They ignored the papers and walked into a big room where there were about 50 models. In her mids, Braden was one of the oldest women there. They found the party odd. There was no DJ, no food, and no bartender — though there were drinks, Braden remembers. Very unusual. And then down this large staircase, in front of all of us, there was Donald Trump and behind him there were three actors, 40s, maybe 50s. Braden said she had been in the industry long enough to understand what was happening.
We were just pieces of meat.
Not here. Braden believed that this party had been set up specifically for Trump and the three actors. From a couch in the farthest corner of the room, Braden and her friends watched as each man made his way through the knots of models. They started with the standard opening lines, asking the women their names and where they were from.
The view? Epstein pleaded guilty in to soliciting a minor and in July was charged with two federal counts of sex trafficking before being found dead in his prison cell in an apparent suicide in August. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. Eventually Trump found an easier way to surround himself with models: he started his own agency.
Now Trump had the models coming to him, and it is alleged that he introduced them to his sons. Ksenia Maximova said she worked for Trump Model Management in and , and again a few years later. In , when the Russian-British model was 18, her agent summoned her to a meeting in Trump Tower. She settled on a chair and Trump and her agent began talking. Donald Jr was generally silent, too.
I just thought he was some aide or something. Maximova was made to feel so inconsequential that she began wondering why she had been brought there in the first place. It was more like just to actually show me, visually. But even before he put the Trump brand on young models, he had found another business that ensured he would have a steady supply of beautiful young women in his life. They had a person who was extremely proud that a number of women had become doctors.
These women are just a sample of those who have come forward with accusations against Trump; new allegations continue to emerge. And while Trump is the most visible of the influential men accused of predatory behaviour, he is far from an outlier, as even a cursory glance at recent headlines illustrates. Jeffrey Epstein. Harvey Weinstein. R Kelly. Hundreds of men were brought down in the wake of MeToo as women began to share their stories. Still, these reckonings, while important, are not the ultimate solution, because the individual men are not themselves the core of the problem; that runs much deeper.
Yes. . . But there is room to grow
These abuses took place over the course of decades and were far from secret. All too often, institutions sacrificed accusers to protect themselves and the coteries that ran them. If lasting and significant change is to take place, it will require a significant overhaul of the systems and societal attitudes that allowed that to happen. Also available as an audiobook. Lucy Osborne , whose reporting contributed to the book, continues to investigate Trump and women.
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