“On the evening of September 26th, I attended a dinner in Las Vegas, Nevada, to support a charity and hang out with wonderful friends,” Odom said in a statement to POLITICO. “He kept touching me inappropriately, saying horrific and disgusting things to me, following me and making me feel hurt and scared,” she said of Lewandowski.
“I’m coming forward because he needs to be held accountable,” Odom continued. “I am blessed to have a loving husband and family behind me. I want other women to know that you can be heard too and that together we can prevent such terrible things from happening. “
David Chesnoff, a Las Vegas attorney representing Lewandowski, did not address the allegations directly. “Allegations and rumors seem to be moving by the minute and we will not honor them with another response,” he said.
Lewandowski, who failed to respond to multiple requests for comment, has positioned himself as one of Trump’s closest and most loyal advisers – a role he has used to gain access to major Republican financiers and to influence the direction of the Republican Party . He was Trump’s first election campaign manager in 2016, advised him during the presidency and is now part of the circle of advisors to the former president. His duties included running a pro-Trump super PAC until Wednesday when Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich tweeted after this article was published that “Trump World” had cut ties with Lewandowski.
“Pam Bondi, the very talented and honorable [former] AG von FL, has our full confidence and our full confidence in the takeover of the Super-PAC, it says in Budowich’s tweet. He is no longer associated with Trump World. “
Odom was one of about two dozen major Republican donors at the Sunday lunch held at the Benihana restaurant at Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino. Odom sat next to Lewandowski during the gathering, which was part of a four-day conference organized by the Victoria’s Voice Foundation, a charity dedicated to combating substance abuse. South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, who serves Lewandowski as an informal advisor, was also among those attending the dinner.
Lewandowski allegedly commented on the size of his genitals, described his sexual performance, and showed Odom his hotel room key, according to a testimony from an Odom family lawyer. After the incident, Odom told people that Lewandowski repeatedly talked about sex while using expletive language.
Participants also watched Lewandowski physically grow with Odom.
“Ms. Odom said that Mr. Lewandowski tried to hold her hand during dinner and she pushed his hand away. He touched her leg and she pulled it away. He took her napkin from her lap and tried again Leg and she pulled her dress over her leg to pull his hand away and cover her skin, “Odom’s lawyer wrote in the statement.
“He touched her back and she tried to escape,” the statement said. “He described an area where he was sore from exercising on the side of his bum, but he demonstrated this by touching her there – the top of her rump. Lewandowski tried to touch her about 10 times and Ms. Odom always rejected him. “
Odom left the room but was soon followed by Lewandowski, who remarked that she had a “nice ass,” according to her attorney and another participant who heard the comment. Lewandowski, too, “tossed Mrs. Odom his drink and it landed all over her shoe and the hem of her dress,” and “called her stupid,” her lawyer said.
An event attendee who spoke to POLITICO said that Odom went on to recount the incidents in detail and how she feared for her personal safety when Lewandowski described incidents of violence earlier in his life.
Odom and her husband are relative newcomers to the Republican donation scene, and she told the attendee that she was intimidated by Lewandowski’s claims that he was in control of the former president’s orbit and could determine the fate of those around Trump.
Lewandowski said no candidate would get the president’s approval without Lewandowski’s approval, Odom told the participant.
In a statement by Odom’s attorney, Lewandowski reportedly “said repeatedly that he is very powerful and can destroy anyone” and that he is “close to President Trump and can vote or take anyone off”.
“Corey was verbally and physically aggressive and energetic,” Odom claimed in a statement. “I was afraid for my physical safety.” She continued, “I was also afraid that Corey had the power to destroy and ruin everything my husband and I have worked on in our business, personal, and charitable endeavors.”
Two of those present at dinner described Odom as uncomfortable, and three attendees said Lewandowski appeared to be drunk. Photos of the dinner reviewed by POLITICO show Odom posing for selfies with the participants. Several photos showed Lewandowski just over her right shoulder, his tongue sticking out of his mouth.
Odom then left the restaurant for an after-dinner party at the hotel’s lavish Verona Sky Villa, where witnesses described a chaotic scene. One person who interacted with Odom remembered seeing her tearful and asking for help. At that point, her sister and stepson had come to see her, who had accompanied her to Las Vegas.
Participants said Odom retired to the other side of the bar with her sister and stepson when Lewandowski walked into the villa. Lewandowski followed her, whereupon several other participants tried to protect Odom from him and, according to three people present, steered her to a different part of the bar. According to Odom’s attorney, “Corey then walked around the bar with them” and went on to “try to touch Mrs. Odom”.
Participants said Odom and Lewandowski left the party separately. Odom told one person, and later told the family lawyer, that she feared for her physical safety in the hotel that evening because her room was next to Lewandowski’s. She also told these people that she had scheduled her departure the next day to make sure he didn’t run into her.
It is not the first time that Lewandowski has been accused of unwanted contact. In late 2017, singer Joy Villa filed a police report claiming the former Trump campaign manager hit his buttocks during a Christmas party at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC
Lewandowski was also charged on battery in 2016 after he tore the arm of a reporter, Michelle Fields, at a Trump event. The charges were later dropped, but Lewandowski alleged the incident never happened before a video emerged confirming it.
The 48-year-old Lewandowski has long been one of Trump’s top lieutenants. He was fired from his role as presidential campaign manager before Trump was nominated for the 2016 Republican National Convention, but he has remained a key figure in Trump’s inner circle, as an informal advisor and one of its most prominent deputies.
A Trump spokesman did not respond to a request for comment, although news of the incident rocked the former president’s inner circle, several people familiar with the discussions said.
After losing the 2020 election, Trump personally hired Lewandowski to lead the main pro-Trump super-PAC, Make America Great Again Action.
The perch has given Lewandowski access to some of the Republican Party’s biggest donors – a list that includes Trashelle Odom and her husband. The couple donated $ 100,000 to the Super PAC, according to two people familiar with the matter.
But those close to the Odoms said the couple would seek their money back unless Lewandowski’s ties to the Super-PAC were severed late Wednesday night.
“I love my wife and now I want to be accountable,” Trashelle’s husband John Odom said in a statement. “We are currently reviewing our legal options to ensure that [Lewandowski] cannot harm anyone else. “
Meridith McGraw contributed to this report.