Calls for Melania Trump to divorce her husband have intensified as his number of sexual assault accusers pile up, with many commenters on social media imploring the former model to dump Donald.
Melania has been largely in the background as a sexual assault scandal has exploded around the Republican Party’s presidential candidate, with more than a dozen women now coming forward to claim that he treated them in some sexually inappropriate manner. The allegations range from claims that he intentionally walked into a beauty pageant changing area where contestants were naked, to accusations that Trump sexually assaulted unwilling women.
Two new women came forward on Friday alone, including former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos. In a press conference with attorney Gloria Allred (via the Huffington Post), Zervos said Trump “came to me and started kissing me open-mouthed as he was pulling me towards him. I walked away and I sat down on a chair… He then asked me to sit next to him. I complied, and he then grabbed my shoulder and began kissing me again very aggressively and placed his hand on my breast.”
It has likely been an embarrassing week for Melania Trump, starting with the revelation late last Friday afternoon that Donald Trump engaged in some lewd conversation with Billy Bush before taping a segment for Access Hollywood. In the leaked audio, which was published in the Washington Post, Trump was heard bragging about trying to seduce a married woman and about how he sexually assaulted women he found attractive.
“I’m automatically attracted to beautiful [women]—I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything… Grab them by the p***y. You can do anything.”
To add to the sting for Melania, the audio was recorded just months after she and Donald Trump had been married. Melania was also pregnant with the couple’s son at the time.
There were strong hints of anger even in the statement released by the Trump campaign on Melania’s behalf.
“The words my husband used are unacceptable and offensive to me,” she was quoted. “This does not represent the man that I know. He has the heart and mind of a leader. I hope people will accept his apology, as I have, and focus on the important issues facing our nation and the world.”
While she still hasn’t spoken publicly, Melania Trump stepped into the fray again this week in responding to an allegation from former People reporter Natasha Stoynoff, who claimed that Trump made unwanted physical advances while she was reporting on his one-year anniversary with Melania.
Melania Trump demands retraction from People: she and her husband's accuser were 'never friends or even friendly https://t.co/McrzhQ6wub
— POLITICO (@politico) October 14, 2016
— Chris Cillizza (@TheFix) October 14, 2016
In a letter sent from Melania’s lawyer, Trump’s wife took issue with one small point in the story, CNN noted.
“That winter, I actually bumped into Melania on Fifth Avenue, in front of Trump Tower as she walked into the building, carrying baby Barron,” Stoynoff said in her report. “Natasha, why don’t we see you anymore?” she quotes Trump as saying.
In the letter to People, Trump lawyer Charles Harder writes, “Mrs. Trump did not encounter Ms. Stoynoff on the street, nor have any conversation with her. The two are not friends and were never friends or even friendly.”
Many noted the strangely specific denial and the fact that Melania did not deny the alleged sexual assault itself.
In the wake of Friday’s allegation, many people began calling on Melania Trump to divorce her husband and the hashtag #DumpTrump even started trending on Twitter.
— geri (@doctormom333) October 14, 2016
How soon after the election does Melania Trump file for divorce? https://t.co/LZwR76hbOB
— Russell Drew (@RussOnPolitics) October 13, 2016
— Alfons López Tena (@alfonslopeztena) October 13, 2016
So far, the Melania Trump divorce rumors are based on nothing more than speculation and the unsolicited advice of social media users. But the damage to Trump’s campaign may already be done — he has plummeted in polls since the revelations first surfaced, and is now behind Hillary Clinton by double digits in many national polls.
[Featured Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images]