Four competitors in the 1997 Miss Teen USA beauty pageant report that Donald Trump walked into their dressing room while they were changing, making them feel uncomfortable. Mariah Billado, the former Miss Vermont Teen USA, was one of the women who came forward with the story, along with three other women who competed in the pageant but asked to remain anonymous.
Two of the anonymous competitors called the instance "shocking" and "creepy," and said that girls rushed to cover themselves, BuzzFeed News reports.
“I remember putting on my dress really quick because I was like, ‘Oh my god, there’s a man in here,’” Billado said. She also recalled Trump saying something like, “Don’t worry, ladies, I’ve seen it all before.”
According to BuzzFeed News, 11 other contestants from the 1997 competition do not remember seeing Trump in the dressing room. BuzzFeed contacted 49 out of the 51 contestants in the pageant, but 34 declined to talk or could not be reached. None of the women accused Trump of trying to touch anyone or saying anything explicit—but it's definitely extremely creepy for an adult man to go into a room full of teenage girls changing, no matter what he says or does once inside.
Three women told BuzzFeed that they were skeptical Trump had ever been able to come into the dressing room. Jessica Granata, former Miss Massachusetts Teen USA, Allison Bowman, former Miss Wisconsin Teen USA, and Crystal Hughes, former Miss Maine Teen USA, all told BuzzFeed News that his entrance wasn't likely. They claimed the dressing room was too secure, and Hughes said the other women were probably lying because they're voting for Hillary Clinton.
Trump owned the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants from 1996 until last year. We know he cares deeply about the appearance of the women who compete—He harassed and insulted 1996 Miss Universe winner Alicia Machado after she gained weight following the pageant, and recently came under fire for continuing to defend the way he treated her. And believe it or not, Trump has bragged about entering beauty pageant dressing rooms before.
In audio released by CNN, Trump told Howard Stern, “I’ll tell you the funniest is that I’ll go backstage before a show and everyone’s getting dressed. 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.”
However, this is the first time it is being alleged that Trump entered the dressing room of a teen pageant, where contestants range from 14 to 19 years old. Are we really that surprised, though? Trump's made several comments about the attractiveness of his own daughter, Ivanka, and he's said he thinks it's okay to grab women "by the pussy" without their consent. Unfortunately, it's not that much of a stretch to believe these accusations.
The Trump campaign and the Trump Organization did not comment on the story to BuzzFeed News.