President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, has been accused of unwanted touching by singer Joy Villa, who memorably wore a “Make America Great Again” dress to the Grammy Awards in February.
Villa told Politico in an interview on Friday that Lewandowski slapped her on the backside during a holiday party at the Trump International Hotel in Washington in late November. She reportedly expressed her objection, which he dismissed and then slapped her backside again.
On Twitter, Villa posted a photo which she says was taken just moments before the alleged incident.
“Here’s the photo of @CLewandowski_ seconds before he slapped my ass, I told him to stop, and then he did it again,” she wrote. “I was shocked and embarrassed by his behavior.”
Here’s the photo of @CLewandowski_ seconds before he slapped my ass, I told him to stop, and then he did it again. I was shocked and embarrassed by his behavior. https://t.co/61EYvOG4e9 pic.twitter.com/a8NgLnvCEZ
— Joy Villa (@Joy_Villa) December 23, 2017
Villa said that she and a friend were at an invitation-only party to celebrate the president’s first year in office when another guest pushed her towards Lewandowski for a photo.
“I’m wearing this silver suit and stretchy pants, and after the photo, he smacks my ass really hard,” Villa told Politico. “It was completely demeaning and shocking.”
She continued, “I said, ‘Watch it.’ Half-joking, I said, ‘I can report you for sexual harassment.’ He said, ‘Go ahead, I work in the private sector.’ Then he smacks my ass again.”
The person who witnessed the incident confirmed to TheWrap that it happened as Villa described. It was only after the eyewitness reported it to Politico that Villa agreed to share her account of it.
“I did feel that Corey could badmouth me,” she said. “I thought, ‘What if this messes up my chances.’ He has power and influence, and he’s close with the president, who just tweeted about his book. I wanted to play it safe and avoid the drama.”
Lewandowski, who was fired in June, is currently promoting his tell-all book “Let Trump Be Trump,” which gives an insider’s perspective of Trump’s run for office and how every person involved in the campaign became, at one point or another, a target of his wrath. TheWrap reached out to Lewandowski for his comment, but didn’t receive a response.
Additional reporting by Jon Levine.