Donald Trump's Response To Jessica Drake's Accusations Perpetuates A Disturbing Misconception About Sex Work
On Saturday, Jessica Drake became the latest woman to accuse GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump of sexual assault (he has denied all sexual assault allegations that have come against him). The details of the alleged encounter are difficult to fathom, but Trump's response to Drake's allegations is also troubling. On Monday, he implied to WGIR radio's "New Hampshire Today" that Drake has probably "been grabbed before."
In a press conference, Drake claimed that 10 years ago, while she was working at a golf tournament for Wicked Pictures, she allegedly met Trump. She alleged that he invited her up to his room at the hotel. She reportedly brought two women with her to his suite and claimed he hugged and kissed them allegedly without permission. And after supposedly returning to her room less than an hour later, she claimed to have received a call from a man on Trump's behalf. She described the alleged phone exchanges:
He said Donald wanted me to come back upstairs to Donald's suite. I indicated I did not wish to return. Then Donald called. He asked me to return to his suite and have dinner with him. He also invited me to a party; I declined. Donald then asked me, "What do you want? How much?" I told him that I couldn't because I had to return to L.A. for work. I said that as an excuse because I didn't want him to continue asking me, and I didn't want to be with him. After that, I received another call from either Donald, or a male calling on his behalf, offering me $10,000. I declined again and once more gave, as an excuse, that I had to return to Los Angeles for work. I was then told Mr. Trump would allow me to use his private jet only if I accepted his private invitation.
Trump's campaign responded to Drake's allegations in a statement and also blamed the Clinton campaign:
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.
On the radio show Monday, Trump discussed Drake's allegations and, again, refuted them. Though he denied the allegations, he threw in a tasteless implication that sex workers should expect to be "grabbed" without consent.
One [of the accusers] said, "he grabbed me on the arm." And she's a porn star. You know, this one that came out recently, "he grabbed me and he grabbed me on the arm." Oh, I'm sure she's never been grabbed before.
It sounds a whole lot like Trump is implying that Drake, as an adult film actress, somehow "asks" to be sexually assaulted. In response to past accusers, Trump took a similarly appalling tone saying of one accuser, "believe me, she would not be my first choice." Comments like these, as well as his response to Drake's allegations, do absolutely nothing to condemn sexual assault in America. As a public figure, he should stress the importance of consent and make it clear that every woman, regardless of occupation or physical appearance, deserves it.