An Alabama woman who worked on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign claimed in a Monday lawsuit that Trump kissed her “without her consent” in front of multiple people during a political event in Florida in 2016 – an accusation the White House is denying.
The woman, Alva Johnson, filed suit Monday against Trump and his presidential campaign in federal court in Tampa. The lawsuit said Johnson served as the campaign’s director of outreach and coalitions for the state of Alabama, before working to help Trump in Florida during the general election.
“To Defendant Trump, however, Ms. Johnson was nothing more than a sexual object he felt entitled to dominate and humiliate,” the lawsuit states. “Like he has done with so many other women, Defendant Trump violated norms of decency and privacy by kissing Ms. Johnson on the lips without her consent in the middle of a Florida work event and in front of numerous other Campaign officials.”
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, in a statement to Fox News, called the allegation “absurd on its face.”
“This never happened and is directly contradicted by multiple highly credible eye witness accounts,” Sanders said.
Johnson said in an interview with the Washington Post that Trump leaned in to kiss her as he got out of an RV at an Aug. 24, 2016 rally in Tampa. She said she turned her head, and the kiss landed on the side of her mouth. The lawsuit claims then-Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi was a potential witness.
“I immediately felt violated because I wasn’t expecting it or wanting it,” Johnson told the paper. “I can still see his lips coming straight for my face.”
During the campaign, Trump denied allegations of past sexual misconduct, including from former “Apprentice” contestant Summer Zervos, who claimed Trump inappropriately kissed and groped her in 2007. This is the first accusation from someone during the campaign.
The suit also accuses the Trump campaign of paying her less than “similarly situated” male employees and said she is bringing the case as a “collective action” on behalf of female campaign employees “who suffered unlawful pay discrimination.” Trump campaign spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany told the Washington Post the claim about pay discrimination was “off-base and unfounded.”
Johnson is asking for unspecified monetary damages. It wasn’t immediately clear why she waited until now to file suit.
Fox News’ Bill Mears and Jennifer Bowman contributed to this report.