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2 women accuse Donald Trump of touching them inappropriately: Report

Jessica Leeds, 74, accused Trump of groping her on a plane while Rachel Crooks

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Us Presidential Elections

Press Trust of India  |  New York 

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump reacts after speaking at a rally, Friday. Photo: PTI

In a shocking report that could spell more trouble for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, two women have accused him of sexual assault.

Jessica Leeds, 74, accused Trump of groping her on a plane while Rachel Crooks alleged the Republican nominee kissed her outside an elevator in the Trump Tower when she was a 22-year-old receptionist in 2005.

The latest accusations against Trump come just days after a 2005 video surfaced of him in which he is talking in lewd and sexually explicit terms about women and bragging about groping women and getting away with it because he was a "star."

Leeds recalled in a 'New York Times' report that Trump had assaulted her when she was travelling in an airplane more than three decades ago.

She had sat besides Trump in the first-class cabin of a flight to New York and about 45 minutes after takeoff, Leeds said Trump, whom she had never met before, lifted the armrest and began to touch her.

According to Leeds, Trump grabbed her breasts and tried to put his hand up her skirt.

"He was like an octopus. His hands were everywhere. It was an assault," Leeds said , adding that she fled to the back of the plane.

Crooks has also come forward accusing Trump of inappropriate behaviour.

She had worked for a real estate investment and development company in Trump Tower in Manhattan.

She said she had encountered Trump outside an elevator in the building one morning in 2005.

The report said that since Crooks was aware her company did business with Trump, she introduced herself.

They shook hands but Trump would not let go and began kissing her cheeks, she said, adding that Trump then "kissed me directly on the mouth."

She said it didn't feel like an accident but a violation.

"It was so inappropriate. I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that," Crooks said in the NYT report, adding she was shaken and later called her sister to tell her.

"She was very worked up about it," said Webb, who recalled pressing her sister for details.

In a phone interview on Tuesday night, a highly agitated

Trump denied the fresh claims by Leeds and Crooks, who alleged that Trump kissed her outside an elevator in the Trump Tower.

"None of this ever took place," Trump shouted at 'The Times' reporter who was questioning him.

He said 'The Times' was making up the allegations to hurt him and that he would sue the news organisation if it reported them.

"You are a disgusting human being," he told the reporter as she questioned him about the women's claims.

Asked if he had ever done any of the kissing or groping as the 2005 recording depicts, Trump said, "I don't do it. I don't do it. It was locker room talk".

"No, I have not," he had said to CNN's Anderson Cooper at the start of debate on Sunday evening.

Leeds said in the report that she wanted to "punch the screen" when she heard him during the presidential-debate.

She felt he was lying to her face when he denied kissing women.

Leeds recalled that she was given a seat next to Trump on the airplane and the two exchanged pleasantries. Trump asked her if she was married and she told him she was divorced.

Later, Trump raised the armrest, moved toward her and began to grope her. Leeds said she recoiled and quickly left the first-class cabin and returned to coach.

"I was angry and shook up," she recalled.

She said she did not complain to the airline staff at the time because such unwanted advances from men occurred throughout her time in business in the 1970s and early 1980s.

She had largely put the encounter on the plane out of her mind until last year, when Trump's presidential campaign became more serious, the NYT report said.

The NYT report said accounts by Leeds and Crooks echo those of other women who have previously come forward, like Temple Taggart, a former Miss Utah, who said that Trump kissed her on the mouth more than once when she was a 21-year-old pageant contestant.

"I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait," Trump said in the video.

Leeds said she described the events to those close to her more recently as Trump became more visible politically and ran for president.

Leeds had resisted telling her story until Sunday's debate, when Trump denied having ever sexually assaulted women in response to a question from Cooper.

In the days after the debate, Leeds recounted her experience in an email to 'The Times' and a series of interviews.

"His behaviour is deep seated in his character. To those who would vote for him. I would wish for them to reflect on this," Leeds wrote in the message.

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First Published: Thu, October 13 2016. 09:13 IST
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