Published October 12, 2016
Donald Trump barged in on Miss Teen USA contestants while they were changing clothes, and engaged in “creepy” dressing room banter with the girls — some as young as 15, according to a report.
At least four women told Buzzfeed that the mogul — who owned the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants from 1996 until last year — nonchalantly strolled into their dressing room during the 1997 pageant.
“I remember putting on my dress really quick because I was like, ‘Oh my God, there’s a man in here!’” former Miss Vermont Teen USA Mariah Billado told the site about the alleged 1997 incident.
The Donald, she recalled, responded, saying something like: “Don’t worry, ladies, I’ve seen it all before.”
‘No men are anywhere, and I’m allowed to go in, because I’m the owner of the pageant…’
Three other women, who asked to remain anonymous, also remembered the future Republican presidential nominee entering their dressing room while the girls were changing.
Two of them said the girls rushed to cover themselves, with one calling it “shocking” and “creepy.”
Eleven of the 1997 contestants told BuzzFeed they did not recall seeing Trump in their dressing room. The Trump campaign did not respond to the site.
Allegations about the dressing room intrusion come as Trump’s White House bid was sent reeling by a 2005 video of him boasting of his attempt to “f––k” a married woman and claiming that other women let him grab them by the “p––y” because he’s a “star.”
He has repeatedly said those comments were simply benign “locker room banter.”
The Miss Teen USA contestants discussed their awkward 1997 encounter with Trump in a private Facebook group after BuzzFeed reported that a contestant in an adult pageant said he had walked into a changing room packed with naked women.
BuzzFeed tried reaching 49 of the 51 contestants from the 1997 pageant. Thirty-four declined to be interviewed or could not be reached. Of the 15 women who spoke, none accused Trump of saying anything sexually explicit or of making physical contact in the dressing room.
Trump has boasted about invading beauty queen dressing rooms, calling it one of the perks of ownership.
“I’ll tell you the funniest is that I’ll go backstage before a show and everyone’s getting dressed,” Trump told Howard Stern in a 2005 recording released by CNN.
“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.”
Stern replied, “You’re like a doctor.”
But it has never been alleged that Trump also entered dressing rooms occupied by underage contestants.
The Trump campaign and the Trump Organization did not respond to requests for comment. The Miss Universe Organization, which runs Miss Teen USA, declined to comment.
Trump’s daughter Ivanka served as co-host of the 1997 pageant — his first as owner — when she was 15.
Of the 11 women who said they don’t remember Trump coming into the large changing room, which had 51 stations for the contestants, some said it was possible that he entered while they were somewhere else, or that they didn’t notice.
One of the women who asked to remain anonymous, who was 17, said, “At the time, you’re a teenager, you’re intimidated — it’s Donald Trump, he runs the pageant. We were all very young, but even at the time, it caught us funny.”
Now, “as an adult and as a mother,” she said, she considers it “absolutely inappropriate.”
A woman who was 15 at the time said she was fully dressed when Trump walked in.
“I was like, ‘Hi, my name is —’ and I introduced myself.” She said she “had no idea” who he was, except that he was the owner of the pageant.
Most of the former contestants were doubtful or dismissed the possibility that Trump violated their changing room privacy.
“There were so many chaperones, I can’t even fathom” him doing so, Jessica Granata, the former Miss Massachusetts Teen USA, told BuzzFeed. “It was very secure.”
Allison Bowman, former Miss Wisconsin Teen USA, said: “These were teenage girls. If anything inappropriate had gone on, the gossip would have flown.”
But Billado said she told Ivanka Trump at the time that her dad had entered the room while the girls were changing.
“Yeah, he does that,” Billado said Ivanka responded.
“I remember it shocking me,” Billado said. “I barely let anybody except my sister see me getting dressed.”
Tasha Dixon, Miss Arizona in 2001, told CBS 2 Los Angeles that Trump walked into her Miss USA pageant dressing room.
“Our first introduction to him was when we were at the dress rehearsal and half-naked changing into our bikinis,” Dixon said. “He just came strolling right in. There was no second to put a robe on or any sort of clothing or anything. Some girls were topless. Other girls were naked.”