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New York Times delves into Donald Trump's history with women

Last Updated May 14, 2016 7:07 PM EDT

The New York Times was out with a blistering report Saturday on presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, shining a spotlight on his oftentimes problematic personal and professional dealings with women.

Trump's treatment of the women he has considered rivals during his presidential campaign has been well-documented, including his threats and tweet attacks against Ted Cruz's wife Heidi, his crude dismissals of Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly and his insults of one-time primary competitor Carly Fiorina.

But the Times dove deep into his long history of employing women in the Trump Organization and in his beauty pageants, painting a sometimes contradictory portrait of a man who both elevated women professionally and yet still treated them with blatant disrespect.

Some women involved in the pageant industry said Trump sometimes treated contestants in inappropriately affectionate ways, with one former pageant competitor saying the Miss USA owner greeted her with a kiss on the lips.

"He kissed me directly on the lips. I thought, 'Oh my God, gross,'" Temple Taggart, Miss Utah in 1997, told the Times. "He was married to Marla Maples at the time. I think there were a few other girls that he kissed on the mouth. I was like 'Wow, that's inappropriate.'"

Another contestant, Carrie Prejean, Miss California in 2009, wrote in a memoir that the women during one pageant "were told to put on our opening number outfits -- they were nearly as revealing as our swimsuits -- and line up for him onstage."

One encounter Prejean outlined included a question Trump posed to Miss Alabama, asking "who's the most beautiful woman here?"

When the woman answered that she found Miss Arkansas "sweet," Trump reprimanded her.

"I don't care if she's sweet," Trump said, according to Prejean. "Is she hot?"

After Trump's inspections during the pageant, some girls "were sobbing backstage," Prejean wrote, because they were "devastated to have failed even before the competition really began."

Trump denied to the Times that all these pageant encounters ever took place, saying he would have been uncomfortable with pressing his lips to those of strangers. Discussing whether he had ever evaluated his contestants onstage in the manner Prejean described, Trump said he would never have done so because "that's hurtful to people."

One incident involving Trump's own daughter was recalled by the 1997 Miss Universe, Brook Antoinette Mahealani Lee.

When Ivanka Trump helped host the 1997 Miss Teen USA pageant, Trump reportedly turned to Lee and asked for her opinion on his daughter.

"'Don't you think my daughter's hot? She's hot, right?'" Lee recalled of Trump's question to her. "I was like, 'Really?' That's just weird. She was 16. That's creepy."

For one pageant winner, Trump's words had a lasting negative impact on her.

Alicia Machado, the 1996 Miss Universe, discussed how Trump had publicly shamed her into losing weight after she won her title, saying Trump's people had taken her to a gym and "exposed her to 90 media outlets" after she had asked for the Miss Universe Organization for help in recuperating after the pageant.

"I was about to cry in that moment with all the cameras there," Machado said. "I said, 'I don't want to do this, Mr. Trump.' He said, 'I don't care.'"

The encounter sparked a yearslong struggle with anorexia and bulimia, the former Miss Universe told the Times.

Trump told the Times he pressed Machado to lose weight.

For some of the women in his professional life, Trump both built them up and tore them down, according to the Times report.

One top executive, Barbara Res, who was Trump's chief of construction for several years in the 1980s, recalled Trump once casually commenting after she had gained some weight: "You like your candy."

Res nevertheless credited Trump for hiring her in such a high-level position, even when his own father seemed to scoff at the idea of a woman as the chief of construction.

"'I know you're a woman in a man's world,'" Res said Trump had once told her. "'And while men tend to be better than women, a good woman is better than 10 good men.'... He thought he was really complimenting me."

Some of the women he dated also spoke to the Times, revealing unflattering encounters with Trump.

One model, Rowanne Brewer Lane, was 26 years old when she first met a then-44-year-old Donald Trump. She told the newspaper that immediately after meeting her, Trump had asked her to change out of her clothes.

"He took me into a room and opened drawers and asked me to put on a swimsuit," Lane said, discussing a pool party of Trump's she once attended.

"I went into the bathroom and tried one on," she said, referring to a bikini. "I came out, and he said, 'Wow.'"

Of that encounter, Trump told the Times that "a lot of things get made up over the years."