US Election 2016

US election: Who are Bill Clinton's accusers who appeared with Trump?

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, center, sits with, from right, Paula Jones, Kathy Shelton, Juanita Broaddrick, and Kathleen Willey in St. Louis, Missouri. Image copyright AP
Image caption Mr Trump appears with four women who rail against the Clintons before the second presidential debate

With less than two hours before the second US presidential debate, Donald Trump mounted a pre-emptive attack on rival Hillary Clinton by going after her husband.

The Republican nominee appeared on Facebook Live with three women who have accused former President Bill Clinton of sexual assault.

A fourth woman, who was a child victim in a sexual assault case Mrs. Clinton defended during her legal career, also spoke at the brief news conference.

Mr Trump attempted to highlight the former president's past infidelities to quell the furore over a 2005 video released on Friday that revealed him bragging about groping women.

Since the explosive revelations, several members of the Republican party have called for Mr Trump to drop out of the race while others rushed to denounce him.

What Republican deserters said

Could Republicans still dump Trump?

Katty Kay: Hillary's campaign and Bill's women

"These four very courageous women have asked to be here and it was our honour to help them," Mr Trump said as he introduced the women.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionUS election: Trump attacks Bill Clinton

The women also joined Mr Trump's family inside the debate hall in what some pundits say was an attempt to intimidate Mrs Clinton.

Mr Clinton has never faced any criminal charges in connection to the allegations, but what are the accusations?

Paula Jones

The former Arkansas state employee sued Mr Clinton for sexual harassment in 1994, claiming that he propositioned her and exposed himself in a hotel room while serving as governor in 1991.

A federal judge threw out the lawsuit in 1998, but Ms Jones appealed against the ruling and settled with Mr Clinton for $850,000 without an admission of guilt

However, Ms Jones' lawsuit subsequently led to Mr Clinton's impeachment in 1998 due to a deposition he gave in that case.

He denied having sexual relations with White House intern Monica Lewinsky during that deposition.

At the press conference prior to the presidential debate, a reporter asked Mr Trump if his star power allowed him to grope women without their consent. Ms Jones fired back: "Why don't you go ask Bill Clinton that? Why don't you ask Hillary as well?"

Mr Trump, who praised Ms Jones for her courage, called her "a loser" in a 1998 interview with NBC's Chris Matthews.

Juanita Broaddrick

The nursing home administrator claimed Mr Clinton raped her in an Arkansas hotel room in 1978 and Mrs Clinton helped him conceal it.

"Mr Trump may have said some bad words, but Bill Clinton raped me and Hillary Clinton threatened me. I don't think there's any comparison", she said during the news conference on Sunday, referring to the New York businessman's sex boast tape.

Ms Broaddrick served as a volunteer on Mr Clinton's first gubernatorial campaign.

The former president has denied the allegation through a lawyer and no charges were ever filed.

She spoke out in 1999 during an investigation of Mr Clinton by the independent counsel Kenneth Starr, recanting sworn testimony a year earlier stating the incident never happened.

Over the weekend, Mr Trump tweeted an interview Ms Broaddrick gave to right-wing website Breitbart, in which she alleged that Mrs Clinton thanked her for her silence at a political rally.

Kathleen Willey

The former White House aide alleged Mr Clinton groped her in his office in 1993, but had previously said it never happened.

Ms Willey said she had met with the former president to ask for a paying job to help with her family's financial struggles.

Mr Clinton has also denied this claim and the Office of Independent Counsel found her allegations inconclusive.

"I think we can bring peace to this world, and I think Donald Trump can lead us to that point," she said at the news conference.

Kathy Shelton

Ms Shelton was the 12-year-old victim in a sexual assault case Mrs Clinton was appointed to early in her legal profession.

Mrs Clinton was the attorney for a factory worker accused of raping Ms Shelton, despite her objections over the case.

In audio recordings from the mid-1980s of an interview Mrs Clinton had with an Arkansas reporter, the current Democratic nominee is heard laughing while discussing the trial, including this instance when she says: "Of course he [the defendant] claimed he didn't [rape her]… He took a lie detector test. I had him take a polygraph, which he passed, which forever destroyed my faith in polygraphs."

Ms Shelton's attacker ultimately admitted a reduced charge, and she has since said Mrs Clinton put "me through hell".