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December 13, 2017

NBC10 reporter disputes former Miss USA contestant's recollections of Trump

2006 contestant accused the president of ogling her and others

A woman who has accused President Donald Trump of ogling her and other contestants in a private dressing room before the 2006 Miss USA Pageant recalled her story Monday on Megyn Kelly's NBC morning show.

But NBC10 traffic reporter Jessica Boyington disputed Samantha Holvey's version of Trump's interactions with the contestants in a segment aired on the station Tuesday.

"He comes in like he owns the place. And like he owns you," Holvey, who was Miss North Carolina USA that year, said on Megyn Kelly Today, adding that contestants were wearing robes with nothing on underneath. "He's just looking at us, eyeing us up and down, and then walked into the dressing room where we have two big security guards to make sure nobody but the girls and our female chaperones can get into the dressing room, and he just walks right in."

But Boyington, who represented New Jersey in the competition, told NBC10 that Trump and now-First Lady Melania Trump were due to enter the dressing room about one hour in advance, saying they were given plenty of notice.

"They said, 'Mr. Trump is going to enter the room now. He wants to talk to you guys,'" Boyington said. "They pretty much called us forward to go stand in front of the dressing room. So we all came forward and stood there. He walked in, he said 'Hello. Good job. How are you? Good luck.' Something very simple, very fast. Then Melania said a few words, and then they walked out."

On Megyn Kelly Today, Holvey described the contestants' first encounter with Trump, during which he greeted them while they stood in a line.

She said he was "looking me over like I was just a piece of meat."

"I was not a human being. I didn't have a brain. I didn't have a personality. I was just simply there for his pleasure," she said of Trump, who owned the pageant from 1996 to 2015. "It left me feeling gross, very dirty, like this was not what I signed up for."

But Boyington's perception of the interaction painted a different picture.

"He went down and individually said hello to all of us," she said. "It didn't feel uncomfortable. It was just a hello and it was the only way to make sure that he could actually say hi to each one of us and not leave somebody out."

Along with Holvey, Kelly also brought on Rachel Crooks and Jessica Leeds, who have made separate sexual misconduct allegations against the president. The three are among at least 16 women who have accused the real estate mogul-turned-president of some type of sexual misconduct.

During Monday's show, Kelly replayed a radio interview Trump gave Howard Stern in 2005, in which he bragged about being allowed to enter the dressing room before a pageant.

"I'm allowed to go in because I'm the owner of the pageant and therefore I'm inspecting it," he said. "You know I'm inspecting because I want to make sure that everything is good. You know, the dresses. 'Is everyone OK?' You know, they're standing there with no clothes. 'Is everybody OK?' And you see these incredible-looking women ... I sort of get away with things like that."

After Kelly asked how the dressing room interaction made her feel, Holvey said she felt "gross."

"That wasn't what I signed up for," Holvey said. "I wanted to be a good role model. I wanted to do charity work. I more than doubled my scholarship for college. I didn't have to take out any more student loans because of the Miss North Carolina USA title. Those are the things that people don't realize. Nobody dreams of being ogled when you're a little girl wanting to wear a crown."

A clip from the discussion is included below.

Boyington spoke with other contestants about the claims and told NBC10 that their recollections of Trump were similar to her own.

"I just want to speak about my experience and my truth because I was a person that was there," Boyington said. "When I see something that I feel is a little unfair in terms of honesty, I feel it's my job to say something."

The NBC10 segment can be found here.

This week, Holvey and other accusers urged Congress to investigate the claims against Trump. They were soon followed by nearly 60 female House Democrats who called on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to open an investigation into the allegations.