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Former Miss Teen USA Contestants: Trump Walked Into Our Dressing Rooms

Former Miss Teen USA Contestants: Trump Walked Into Our Dressing Rooms

(AP Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 12 October 2016 11:48 AM

Four women who competed in the Miss Teen USA beauty pageant in 1997 said that Donald Trump walked in on them while they were changing.

Some of the girls at the time were as young as 15, according to interviews with them in Buzzfeed

"I remember putting on my dress really quick because I was like, 'Oh my God, there's a man in here,'" said Mariah Billado, Vermont's former Miss Teen USA. 

She recalled Trump replying, "Don't worry, ladies, I've seen it all before."

The other three women asked to remain anonymous. One said she was clothed and introduced herself to Trump, while the other two rushed to cover their bodies. One of them called Trump's appearance in their dressing room "shocking" and "creepy."

Buzzfeed News attempted to contact 49 out of the 51 contestants in that pageant. Thirty-four declined to talk or could not be reached. Eleven of the women said they did not recall Trump being in the dressing room.

None accused the current Republican presidential candidate saying anything sexually explicit or making physical contact while he was in the dressing room.

Trump's first year as owner was in 1997 and his daughter Ivanka Trump was the pageant's co-host. The real-estate mogul owned the Miss Universe, Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA beauty pageants until 2015. CNN released recordings of Trump telling radio host Howard Stern that he would visit the pageants' dressing rooms.

"I'll go backstage before a show and everyone's getting dressed," Trump told Stern in the recordings. "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 everyone OK?' And you see these incredible looking women, and so I sort of get away with things like that."

Many of the 11 women who said they did not recall Trump entering their dressing room were doubtful that it happened.

"There were so many chaperones I can't even fathom. It was very secure," former Massachusetts Miss Teen USA Jessica Granata said.

Crystal Hughes, who was Maine's entrant in the 1997 pageant, said about the women who claimed Trump entered the dressing room, "They're probably lying because they are voting for Hillary Clinton."

Of the four who recalled Trump entering, Billado said she does not support either Trump or his Democratic opponent, Clinton. Two of the others said they would not vote for Trump, and the other said she was a Democrat.

One said when Trump announced he was running for president, "That is one of the first things I thought about: 'Oh, gross, this guy walked in on us in the pageant.'"

Girls were "just scrambling to grab stuff, whatever garments they had," she added.

One of the women who asked to stay anonymous said at the time she thought it was Trump's "given right" to enter the dressing room since he owned the pageant. However, she said, today, "as an adult and as a mother" she finds it "absolutely inappropriate."

Billado said she told Ivanka about her father entering the dressing room, and Ivanka responded, "Yeah, he does that."

Billado said she believed Trump's actions were more "pompous," because he owned the pageant and not "a perverted thing."

A contestant in Trump's Miss USA pageant spoke of a similar experience. Tasha Dixon, who was 18 at the time, told CBS Los Angeles that Trump "came strolling right in" during dress rehearsal when some of them were undressed.

"There was no second to put a robe on or any sort of clothing or anything. Some girls were topless. Other girls were naked."

She said the contestants were told to get Trump's attention.

"We were naked or half naked in a very physically vulnerable position, and then to have the pressure of the people that worked for him telling us to go fawn all over him, go walk up to him, talk to him, get his attention."

Former Miss California Carrie Prejean Boller said that the accusations against Trump are "disgusting," and that when she was Miss California, he "empowered me as a woman."

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Four women who competed in the Miss Teen USA beauty pageant in 1997 said that Donald Trump walked in on them while they were changing.
miss teen usa, donald trump, dressing rooms, walked in
Wednesday, 12 October 2016 11:48 AM
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