A former Miss USA contestant confirmed that Donald Trump used to walk into the dressing rooms while some of the girls were half-naked, supporting what the Republican presidential nominee once said on “The Howard Stern Show.”
Tasha Dixon, who was only 19 when she served as Miss Arizona in 2001, told CBS Los Angeles that her first experience of the billionaire businessman, who owned the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants for 19 years, was while she was changing into a bikini.
“Our first introduction to him was when we were at the dress rehearsal and half-naked, changing into our bikinis,” Dixon recalled. “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.”
Dixon, who was also Miss Hispanic USA, said the situation was made even more awkward by the people who ran the contest telling them to “Go fawn all over him, go walk up to him, talk to him, get his attention.”
The beauty queen's recollection supports remarks at Trump made during a 2005 taping of Howard Stern's radio show, which CNN dug up over the weekend after the leak of an audio recording of Trump making vulgar remarks about women during an un-aired segment of “Access Hollywood” became front-page news.
During the interview with Stern, Trump boasted that perks of being owner of beauty pageants included going into the dressing rooms.
“I’ll go backstage before a show, and everyone’s getting dressed and ready and everything else. And you know, no men are anywhere,” he told the shock jock. “I’m allowed to go in because I’m the owner of the pageant. And, therefore, I’m inspecting it. I’m inspecting it. I want to make sure everything is good.”
Trump went on, as if he was in the dressing room, “'Is everyone okay?' You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. And you see these incredible looking women. And so I sort of get away with things like that.”
The Trump campaign has not commented on the CNN report about his Howard Stern appearance.
Dixon is not the only former contestant to speak out about Trump’s treatment of women amid the growing controversy.
BuzzFeed reported Wednesday that four women from the 1997 Miss Teen USA beauty pageant claimed the businessman walked into their dressing room while they were changing. Some of the contestants were as young as 15 at the time.
Three spoke anonymously, but one – Mariah Billado, a former Miss Vermont Teen USA – went on the record.
“I remember putting on my dress really quick, because I was like, ‘Oh, my God, there’s a man in here,’” she told BuzzFeed.
She claimed Trump told the contestants, “Don’t worry, ladies, I’ve seen it all before.”
The website contacted 11 other contestants from that year who did not recall seeing Trump in the dressing room. Some said they don’t believe he could have gotten in.
Allison Bowman, the Miss Wisconsin Teen USA, dismissed the possibility that it had happened.
“These were teenage girls,” Bowman told BuzzFeed. “If anything inappropriate had gone on, the gossip would have flown.”
“There was way too much security,” Crystal Hughes, the Miss Maine Teen USA told BuzzFeed. “Everybody would have noticed.”
Dixon told CBS Los Angeles she has not heard the Stern recording, but decided to speak out after the audio recording of Trump’s lewd comments about women were leaked last week.
She said that the decision was not politically motivated but suggested that such opportunities to see young women undressed might have been among the reasons Trump owned the pageants.
“Who do you complain to? He owns the pageant,” she told CBS Los Angeles. “There’s no one to complain to. Everyone there works for him.”