another woman came forward Thursday accusing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump of “inappropriate sexual conduct” in a press conference called by women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred.
Allred introduced Karena Virginia, a yoga teacher and “inspirational speaker,” at the London Hotel in Manhattan — within walking distance of the famed Trump Tower.
“After Donald Trump was caught on tape bragging about groping women, a number of women came forward to share their experiences,” Virginia said. “I am here today to add my voice to that of the other Trump accusers. I am here to stand up to Mr. Trump for myself, my family, particularly my daughter, and for all the women who deserve to be respected and not subjected by sexual abuse or groped by powerful men who believe that women can be groped, grabbed or kissed at their pleasure.”
Virginia said she came forward to support the other women who were courageous enough to share their stories. She also said that no one had asked her to come forward and that many people actually advised her to keep quiet, warning her that Trump would likely deny the claims and brand her a liar, as he has done with others who made claims against him.
She said she encountered Trump by chance while waiting for a car to pick her up in Flushing, Queens, outside the U.S. Open in 1998. She was 27 at the time. Trump had just turned 52.
“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. ‘Don’t you know who I am. Don’t you know who I am,’ That’s what he said to me. I felt intimidated and I felt powerless,” she said.
“Then my car pulled up and I got in. After I closed the door, my shock turned to shame. I felt ashamed that I was wearing a short dress and high heels. That feeling of shame stayed with me for a while, and it made me disinclined to wear short dresses or high heels,” she said. “For a number of years afterwards, I struggled with what to wear so as to not attract unwanted attention.”
Virginia’s announcement comes a day after the third and final presidential debate between Trump and his Democratic opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“Today’s victim is also noteworthy in that her allegation demonstrates how Mr. Trump selects his victims at random,” Allred said. “Some of the women, including the woman who is here today, had an encounter with Mr. Trump that appeared to be strictly by chance.”
Allred said Trump can no longer claim that he respects women.
At least 11 women have come forward with allegations of inappropriate touching against Trump.
Allred said Virginia is not considering a lawsuit against the real estate magnate at this time.
Jessica Ditto, the deputy communications director for the Trump campaign, released a statement Thursday afternoon responding to Virginia’s allegation.
“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,” she wrote. “Voters are tired of these circus-like antics and reject these fictional stories and the clear efforts to benefit Hillary Clinton.”
Last Friday, Allred held a similar press conference in which she represented former “Apprentice” contestant Summer Zervos, who accused the real estate magnate of groping and forcibly kissing her at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 2007.
Allred also represents dozens of women who have accused comedian Bill Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting them.
(Cover tile photo: Jemal Countess/Getty Images)