"He kind of cornered her": Video shows Trump aide being accused of "molesting" women at Arizona club

Boris Epshteyn was quietly hit with multiple charges that were later dismissed when he pleaded guilty to one charge

By Tatyana Tandanpolie

Staff Writer

Published August 10, 2023 3:29PM (EDT)

Boris Epshteyn follows former President Donald Trump as they board his airplane, known as "Trump Force One," to fly back to NJ minutes after Trump pleaded not guilty to federal charges, on Tuesday, June 13, 2023, in Miami, FL. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Boris Epshteyn follows former President Donald Trump as they board his airplane, known as "Trump Force One," to fly back to NJ minutes after Trump pleaded not guilty to federal charges, on Tuesday, June 13, 2023, in Miami, FL. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

A woman told police that Boris Epshteyn, a special advisor to former President Donald Trump who worked with Arizona politicians to reverse Trump's 2020 election loss, groped her and her younger sister repeatedly at a nightclub in Scottsdale, Arizona, police body camera footage obtained by The Arizona Republic shows. 

Epshteyn was accused of sexually assaulting the two women at the Bottled Blonde nightclub in the early hours of Oct. 10, 2021. 

"All night he's been touching me and my sister, especially my sister. He kind of cornered her and grabbed her and is just making her super uncomfortable," the unnamed, 27-year-old woman told police in the footage.

According to the video, the woman described Epshteyn's actions as "molesting" them and other women in the bar, adding that the bar told them to drink with him.

She recounted that Epshteyn had pulled her younger sister onto his lap and that she told the club's security that he, then unidentified, was behaving inappropriately. But the security team initially declined to take action because "he's spent like fifty grand here tonight," she told police, quoting the club. 

"Touching her chest, touching her hips, touching her crotch," the woman continued, describing in more detail Epshteyn's conduct just before the officers identified and ordered him, who was donning shorts, sandals and a collared shirt, to sit on a nearby curb.

Epshteyn declined The Arizona Republic's request for comment and to say whether he spent the alleged amount.

The attorney was charged with "assault touching," "attempted sexual abuse," "harassment-repeated acts" and "disorderly conduct-disruptive behavior or fighting." While the first three charges against him were dismissed, Epshteyn pleaded guilty in Scottsdale City Court to the fourth charge and served probation. His conviction was later set aside by the court in January this year.

We need your help to stay independent

The owner of the nightclub released a statement responding to the women's account of the events.

"We have a robust security team who are singularly focused on the safety and enjoyment of all of our guests day-in and day-out," the statement said in part. "This was an isolated incident, and we have had no additional interaction with these guests, or complaints of this nature in our 10 years in business."

Representatives from Evening Entertainment Group added that if Epshteyn "approached our door and was recognized, they would not be allowed entrance going forward."

The police report and its supplements indicated that a security guard at Bottled Blonde flagged authorities on patrol in the district and informed them of a possible sexual assault earlier that morning. The body camera footage also reportedly shows the older woman explaining that Epshteyn grabbed the younger sister again as they were leaving the nightclub.

"We have a high tolerance of people like being weird, but that went above and beyond," she later said to police, according to the footage.

Want a daily wrap-up of all the news and commentary Salon has to offer? Subscribe to our morning newsletter, Crash Course.

"I was like, stop touching my sister. Stop touching me. Stop touching my friends," she continued, adding that the man, who she described to authorities as "fat, ugly, like drooping face, white Ralph Lauren Polo, like fatter Tony Soprano" grabbed the women about 10 times.

The older sister then enthusiastically agreed to press charges against Epshteyn, whom officers cuffed and detained about 20 minutes after they arrived at the scene.

"I didn't touch anybody," Epshteyn was heard saying in the footage after police directed him to the curb, later adding, "I had nothing to do with those women over there."

He received a five-day jail sentence but was credited with time served if he completed 11 months of probation and an alcohol program, paid a fine and did not contact the two women. 

Epshteyn has been the subject of speculation of late in the aftermath of Trump's latest indictment for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, which was handed down by a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C. last week, with many legal experts suspecting that the lawyer is the sixth, unindicted co-conspirator listed unnamed in the charging document.

The 2021 incident is also not the first time Epshteyn had been arrested in Arizona, according to the outlet. In 2014, he was charged with "assault touching" at another nearby club in Scottsdale, Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row.

Epshteyn signed a plea deal in the earlier case, agreeing to cut contact with the victim, never return to the venue, pay court fees and complete 25 hours of community service. Handwritten notes on the deal show he was permitted to complete the program in New Jersey, his home state.

By Tatyana Tandanpolie

Tatyana Tandanpolie is a staff writer at Salon. Born and raised in central Ohio, she moved to New York City in 2018 to pursue degrees in Journalism and Africana Studies at New York University. She is currently based in her home state and has previously written for local Columbus publications, including Columbus Monthly, CityScene Magazine and The Columbus Dispatch.

MORE FROM Tatyana Tandanpolie

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Boris Epshteyn Brief Donald Trump Politics