A famous advice columnist has come forward to allege that President Donald Trump attacked her in the 1990s in a dressing room. The alleged actions ― as described by columnist E. Jean Carroll in graphic detail ― would clearly constitute rape.
Carroll is the 16th woman to accuse Trump of sexual misconduct. New York Magazine on Friday published an excerpt from her upcoming book, “What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal,” in which she described her encounter with the real estate mogul.
Carroll wrote that in the mid-1990s, she was in Bergdorf Goodman when she ran into Trump. Trump, recognizing her as a famous advice columnist, asked for her help to buy lingerie for an unnamed woman. Carroll, then 52, obliged and followed Trump to the lingerie department. Once there, the exchange turned violent.
The moment the dressing-room door is closed, he lunges at me, pushes me against the wall, hitting my head quite badly, and puts his mouth against my lips. I am so shocked I shove him back and start laughing again. He seizes both my arms and pushes me up against the wall a second time, and, as I become aware of how large he is, he holds me against the wall with his shoulder and jams his hand under my coat dress and pulls down my tights.
I am astonished by what I’m about to write: I keep laughing. The next moment, still wearing correct business attire, shirt, tie, suit jacket, overcoat, he opens the overcoat, unzips his pants, and, forcing his fingers around my private area, thrusts his penis halfway — or completely, I’m not certain — inside me.
The now 75-year-old goes on to say it was a “colossal struggle” before she finally was able to “push him out and off,” and escape the department store.
The White House’s statement to New York Magazine on the alleged assault is that Carroll’s story “is a completely false and unrealistic story surfacing 25 years after allegedly taking place and was created simply to make the President look bad.”
Carroll told two friends about the attack. Both told New York they remember the incident.
Carroll wrote that she didn’t come forward sooner because “receiving death threats, being driven from my home, being dismissed, being dragged through the mud, and joining the 15 women who’ve come forward with credible stories about how the man grabbed, badgered, belittled, mauled, molested, and assaulted them, only to see the man turn it around, deny, threaten, and attack them, never sounded like much fun.”
Carroll and the White House did not respond to additional requests for comment, though Trump responded to the rape allegations in a statement to Bloomberg reporter Laura Litvan on Friday afternoon, claiming he’s “never met this person in my life” in reference to Carroll.
His response lambasted the Democratic Party, made reference to Justice Brett Kavanaugh and the sexual assault allegations waged against him by Julie Swetnick, and said that Carroll’s book belonged in the “fiction section.”
“She is trying to sell a new book — that should indicate her motivation. It should be sold in the fiction section,” said Trump, who later added: “No pictures? No surveillance? No video? No reports? No sales attendants around? I would like to thank Bergdorf Goodman for confirming they have no video footage of any such incident, because it never happened.”
This has been updated with Trump’s response.
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.