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‘Hail, gallant woman’: Amy Dorris praised for coming forward with Trump assault allegation

A prominent American former magazine columnist who accused Donald Trump of raping her in the 1990s has joined a chorus of voices supporting the latest woman to accuse Trump of sexually assaulting her, Amy Dorris.

Dorris, a former model and actor, said in a Guardian interview published on Thursday that Trump had forced his tongue down her throat and groped her at the 1997 US Open.

“I feel sick, violated – it makes me sick,” Dorris told the Guardian.

Dorris became the 26th woman to make accusations of sexual misconduct against Trump, ranging from harassment to sexual assault and rape.

Trump has denied wrongdoing in every case.

But E Jean Carroll, a writer and longtime columnist for Elle magazine who has accused Trump of rape and defamation, said Dorris had added to the voices of dozens of women whose descriptions of sexual misconduct by Trump bear striking similarities.

“Dear Amy Dorris: Hail, Gallant Woman!” Carroll wrote on Twitter. “When you came forward today with your story about Donald Trump, you came forward in support of ALL WOMEN. Ravishing regards, E Jean.”

Carroll linked to a recent interview she conducted with Karena Virginia, who alleged that Trump sexually assaulted her at the same tennis tournament a year after Dorris was there.

Sara Ziff, the founder and director of the Model Alliance labor rights organization, which advocates on behalf of victims of sexual assault, gave “kudos” to Dorris for stepping forward, while Don Beyer, a Democratic representative from Virginia, flagged “a new, credible allegation” of sexual assault by Trump.

“How many more women will come forward?” asked Naveed Jamali, a Newsweek editor-at-large.

“It’s insane that there are so many allegations against the president of the United States for sexual assault that most stories begin with ‘another woman’ to describe the latest accusation against Trump,” tweeted Josh Jordan, a widely followed polling analyst.

Liz Plank, a journalist and NBC News host, expressed exasperation at how Trump has eluded true accountability for his alleged past conduct as a serial sexual assailant.

“I’ve run out of ways to explain why it is upsetting that the president of the United States is a man who has been accused of having spent much of his adult life hurting women,” she wrote. “In any other news cycle – and any other reality – this should be big news the least we can do is to force ourselves not to become numb to the accusations.”

A legal adviser on the Trump campaign, Jenna Ellis, told NBC News the “allegations are totally false. We will consider every legal means available to hold the Guardian accountable for its malicious publication of this unsubstantiated story. This is just another pathetic attempt to attack President Trump right before the election.”

Dorris has described how years of anguish and a sense of duty to speak out led to her decision to tell her story. A close friend of Dorris, Caron Bernstein, bolstered that account in an interview published Friday by USA Today. “It had nothing to do with anything political,” said Bernstein. “The ball dropped, and it just happened to drop now.”

The Trump administration has struck an aggressive posture against perceived antagonists on the eve of the election that critics say has blurred the lines between the presidency and the more private and urgent legal and political needs of Trump himself.

In a highly unusual development last week, the justice department, led by the attorney general, William Barr, announced it was intervening in the Carroll defamation lawsuit to protect the president – although the alleged assault predates Trump’s presidency by two decades.

Trump himself did not comment on the Dorris allegations on Thursday. But they landed just six months after the president made a proclamation to mark National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.

“No person should ever have to endure the anguish and indignity of sexual assault,” the proclamation said.

“This horrific crime affects Americans of every age, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. During National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, we reaffirm our commitment to supporting survivors of sexual assault, encouraging strong criminal justice responses to these crimes, and ending the scourge of sexual violence in our homes and communities.”

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