This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Those indefatigable members of the electorate who spent their early evening watching CNN on Oct. 14 saw diametric accounts of Donald Trump's treatment of women.
One woman, Tana Goertz, said the Republican presidential candidate was a source of empowerment to her and many like her.
Another, Temple Taggart, said Trump kissed her without invitation, told her to fudge her age to get ahead, then lied that he had no memory of her after she came forward.
Both met Trump through his associated televised competitions Goertz was a finalist on Season Three of "The Apprentice," while Taggart made the final six at 1997's Miss USA pageant.
Both also have ties to Utah, where the latest poll finds Trump statistically deadlocked with Provo-born independent Evan McMullin and Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Taggart was Miss Utah USA. Goertz lived in the state for four years and managed a Salt Lake City consignment store before moving to Iowa with her husband, a former KTVX meteorologist.
The Salt Lake Tribune requested comments from dozens more Utah women who, like Taggart and Goertz, met Trump in his role as the public face of his pageant and boardroom reality series. Only a few were willing to speak on the record, and their views are as polarized as those of Goertz one of his senior advisers and Taggart, one of his foremost accusers.
Laura Chukanov was quoted in the same New York Times story in which Taggart became one of a dozen women to allege Trump touched her inappropriately.
Like Taggart, Chukanov was invited to meet with Trump in New York City after finishing third runner-up at the 2009 Miss USA pageant. But Chukanov found him encouraging and well-intentioned, The Times reported in May.
Whereas Taggart told CNN's Erin Burnett that Trump kissed her twice on the mouth including a kiss inside Trump Tower that "felt like a little bit more to me" Chukanov told The Tribune that the eventual Republican presidential candidate kissed her on the cheek. As a Bulgarian immigrant, it struck Chukanov as a casual, European greeting. Nothing amorous.
That aside, "everything with his campaign I've found disgusting and appalling," Chukanov said last week by phone from New York, where she works as an account executive.
Chukanov said she was revolted by the vulgar sexual comments that Trump made to "Access Hollywood" anchor Billy Bush in 2005, which Trump has labeled "locker room talk" and said does not reflect his conduct.
"I don't think that is OK at any point in a grown man's life or any person's life, especially one that is running for president and wants to be taken seriously," Chukanov said.
Miss Utah USA 2007 Heather Anderson said that while she didn't witness anything to the level of the sexual assaults described by women in recent weeks, she left the pageant with a bad impression of the real estate mogul.
Pageant organizers who usually were amiable and easygoing became unnerved when Trump was present, Anderson said. "There was this aura of fear that they'd lose their job at any misstep."
At one rehearsal, she said, Trump ordered the contestants to line up in rows of 10 then walked up and down each row, examining them. When he told one of the women she was beautiful, she responded, "Really? Because this kind of feels like a cattle call."
"And he just smirked," Anderson said. "You put a lot of work into [the pageant], and he literally just lined us up in rows to check us out."
Former Miss USA and Miss Teen USA participants have said that Trump entered dressing areas while women were in a state of undress, a charge Trump seemed to admit on "The Howard Stern Show" in April 2005 when he said he routinely went backstage where "you know they're standing there with no clothes."
Anderson, who now lives near Washington, D.C., and works to promote drug education, said she had advance warning that Trump would be coming backstage. Still, she felt the married man "was hitting on some of the girls" as he put his hands around each of them for photos."
Trump's comments to Bush may reflect how some men speak, Anderson said, but "for me, I want my president to be better than me and smarter than me and kinder than me."
Audrey Evans appeared on "The Apprentice" in 2005 the same season Goertz lost in the finale as a 22-year-old Taylorsville High graduate who'd recently married and thought after watching the show from home that she'd win easily.
Trump "fired" her seven weeks in.
Evans now lives in Peru. After arriving "with a backpack and a spoon," she said she has worked for her family's farm, brokered sales of quinoa and coffee to the United States, and started a farmers market.
She doesn't blame Trump for booting her, or for what she regards as his harmless machismo. Rather, she said, she credits his brief mentorship for ease dealing with local power brokers and considers the "Access Hollywood" recording "an infringement on his rights."
"It's like they want to prove he's a male chauvinist pig," she said. "Well, that is him. Was that not what made him successful? Was that not what you guys picked?"
It's not the first time in this election cycle that Evans has come to the defense of the man who terminated her employment on national television.
She told the Daily Mail in April that other former "Apprentice" contestants were bullies for accusing Trump of being racist a charge that Evans said she hears frequently in Peru, where Trump's soundbites about a Mexican border "wall" long populated the news broadcasts.
"I'm a big fan of Mr. Trump," Evans said. "... What an amazing adventure it is to see the man you've worked for running for president. If the Republican party would back him, he would be the winner."
Other former Miss Utah winners who preferred not to be named offered mixed opinions of Trump but described his behavior at the pageant as upstanding.
In 2013, Trump offered sympathy when Salt Lake City's Marissa Powell flubbed an answer about income inequality. Prior to his campaign, this was the lone mention of "Utah" that Trump had made on Twitter, when he wrote, "Like it or not, haters and losers, everybody is talking about Miss U.S.A. and Miss Utah. By the way she is a fine young womanunfair to her."
And few among any group are more steadfast in their support than Goertz, who did not respond to The Tribune's requests for comment.
Allegations against her boss don't "pass the sniff test," Goertz told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Oct. 14.
Asked by Blitzer if she still would support Trump if the allegations were proven, Goertz said she would, provided he apologized.
"Win, lose or draw, my loyalty for Donald Trump will not change."
Taggart, like Goertz, didn't respond to The Tribune's requests for comment.
In a Facebook post that was since removed from public view, she expressed frustration at seeing snippets of her story in various media and pointed people toward her 10-minute, unedited interview with Burnett.
Taggart first met Trump at a rehearsal, she told Burnett, where he greeted her with a quick hug and a kiss on the lips.
"I almost wanted to wipe my mouth because I felt awkward and kind of embarrassed," she said.
Still, her return to Utah prompted the Deseret News headline, "Miss Utah trumpeting over Trump's attention," and her father told the newspaper that Trump had spent more time with his daughter than anyone else at the coronation ball. Trump had promised to call her personally, she told the Deseret News.
He made good, Taggart told Burnett, inviting her to Manhattan, where she planned to stay for several weeks while establishing model contacts with his help. She said she came home early after another unwanted kiss from Trump and his suggestion that the 21-year-old tell agencies she was 17.
It was the latter the suggestion that she lie that led Taggart to write a Facebook post in March that caught the Times' attention. She hadn't thought the kisses were as newsworthy.
"I had excused it," Taggart told Burnett. "I've been through a lot worse with guys since then. To me, that kind of became nothing after a while."
Taggart wrote on Facebook that when a Times reporter called to give her a heads-up that the article would be published, "I remember laughing to myself thinking she was getting a little ahead of herself. I figured no one would care about my experience."
Instead, "every major news agency I could think of was trying to contact me for an interview," she wrote. "A reporter even had the nerve to show up at my door twice within a 24 hour period, trying to get a piece of the story for herself. My painters made the mistake of letting her in the second time around where I quickly had to usher her back outside, and lock the door."
Those attentions were revived when the "Access Hollywood" tape was reported by the Washington Post earlier this month, she said. When Taggart saw her quotes from the Times story used in various media, she decided to give a fuller picture in interviews with CNN and NBC.
Trump told NBC News that he has no memory of Taggart and never kissed her. During Wednesday's debate, he said all such allegations had been "debunked" and suggested that his accusers' claims were manufactured by Clinton's campaign.
Taggart has said she is Republican and will not vote for Clinton.