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Woman tells court that Trump groped her on plane 'like he had 40 zillion hands'

NewsWoman tells court that Trump groped her on plane 'like he had 40 zillion hands'

A retired stockbroker has told a court that it was as if former president Donald Trump had “a zillion hands” when he allegedly groped her on a plane.

Jessica Leeds, 81, told Manhattan Federal Court that Trump put his hands on her breasts in front of another passenger in the first class section of the plane in 1979.

She said Trump put his hand up her skirt before she fought him off and walked away to a different seat.

Her testimony came in the second week of magazine writer E. Jean Carroll’s civil lawsuit against Trump in which she accuses him of rape in a department store dressing room in 1996.

Reports say that the former president’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, confirmed that Trump would not attend the trial, although a video deposition will be shown.

Trump was in Ireland on Tuesday (May 2) visiting his golf course after travelling to his properties in Scotland.

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The Daily Mail reports that Leeds told the court that she was working as a traveling sales rep for a newsprint company when she took the flight from Houston or Atlanta to New York.

Trump, sitting in the window seat, introduced himself, although Leeds had no idea who he was.

She told the jury they chatted for a bit and then “suddenly Trump decided to kiss me and grope me”.

She said: “He grabbed my breast. It was like he had 40 zillion hands. It was a tussling match between the two of us.

“When he started putting his hand up my skirt it gave me a jolt of strength and I managed to wiggle out of the seat.”

She went back to the seat she had in coach before she had been unexpectedly upgraded to first class.

Leeds added: “The guy sitting across the aisle from me, his eyes were like saucers. I remember thinking where at the stewardesses? Why doesn’t somebody come?

“Then I realized nobody was going to help me and I was going to have to do it myself.”

After the flight landed she said she stayed on the plane until everyone had left because she didn’t want to risk running into Trump in the terminal.

She kept quiet about it for decades as at the time “men could get away with a lot”.

But when Trump ran for the presidency she wrote a letter to the New York Times, which ran a story about her.

Leeds said she was “furious” after watching a presidential debate in which Trump denied harassing women, telling the jury: “He was lying.”

Earlier, Lisa Birnbach told the court that Carroll told her in a telephone call about Trump’s alleged assault but made her swear she would “never speak of this again”. She stayed silent until 2019 when Carroll went public with her allegation.

Carroll, 79, claims that Trump, 76, assaulted her in the changing room of Bergdorf Goodman department store in Manhattan around 1996.

She is seeking at least $75,000 in damages for battery and defamation after he tried to “destroy” her on social media.

Trump denies the claims and has said that Carroll made the accusation to boost sales of her memoir.

The trial is into its second week.

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