Teen pageant contestants say Trump walked in on them

Several former teen beauty queens say Donald Trump walked in on them while they were changing at the 1997 Miss Teen USA beauty pageant.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - Several former teen beauty queens say Republican Presidential Candidate and former pageant owner Donald Trump walked in on them while they were changing at the 1997 Miss Teen USA beauty pageant.

Newly released tapes of Trump on the Howard Stern show have the candidate admitting to the behavior. Although, Trump didn't specify whether it was at Miss USA or Miss Teen USA.

RELATEDFormer Miss Arizona says Trump walked in while contestants were changing

WUSA9 talked to contestants and winners of three major pageants to put this in perspective.

“It's not OK for any man to think that he can do that,” WUSA9 Sports Anchor Kristen Berset said.

Berset competed as Miss Florida and finished in the top 10 for Miss USA in 2004. It was a year before Donald Trump told Howard Stern, "I'll go backstage and everyone's getting dressed…I'm allowed to go in because I'm the owner of the pageant."

“Thankfully he never walked through our dressing room, but I have heard stories from women that say that that did happen,” Berset said.

Berset said there's a lot people don't know about the contestants - they're young, 18-22, they've worked hard for months, some years for this. They go to school, they give back to their community.

“To hear words like that, it kind of diminishes everything that we done and worked so hard for,” Berset said.  

WUSA9 Traffic Anchor Ellen Bryan won Miss Ohio in 2011 and competed in Miss America. She said she's never seen a man in the dressing room there.

RELATEDFormer Miss Ohio weighs in on Miss Arizona's comments on Trump in dressing room

“Even at Miss Ohio, there's someone who stands at the doorway to relay messages,” Bryan said. “Any type of male director who's at the top of the stairs, says hey I need to tell the contestant this, a woman goes between the top of the steps and the bottom.”

Current Miss Maryland United States, Andromeda Peters, also said she has never seen a man walking behind the scenes.

“Everybody should be treated with equal respect, our boundaries should always be well respected, no matter what age,” Peters said.   

Berset has a unique perspective given she oftentimes has to go into male athlete's locker rooms after games and points out reporters are not allowed inside college locker rooms.

“There's a difference between whether you're going in for a purpose of looking at naked women, or you're going in to do your job,” Berset said.  

The tape of Trump admitting to going behind the scenes of pageants came out Saturday. It's now come to light that this also allegedly happened at the Miss Teen USA pageant where contestants are between the ages of 14 and 19 years old.

 

 


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