'I'm not scared,' says former Miss Utah of Donald Trump's threatened legal action
(KUTV) Temple Taggart came forward to her friends that Donald Trump kissed her on the lips without her consent back in June before Trump became the GOP presidential nominee.
But that didn't stop Trump from calling his accusers "liars."
On Friday, the Miss Utah 1997 held a news conference in Salt Lake City to publicly address Trump’s threat to sue all of his accusers after the election.
“I’m not scared. I’ve been through scarier things in the past.” Taggart said. “I want to be an example to others that might be willing to come forward.”
She is one of four women, her attorney Gloria Allred is representing who have been the target of Trump’s threat to sue all of the women who have gone public about allegations of sexual misconduct. Allred said women who come forward about allegations of Trump's sexual behavior "should not be intimidated into silence with threats of lawsuits."
"I'm here today because I want everyone and my children to know bullying is not acceptable conduct," Taggart said. "Especially for a candidate (for president) of the United States."
Taggart said being threatened by Trump with legal action didn’t surprise her because she has seen how he “attacked everybody” in the debates.
"I am not afraid of you Mr. Trump. If you carry out your threat to sue me I will defend myself."
A month before The New York Times article came out, Temple said she posted on her Facebook page for her friends to see because she wanted her friends to know a few things that she personally knew about Trump. The post went up the day before the Republican caucus, so Trump wasn’t the nominee yet.
“It was a concern of mine because this was a possible presidential candidate," she said.
It’s important to know the context and the timeline, Taggart told reporters when asked what she would say to those who may be skeptical of the timing of her coming forward so late in the election season and holding a news conference 11 days before Election Day.
After returning home from the competition in 1997, Taggart was making headlines about how much attention she got from Trump.
"It was definitely exciting for a 21-year-old and small town girl at the time - yeah it is super exciting ," she said of all the sudden attention from lots of people.
The issue came when Trump invited Taggart back to New York for two weeks to meet with modeling agencies.
"It was the second kiss that was definitely a different kiss, he looked at me different, hugged me different - it was just a different experience, and I was thinking 'what the heck does he think this is?'"
She cut her trip in New York short after the unwanted kiss came happened while the two met in Trump Tower to go over her upcoming itinerary.
Taggart realizes there will be people who don't believe her.
“You can’t please everybody and you’re never going to change everybody’s mind, but those that really care to know the truth, they’ll see this and they will see someone that’s sincere and someone who is taking time away from their children to really explain and to help put to rest any questions.”
While Taggart is a Republican and her attorney is a democrat and supporter of Hillary Clinton, it doesn’t mean Taggart has come forward in an effort to help put Clinton in the White House.
“She’s just telling what she alleges is the truth about her life and her experience with Mr. Trump," Allred said.
Taggart said she thinks the Republican party she just wishes “we had a better candidate to choose from.” She said the is thinking of voting for third-party Independent candidate Evan McMullin.
Recent local polls have shown McMullin either in a statistical tie, or winning Utah in the election.
After the leaked video came out in which Donald Trump was heard talking to then-Access Hollywood host Billy Bush about groping women and trying to have sex with a married woman, overall support for Trump has dropped, according to polls.
This has prompted calls among prominent Utah Republicans, such as Gov. Gary Herbert, Rep. Chris Stewart, Sen. Mike Lee and Rep. Mia Love have called for Trump to drop out of the race.
Allred said any allegations of inappropriate sexual misconduct with women are important for the public to be aware of.
“Whether it is a candidate for president or a candidate for any other elected position – the public has a right to know,” Allred said.
At this time Allred said Taggart doesn’t plan to file a lawsuit against Trump if he ends up not suing her and the other women.
“The next move is his.”