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In an interview with Politico, the 31-year-old Villa—who wore a Make America Great Again ballgown to this year’s Grammy Awards—said she attended a holiday party in late November at the Trump International Hotel in Washington.
She was introduced to Lewandowski, 44, and according to Villa, he seemed annoyed when he thought she wanted to pose with him for a photo. They took the picture, and Villa said, “I’m wearing this silver suit and stretchy pants, and after the photo, he smacks my ass really hard. It was completely demeaning and shocking.”
Villa said she confronted him immediately and told him to “Watch it.” Then, she half-joked that she could report him for sexual harassment.
According to Villa, Lewandowski said, “Go ahead, I work in the private sector.”
“Then,” Villa said, “he smacks my ass again.”
She also said, “Corey laughed in my face and ran away. It felt like it was all a big joke to him … It was the most ridiculous thing I have ever experienced. It was shocking and gross.”
A Villa friend said they saw the exchange and confirmed it to Politico. Lewandowski didn’t respond to Politico’s request for comment.
Here’s the photo of @CLewandowski_ seconds before he slapped my ass, I told him to stop, and then he did it again. I was shocked and embarrassed by his behavior. https://t.co/61EYvOG4e9 pic.twitter.com/a8NgLnvCEZ— Joy Villa (@Joy_Villa) December 23, 2017
Villa, who has flirted with the idea of running for Congress in Florida, also tweeted that she did not blame Trump for the exchange with Lewandowski.
I’m in NO WAY turning or blaming Trump for this. I support our President 100%— Joy Villa (@Joy_Villa) December 23, 2017
In March of 2016, Lewandowski was charged with battery after grabbing the arm of a female Breitbart News reporter during a Florida rally. Three months later, Lewandowski parted ways with the Trump campaign, even though the battery charge was dropped in April.
Since then, Lewandowski has been featured as a Trump-supporting analyst on CNN, and he remains a presence in Trump’s White House orbit.
Update 9:30am CT, Dec. 27: Villa has filed a sexual assault complaint against Lewandowski, according to the AP, and will meet with detectives in Washington next week.
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.