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United States

Singer Joy Villa files sex assault complaint against Donald Trump’s ex-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski after he ‘smacked’ her bottom at party

Joy Villa said the recent wave of sexual misconduct allegations in the US – which have implicated men across the spheres of entertainment, business, media and politics – motivated her

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 December, 2017, 4:54pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 December, 2017, 5:17pm

A singer and potential congressional candidate says she has filed a sexual assault complaint against US President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager for hitting her twice on her buttocks during a Washington gathering in November.

Joy Villa, a Trump backer who wore a “Make America Great Again” dress at the Grammys this year, said Tuesday she plans to meet with detectives in Washington next week about the complaint against Corey Lewandowski.

Villa said she was initially reluctant to come forward because she was worried about any backlash. But she said she called Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department on Christmas Eve after a friend who witnessed the incident spoke about it publicly, and other friends urged her to come forward.

It was completely demeaning and shocking
Joy Villa

“I’m wearing this silver suit and stretchy pants, and after the photo, he smacks my *** really hard,” Villa told Politico about the alleged incident during a party at Washington’s Trump International Hotel in November.

“It was completely demeaning and shocking.”

She also alleged that when she told Lewandowski - who was fired by the Trump campaign in June 2016 - that she could report him for sexual harassment, he responded: “Go ahead, I work in the private sector,” before slapping her again.

Sharing the photo taken with Lewandowski at the party on Twitter, Villa wrote: “I told him to stop, and then he did it again. I was shocked and embarrassed by his behaviour.”

In a phone interview from Tampa, Florida with Associated Press said she initially thought it was sexual harassment, but police told her that touching someone on any body part that is sexual in nature constituted sexual assault.

She said she was told it was classified as a misdemeanour.

“I was initially fearful to come forward with this,” she said, adding that she did not want to bring shame or embarrassment on Lewandowski’s family or hers.

“I did nothing wrong,” Villa said.

“I realised if he’s not going to respond or apologise to me, I think it’s the right thing to do.”

Lewandowski did not respond to an email seeking comment.

Villa made news earlier this year when she wore a dress displaying Trump’s campaign slogan at the Grammys.

She explained her decision to wear the dress in an Instagram post, writing,

“You can either stand for what you believe in or fall for what you don’t.” She added, “agree to disagree.”

This is not the first time Lewandowski has faced police charges. In March 2016 he was charged with misdemeanour battery for an altercation involving a female reporter after a news conference in Florida. The charges were later dropped.

Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse