Who Is Jessica Drake? Donald Trump's 11th Accuser Comes Forward
Following 10 sexual assault allegations against Donald Trump in recent weeks, yet another woman has stepped forward to accuse him. In a press conference with her attorney Gloria Allred, Jessica Drake accused Trump of sexual misconduct, becoming the 11th woman to make these claims about the Republican nominee. Bustle has reached out to the Trump campaign for comment, but has not heard back. Drake alleges that Trump kissed her and two other women without consent during a 2006 golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, and also claims that the real estate magnate offered (either personally or through a proxy) to pay $10,000 to have sex with her.
Drake, as an adult film star with an established career in the sex industry who's seen the reaction to Trump's other accusers, probably understands the kind of backlash that she'll likely face from Trump supporters for coming forward ― already, there are slews of people questioning her credibility on social media, insisting (either tacitly or overtly) that her career as a performer somehow precludes her from having personal agency, and the ability to grant or withhold sexual consent as she sees fit. Just hours before Drake's press conference, Trump publicly threatened to sue his accusers after the election is over, calling them "liars."
At the start of her statement, Drake described herself as a "feminist, an advocate for women's rights, LGBTQ rights, and the rights of sex workers," and noted that she's produced a series of educational adult videos combining "factual information and hardcore demonstrations with emphasis on boundaries, body positivity, and consent." She went on to describe meeting Trump at the golf tournament, where she claims he flirted with her (he was married at the time, having wed his current wife Melania in 2005), and requested her phone number, which she gave him.
Then, she alleged that Trump invited her to his hotel room, and while she obliged, she brought two other women because she "didn't feel right going alone." Drake claims that upon meeting Trump in the hotel room, he hugged each of the women tightly, and kissed them without their permission. Later, after the trio left Trump's room following a conversation, Drake said Trump called her and asked her to return to his hotel room privately for dinner. When she declined, she said, he asked "what do you want? How much?"
Drake's claims are notable in that they involve Trump allegedly trying to pay her for sex ― that's something not present in the previous ten allegations that have been made public since the infamous Access Hollywood tape was released. By her account, she tried to blunt Trump's sexual propositions by claiming she had to leave Lake Tahoe for Los Angeles for work. After refusing his offer, Drake alleges she subsequently received a call ― either from Trump himself, or from a man contacting her on his behalf ― offering her $10,000.
If you're wondering why Drake has decided to come forward, amid the already large number of public accusers, and despite Trump's legal threats against them, here's how she put it at the end of her statement.
I am choosing to share my personal exchange in light of the recently released tapes, in order to lend my voice, my strength, and my support to the other women who are coming forward. Collectively, his words and his actions are huge testament to his character ― that of uncontrollable misogyny, entitlement, and being a sexual assault apologist. This is not acceptable behavior for anyone, much less a presidential candidate. And I realize that in this situation that I may be but a tiny grain of sand, but clearly, this is an enormous speech. I am not looking for monetary compensation. I do not need additional fame, or the type of attention that this is sure to bring. I understand that I may be called a liar or an opportunist. But I will risk that in order to stand in solidarity with women who've shared similar accounts that span many, many years.
The Trump campaign has released the following statement in response to Drake's allegations:
This story is totally false and ridiculous. The picture is one of thousands taken out of respect for people asking to have their picture taken with Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump does not know this person, does not remember this person and would have no interest in ever knowing her. This is just another attempt by the Clinton campaign to defame a candidate who just today is number one in three different polls. Anyone who would pay thugs to incite violence at a rally against American citizens, as was released on video, will stop at nothing. Just another example of the Clinton campaign trying to rig the election.
If recent history is any judge, Drake's clear-eyed assessment of what she's getting into is probably accurate. Trump has denied all the other allegations in vehement terms, calling his accusers "horrible liars," and threatening to sue them once the election concludes.