Alva Johnson, a former campaign staffer during Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, is suing 45 for allegedly planting a kiss on her without her consent.
Johnson told the Washington Post that during a Tampa, Florida rally in August 2016, Trump exited his RV, grabbed her hand and kissed her unexpectedly near her mouth. She claims to have turned her head just in time so he wouldn’t kiss her directly on the lips.
“He’s coming straight for my lips,” she told the Post. “So I turn my head, and he kisses me right on corner of my mouth, still holding my hand the entire time. Then he walks on out. I immediately felt violated because I wasn’t expecting it or wanting it. I can still see his lips coming straight for my face.”
The 43-year-old mother of four told family members at the time about the incident and consulted a lawyer. Although he didn’t take her case, he did recommend she see a therapist, whose notes confirmed to the Post that there was “an unspecified event during the campaign that had left her distraught.”Trump has denied the allegation against him, and White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders called Johnson’s claim “absurd on its face.”
“This never happened and is directly contradicted by multiple highly credible eye witness accounts,” Sanders wrote in a statement.
Johnson filed the lawsuit on Monday in federal court. In addition to her sexual misconduct claims, she also asserts she was paid less than her White male counterparts on the campaign trail. A campaign spokesperson denies the allegation.
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.