Of all the airtime that TV news networks devote to Donald Trump, surprisingly little goes to discussing his multiple rape and attempted rape allegations. This might be because Trump is notoriously litigious and quick to blacklist media organizations, or maybe he says and does so many outrageous things that mere sexual assault seems boring and depressing in comparison. (Why talk about some sad old rape accusation when you could spin endless yarns about his hatred of facts and what’s up with his hair?) It could simply be that all but one of the accusations are in the past, settled or otherwise resolved. But considering Trump is currently running for the highest office in the land, it bears reviewing what he’s been accused of through the years.
The first time Trump was publicly accused of rape was during his divorce proceedings from his first wife Ivana Trump in the early ’90s. It was chronicled in “Lost Tycoon,” a biography of Trump that came out in 1993 and is now out of print. Going off what Ivana said in the deposition as well as in conversations with her friends, the book dramatizes what sounds, in no uncertain terms, like a violent sexual assault triggered by Trump’s rage over unsatisfying hair implants.
Suddenly, according to Ivana, the Donald storms into the room. He is looking very angry, and he is cursing out loud. “Your fucking doctor has ruined me!” he screams. The Donald flings Ivana down onto the bed. Then he pins back her arms and grabs her by the hair.
The part of her head he is grabbing corresponds to the spot on his head where the scalp reduction operation has been done. The Donald starts ripping out Ivana’s hair by the handful, as if he is trying to make her feel the same kind of pain that he is feeling.
Ivana starts crying and screaming. The entire bed is being covered with strands of her golden locks. But the Donald is not finished. He rips off her clothes and unzips his pants. Then he jams his penis inside her for the first time in more than 16 months.
Ivana is terrified. This is not lovemaking. This is not romantic sex. It is a violent assault. She later describes what the Donald is doing to her in no uncertain terms. According to the versions she repeats to some of her closest confidantes, “He raped me.” When the Donald finally pulls out, Ivana jumps up from the bed. Then she runs upstairs to her mother’s room. She locks the door and stays there crying for the rest of the night.
By the time the book came out in 1993, Donald had settled his divorce with Ivana on terms that were sealed by the court, but may very well have included some sort of gag order or non-disparagement clause. Trump’s lawyers forced the book’s publisher to include the following statement from Ivana claiming that when she said “rape” in a sworn deposition, she did not literally mean that he penetrated her against her will, but was speaking more metaphorically:
During a deposition given by me in connection with my matrimonial case, I stated that my husband had raped me. I wish to say that on one occasion during 1989, Mr. Trump and I had marital relations in which he behaved very differently toward me than he had during our marriage. As a woman, I felt violated, as the love and tenderness which he normally exhibited toward me, was absent. I referred to this as a ‘rape,’ but I do not want my words to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense.