Days after filing a sexual assault complaint against Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, for hitting her twice on her buttocks, singer Joy Villa publicly addressed the incident during an interview on Good Morning America Friday (Dec. 29).
While at a gathering at the Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C., Villa recalled, she quickly met Lewandowski and was ushered into a picture with him, only for the former campaign manager to allegedly assault her. Villa asserted that Lewandowski was “very drunk” but couldn’t comprehend how he wouldn’t realize what he was doing was wrong. “I said, ‘I could report you for sexual harassment…’,” Villa said, only to have Lewandowski unfazed by the threat. “He said, ‘Go ahead. I work in the private sector’ and he continued and he actually did it again even harder.”
The incident occurred in November, with Villa recently tweeting the photograph she took with Lewandowski moments before he assaulted her. Villa explained that her failure to come forward sooner was “for the reasons most women don’t” and wanted to avoid any “bad press” for the president at all costs. “I was scared. I thought I don’t want to cause any ruckus,” Villa explained. “I don’t want to create any bad press based around the president. This has nothing to do with him, but I’m a supporter. Corey’s an avid supporter. We play on the same team.”
Villa also explained that she intends on gearing up for a potential congressional run, but feared her allegation against Lewandowski would hinder her goal. “As a woman, it’s already a hard atmosphere and he (Lewandowski) has a lot more power than me.”
The singer then explained that despite originally filing a complaint of sexual harassment, the detectives informed her that the incident was an example of sexual assault, something she found surprising. Villa added that she simply wanted to just report the incident and “move on” with her life, rather than create a big spectacle. The singer also refuses to press charges that would cause Lewandowski to face a criminal investigation.
“I would rather not go there,” Villa said. “I really want an apology.” Later adding, “It’s a hard situation, because this is a crime that was created against me … It’s a very grueling process. You tell your story over and over again. They ask questions and they had to remind me I’m not on trial … It’s such a big deal for women to come forward and talk about it, but for me, I want this to be resolved in a manner where all of us can feel good about it. I don’t want to keep dragging his name through the mud and keep the press going on.”
Recently a video surfaced online, showing Villa slapping George Harris’ rear end at the same event where her incident with Lewandowski occurred. Harris has said that the incident wasn’t consensual.
On GMA, Villa said of the video, “[Harris] didn’t say ‘stop’ or ‘no,’ and when he said, ‘Take it easy,’ I was being stupid,” Villa said of the video. “It was at a party in Las Vegas and I did stop. And if I offended George, you know, I totally apologize and I made it clear. I reached out to his best friend and talked it over and I said, ‘Listen, if this offended you, I’m sorry. I own up to it. That’s wrong.’ And that’s really what we have to do to make sure we have a safe environment. We have to say, ‘I’m sorry.”
Known to be an avid Trump supporter after making news earlier this year when she wore a “Make America Great Again” dress at the Grammys, Villa also addressed the women coming forward accusing the president of sexual harassment and assault.
“What I want is for justice to be served… It is in the hands of the justice system,” Villa said. When pressed further regarding who she sides with, Villa said, “I can only side with something that has happened to me. This is my own experience. I also want to say that any women who has had that experience, needs to come out and talk about it and needs to file and make sure the due process does go in, because it is at a point your word against theirs. You don’t have to go public like I have. It’s sort of gone out of proportion sometimes. It distracts from some of the other things I’m doing.”
Despite the incident occurring with Trump’s former campaign manager, Villa continues to be a Trump supporter and emphasizes that her disturbing incident had “nothing to do with the president.” “I’m a proud Republican and what Corey did has nothing to do with the president,” Villa said. Adding, “He doesn’t work for the president anymore. Has nothing to do with the Republican party. Has everything to do with his actions and he must take responsibility for that and that’s really what this is all about.”
Villa’s report on Lewandowski is not the first time the former Trump aide has faced charges regarding his alleged behavior. In March 2016, he was charged with misdemeanor battery for an altercation involving a female reporter after a news conference in Florida. The charges were later dropped.
This article originally appeared in The Hollywood Reporter.