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Former Teen USA contestant says Trump was a gentleman during pageant

Posted at 12:20 AM, Oct 16, 2016

As more women come out of the woodwork claiming Donald Trump made sexual advances on them in the past, a former Miss Teen Nebraska says Trump never did such a thing when she was around during the 1997 Miss Teen USA pageant.

Rickley met Trump briefly at an after party with her family.

“I just went up to him and was like, ‘Oh I’d love to have Donald Trump’s picture’ and so I shook his hand, introduced myself. He was a complete gentleman, great to talk with. He spoke to my mom and dad for a little bit,” says Rickley.

Rickley says she didn’t see nor experience any lewd behavior from Trump. She says they were always accompanied by adult chaperones and no males entered the dressing room.

“Because we were teens, we were never really left alone, especially backstage and in the dressing rooms.”

Rickley says she wanted to post her experience with Trump on Facebook after a major news network called her to see if she wanted to add anything to the sexual accusations Trump faces from the 1997 pageant. When she told the producer she remembered Trump as a gentleman, she never heard from the producer again.

In her post, Rickley posted her picture with Trump and said:

"I was contacted today by a producer at ABC News in New York. She is wanting to question me regarding the Miss Teen USA allegations. They also let me know that they are reaching out to All of my fellow contestants from 1997. I am going to be very truthful and let ABC know that Donald Trump was an absolute gentleman. I never witnessed any inappropriate behavior whatsoever the entire 2 weeks that I participated in the pageant. I'm sure that none of my interview will make the news since I have nothing but positive things to say about my experience with Donald. I do find it interesting and important for people to know that these are the depths the media is going to for their smear campaign."

Rickley says she didn’t mean to discredit what other contestants have said – she just wanted to share what she remembers from the pageant.

“I’m not calling anyone a liar or discrediting anything anyone else has said, but I just wanted people to know that I was backstage, there were chaperones, there were tons of people out there helping us, and I never saw Donald Trump in the fitting room,” says Rickley.

Rickley’s post went viral – it was shared more than one-hundred thousand times – but with that, came some backlash.

“There’s people mocking me like, ‘oh you better go check her bank account cause there’s probably $850,000 brand new in there. Lots of people think that Trump paid me off to say this and I just want people to know, Trump doesn’t even know I posted this,” says Rickley.

Rickley says although her post was not politically-driven, Hilary Clinton and Trump supporters negatively weighed in on her post, spoiling her fond memory of the Miss Teen USA pageant experience.

“It does kind of make me sad that it’s tainted, you know, Miss Teen USA 1997 – for the rest of my life, people are going to think, ‘Oh! That’s when Donald was inappropriate.’ And I’m like, actually, I had an amazing time and it was an amazing experience.”