Donald Trump’s Super Bowl party took place just 19 days before longtime pal Robert Kraft—the billionaire owner of the New England Patriots—was charged with two counts of soliciting another to commit prostitution.
The gathering was held at Trump’s golf club near West Palm Beach, Florida, and, as you would expect, it had a very exclusive guest list.
Trump appeared in a good mood at the party and happily posed for a photo with two women at a table behind him. But one of them, the Miami Herald reports, was 45-year-old Li Yang—a spa entrepreneur who founded the very spa where Kraft is now accused of visiting to solicit prostitution.
What Links Li to All This?
Kraft was allegedly caught on camera by authorities paying for oral sex at the spa on Jan. 20. Li, who says she sold the Orchids of Asia Day Spa long ago, wasn’t charged in the anti-human-trafficking operation that shut down 10 Asian day spas in Florida—none of which are registered to her.
However, her family does still own a number of establishments—operating under the name of Tokyo Day Spas—that are reportedly known for offering sexual services. The Herald reports two Florida police agencies have looked into allegations of prostitution at the spas, and they’ve been discussed online as places where men can pay for sexual favors.
One commenter reportedly wrote about Tokyo Day Spas: “If you’re just wanting to get a ‘rub and tug,’ this might be one of the best places in West Palm Beach.” A masseuse is said to have informed police in late 2016 that employees at the parlor were selling sex—behavior which is reported to have been encouraged by the management.
Yang insisted to the Herald that she and her family have never broken the law, but refused to comment on whether she knew of the allegations that therapists in her spas were selling sex.
How Well Does She Know Trump?
Her Trump connections don’t appear to begin and end at the Super Bowl party. Her social-media pages reportedly have numerous photos of her with Trump and his sons Eric and Donald Jr., as well as high-profile Republicans such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Kellyanne Conway, and Sarah Palin. She’s even reported to carry around a rhinestone MAGA purse.
She and her family are reported to have donated more than $42,000 to political action committee Trump Victory as well as a further $16,000 to the president’s campaign. She’s also been invited to the White House for an event hosted by the Asian American and Pacific Islander Initiative—an advisory group that Trump established by executive order.
Li was pictured in the crowd at the inauguration and has attended events at Mar-a-Lago, and even reportedly received a note from Trump and Melania in September 2018 that read: “Thank you for your friendship and dedication to our cause. Leaders like you in Florida are the key to fulfilling our bold agenda to Make America Great Again!”
She appears to have become involved in politics in late 2015 when she donated small amounts of money to Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign and started to attend Republican women’s events. At the same time, she seems to have taken her name off the official business records of the spas.
However, she insists she doesn’t know Trump personally.
What Exactly Happened at the Spas?
Lots of online reviews about the spas hint that sex is on offer.
One, a 2016 Yelp review of the Tokyo Day Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, has claims from a woman who says her husband went in for a 15-minute, $40 massage, but was offered unwanted sexual favors instead. “Stay far away unless you’re into that kind of thing,” she wrote.
Suspicions about one of Li’s Tokyo Day Spas came when a masseuse started finding used condoms in the trash at the business, and asked an English-speaking family member to call police when she heard the sounds of sex coming from the private massage rooms.
Cops then hid in a vehicle outside of the spa and photographed the people who entered and left the spa while the masseuse went undercover to help their operations. She told the Herald that a customer exposed himself to her and demanded oral sex from her—she refused and claims a manager chastised her for treating the customer “badly.”
No charges appear to have been made after the operation, however.
The White House didn’t comment on Trump’s links to Li.