The woman whose personal story led a New York Times feature casting presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump as sexist and inappropriate with women disputed the story in interviews on Monday.
The woman, Rowanne Brewer Lane, told MSNBC that the Times’ portrayal of her experiences with Trump was dishonest.
“I don’t have a negative story to give about Donald Trump because I don’t have a negative account of anything – we had a great relationship,” the former model and one-time companion of Trump said on Monday. “I don’t think it was fair to me, I don’t think it was fair to him.”
Earlier in the day, she told Fox News that Trump “never made me feel like I was being demeaned in any way. He never offended me in anyway. He was very gracious. I saw him around all types of people, all types of women.”
While Brewer Lane did not dispute the details of the story that began the feature story – that shortly after meeting her, Trump gave her a bikini to wear at the pool party he was hosting and commented on her appearance in it — she characterized the interaction as flattering, not demeaning as the Times wrote she felt it was.
The story — which used more than 50 interviews with people who observed Trump interact with women over decades — portrayed Trump as unrelentingly obsessed with women’s appearances, commenting on women’s weight and looks repeatedly in the workplace, personally judging contestants in his Miss America pageants ahead of the actual event, and constantly courting younger and less powerful women.
It comes amid a race where Trump’s interactions with women — including his criticism of Carly Fiorina’s face and months of attacks on Fox anchor Megyn Kelly — have made headlines repeatedly. Last month, he argued that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s gender was the only reason she was getting votes. The candidate struggles enormously with women in the presidential race: Seven in 10 women have an unfavorable view of him, Gallup found last month.
Trump – who condemned the piece from the moment it was published — is lauding his former companion’s condemnation of the piece with nearly a dozen tweets about it in less than 24 hours.
(The Times did in fact quote women who recounted how Trump helped their careers and championed women in his business.)
The New York Times responded to Brewer Lane’s criticism on Monday, arguing that she was quoted fairly.
“Ms. Brewer Lane was quoted fairly, accurately and at length. The story provides context for the reader including that the swimsuit scene was the ‘start of a whirlwind romance’ between Ms. Brewer Lane and Mr. Trump,” the paper said in a statement.