Less than two hours shy of the second presidential debate, Republican candidate Donald Trump held an impromptu press conference with women who have accused Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's husband, former president Bill, of sexual misconduct. The conference included Juanita Broaddrick, who accused Bill of raping her in 1978 when he was the Arkansas attorney general, according to NPR. When Broaddrick was 35, Broaddrick never pressed charges, and both Bill and the Clinton campaign have adamantly denied her claims.
Now 73, Broaddrick is a retired nursing home operator who enjoys "working outside, playing tennis and family time with my son and grandson," according to her Twitter profile. Up until a few years ago, Broaddrick had not spoken publicly about her claim, even providing investigators with a signed affidavit that the rumors concerning her and Bill were unfounded. “I do not have any information to offer regarding a nonconsensual or unwelcome sexual advance by Mr. Clinton," she wrote
“It’s just that was a long time ago and I don’t want to relive it,” Broaddrick told the investigators, who secretly recorded her, NPR reported. “You can’t get to him, and I’m not going to ruin my good name to do it.” But in 1999, she came forth with a Dateline interview because it "was time to tell the full truth," she told BuzzFeed. And this year, she once again came back into the public eye after hearing Hillary say survivors of sexual assault "should be believed at first until they are disbelieved based on evidence," at a campaign event, Buzzfeed reported.
One of her tweets, in which Broaddrick claimed, "I was 35 years old when Bill Clinton, Ark. Attorney General raped me and Hillary tried to silence me. I am now 73....it never goes away," went viral.
Broddrick is "still afraid of enclosed spaces," she says; she has stopped meeting men alone in her office, and said she had to switch church services because "her pastor blessed the president by name," according to Buzzfeed. In August she told BuzzFeed she had "no plans" to join Trump's campaign. Less than two months later, in the wake of a video of Trump's extremely questionable claims about women (including the now-infamous line, "Grab her by the pussy,") Broaddrick made an appearance with Trump, Paula Jones, Kathy Shelton, and Kathleen Willey to explain why she supports Trump.
"I tweeted recently, and Mr. Trump retweeted it, that actions speak louder than words," Broaddrick said. "Mr. Trump may have said some bad words, but Bill Clinton raped me and Hillary Clinton threatened me. I don’t think there’s any comparison."
In response, Hillary for America Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri said: "We’re not surprised to see Donald Trump continue his destructive race to the bottom. Hillary Clinton understands the opportunity in this town hall is to talk to voters on stage and in the audience about the issues that matter to them, and this stunt doesn’t change that. If Donald Trump doesn’t see that, that’s his loss. As always, she’s prepared to handle whatever Donald Trump throws her way."