It’s no secret that underage girls are some of the most exploited people in the modeling industry. A new report by the Daily Beast indicates that before he became the Republican nominee, then-upcoming real estate mogul Donald Trump was at the forefront of such exploitation.
Michael Gross, who has covered the billionaire for over 30 years, describes parties Trump hosted in the 1990s where “his wealthy friends, high-rollers from his Atlantic City casinos, and potential Trump condominium buyers could meet models.” In interviews with two friends from Trump’s past, Gross details the coke- and alcohol-fueled parties where older, rich men would would prey on young, vulnerable models.
One party participant, a photographer who requested anonymity because as he put it, “there’s no upside for me,” told Gross that Trump would throw parties at both the Plaza (when he owned it) and Trump Tower. He’d host young girls who were hoping to “meet rich guys who will help [them].”
The photographer said the young women were in “over their heads,” noting “the men threw money and drugs at them to keep them enticed.”
“It’s based on power and dominating girls who can’t push back and can be discarded,” the photographer told Gross.
Trump didn’t let people smoke, while he went “from room to room” at parties filled with “guys with younger girls, sex, a lot of sex, a lot of cocaine, top-shelf liquor.”
The photographer said the parties functioned as de facto networking events, and because the community was small, participants “exchanged information, facilitated each other.”
“Trump was in and out. He’d wander off with a couple girls. I saw him. He was getting laid like crazy,” the photographer claimed. “Trump was at the heart of it. He loved the attention and in private, he was a total f*cking beast.”
Gross also spoke with model Andy Lucchesi, who was hesitant to say anything about the Republican candidate’s past. “I don’t want to get him in trouble,” Lucchesi said, adding that he likes and respects Trump.
Lucchesi said he sometimes brought in models for Trump’s parties, insisting he assumed Trump would one day open a model agency. (Trump launched Trump Model Management in 1999; in August 2016, former models for the agency alleged it operated “like modern-day slavery,” citing poor living conditions and financial withholdings that sometimes left models penniless.)
Lucchesi told Gross “there was cocaine” at the parties, though insisted he never saw the candidate partake. “Donald Trump does not do cocaine,” Lucchesi said. “He’s in control of himself.”
At least until it came to the women. Lucchesi vaguely hinted that Trump—who has boasted about grabbing women without their consent, and once said that for him, a “beautiful girl who is 17 or 18” is like alcohol to an alcoholic—did partake in the courting of these models. How young? “A lot of girls, 14, look 24,” Lucchesi said. “That’s as juicy as I can get. I never asked how old they were; I just partook.”
If Trump’s exploitation of young women fails to shock you, you’re not alone. Eleven women have come forward to accuse the Republican candidate of sexual misconduct, and in his own words, he has copped to sexual assault. So chasing after underage models and offering his friends coke-fueled, underage-sex-on-a-silver-platter is just a drop in the bucket of his misogynist and—dare I say—deplorable behavior.
Still, “no one respects women” more than Donald Trump.
Elizabeth Preza is an AlterNet staff writer focusing on politics, media and cultural criticism. Follow her on Twitter @lizacisms.