There is a low glow in the sky, overcast, as we wait to get in. The queue is orderly, with a smattering of middle-aged black women tending to stick together, coats bright and pretty as flags and talking in low muttering voices. Inside the Western Division of the United States Court House, Los Angeles, the City of Angels, the Honourable Keller Percy leans over and the microphone splutters into life. Without preamble, or a perfunctory greeting he calls the court to order in the $125 million lawsuit against Donald Trump brought by Waulkmill Tempandy. What is at stake is not only the Republican candidates Presidential ambitions, but twelve other similar lawsuits that have also been filed—success here and others would follow—that would leave the accused struggling to stay solvent and out of jail.
Cameras pans in on the face of Waulkmill Tempandy. They won’t show how small she is, petite, chestnut skin, finely wrought features. Simple black jacket and matching pants. She’s dressed for a funeral. She talks fast, too fast, in her eagerness to get it all out she sometimes stutters, which she covers with a high-pitched falsetto laugh and a ‘yeh, know’ added with a sweet smile to soften the exchange.
Tears and it’s a little girl’s voice that comes through very clearly. Call it what you will, hypnosis, which she claims helped her remember in detail textures and tastes, but there’s something in the way she speaks that makes the hairs on the back of your neck hackle.
‘Felt it was a punishment for being pretty, yeh know, with boys always fixing and fussing at you. It got worse when mum split from dad and moved us to the other side of city. With no place to go we ended up in detached house split up into units. We were in the upper one. I was in the fourth grade. Mum sometimes had to keep me off school to watch my younger sisters. The landlord was mean. We sure scared of him, but his wife was even worse. He didn’t fix anything. More cockroaches than you could shake a stick at and we didn’t have a bath or sink. But for us that was normal. We were behind with rent. Behind with food. Behind with most everything. Behind with utilities. Caught stealing electricity. Got a notice of eviction, with all kind of shit added on for damages. Old woman used to offer me shoes to wear, but I didn’t want them old-woman shoes, it was the only freedom I had walking barefoot in the neighbourhood. ’ She laughs, looks at the packed benches. ‘Damages, to a door and mould on the window, yeh know burning down that place couldn’t have damaged it.’
Waulkmill is reminded by her lawyer, Mr Whelan, who smiles at her, why she is here. Shrug of the shoulders and she’s quickly back on track.
‘It was Mum’s boyfriend Mikey that done it. He told me how it was up to me to get the rent and he knew somebody that could arrange things, yeh know. After that, things moved real fast. I met Donald Trump when I was thirteen. There were other girls my age in other rooms with other men. I guess, I get the short straw. He was standing by the bed waiting for me, impatient, wearing a blue silk gown tied at the front. I’ve a nice jacket and dress, stylish, but I can see he’s not interested in those. I peel them off and leave them lying on the floor and slide across the bed, away from him. The sheets are black and mighty fine and I lie naked with my head on the bolster. He’s watching me and I’m not sure what to do, so I tried making conversation. But he doesn’t answer. Drop the robe from his shoulders, bloated white belly, sticks his hand down his muck and motions me across. His cock is an angry, red, stubby, like him, which I’m glad of because it ain’t big enough to hurt me. He motions that I should put it in my mouth. And he grabs the back of my hair and jerks my head up and down as I masturbate him with my mouth. I choke on that angry little thing. And when I stop and look up at him, he slaps me hard across the face, so I know not to do that. He lies on top of me and puts his cock inside me, but after a few jerks he grunts and goes soft.
‘That’s us done,’ he says, rolling off me and going into the bathroom.
I quickly gather my stuff up and leave.
‘Did Mr Trump suggest using a condom?’ asks Mr Whelan.
‘No, he did not.’ Waulkmill stands up straight, honey-coloured eyes blazing. ‘Was too scared to ask.’
‘And when you fell pregnant?’ asks Mr Whelan.