Jessica Leeds said Trump touched her "wherever he could find a landing spot"
Trump has vehemently denied the accusations
Watch the full interview with Jessica Leeds on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” at 8 p.m. ET.
A woman who is alleging Donald Trump made unwanted sexual advances to her back in the 1970s told CNN Thursday the Republican presidential nominee touched her “wherever he could find a landing spot.”
Jessica Leeds, who was 38 at the time but is now 74, rocked Trump’s campaign Wednesday when a story detailing her allegations was published in the The New York Times. She told the Times Trump at one point lifted up an armrest on a flight and grabbed her breast and tried to put his hand up her skirt.
“The guy in the seat across the aisle could see. And I kept thinking, maybe the stewardess is going to come and he’ll stop, but she never came,” Leeds told CNN’s Anderson Cooper in an interview that aired Wednesday.
When asked by Cooper how long Trump touched her, she responded, “I would say it was just about 15 minutes” and he touched her “wherever he could find a landing spot.”
Trump has denied that Leeds’ account of events ever took place and an attorney for the GOP nominee demanded a “full and immediate retraction and apology” from the Times. He has threatened to sue the newspaper.
Leeds said she decided to tell her story after Trump denied to Cooper during the second presidential debate that he had ever kissed or groped women without consent. She told her story to friends and family for the first time when Trump announced his candidacy for president last year.
“I didn’t start telling my story until a year-and-a-half ago when it became apparent he was making a serious run for the presidency,” she said. “Over the year and the half that I’ve been telling it, it doesn’t change it at all. It still infuriates me when I think about it. But it was a long time ago.”
Leeds also said she’s seen Trump again since the incident – once at a gala in New York City in 1981.
“He looks at me and says, ‘I remember you, you’re the woman from the airplane?’ Now he used another word. … it’s obscene and I don’t want to go there,” she recalled.
“He was using a derogatory term,” Cooper asked. She nodded.
She said the reaction she has gotten after her account published on Wednesday in the Times has been overwhelming.
“I am amazed at the reaction,” she said. “I am not responding, I am not looking at emails I don’t recognize, I know that there are people that this is a hot button issue for them and they’re angry, but I’m not going to wallow in that.”
She also said that she had no connection with Hillary Clinton’s campaign, except a time she donated $5 for a campaign button.
“I really hope by Monday all of this has blown over,” she said. “But I also hope that anybody and any woman who has a story to tell, that they get an opportunity to get it off their chest and get an opportunity to express their outrage. That maybe it’ll start a dialogue and we’ll make some progress on this issue. Because we’re all in this together, men and women.”
Leeds story was one of two in the Times report published Wednesday night that Trump touched them inappropriately, allegations that were swiftly followed by a similar claim in People magazine.
The Times reported that Leeds and Rachel Crooks each had encounters with Trump in which he groped or kissed them without their consent. Crooks alleged her incident occurred in 2005.
People Magazine published a report later Wednesday night by one of its writers, Natasha Stoynoff, in which she alleged that she had been physically attacked by Trump at Mar-A-Lago while she was on assignment in December 2005 writing a profile of his first anniversary with his wife, Melania.
Trump spokesman Jason Miller responded: “It is absurd to think that one of the most recognizable business leaders on the planet with a strong record of empowering women in his companies would do the things alleged in this story, and for this to only become public decades later in the final month of a campaign for president should say it all.”