POLITICS

Columnist E. Jean Carroll Says Elle Magazine Fired Her After Trump Rape Allegation

The longtime advice columnist blamed her firing on the president, who she said "dragged me through the mud."

Author and longtime advice columnist E. Jean Carroll says she was fired from Elle magazine after President Donald Trump “dragged me through the mud” in response to her claim that he raped her years ago in a New York department store.

Carroll, who authored Elle’s “Ask E. Jean” advice column, said she was fired after 26 years with the magazine because of the president. She filed a defamation lawsuit against Trump in November, alleging his response to her June accusation that he raped her in a dressing room in the 1990s affected her career and health.

“Because Trump ridiculed my reputation, laughed at my looks, & dragged me through the mud, after 26 years, ELLE fired me,” she wrote on Twitter Tuesday. “I don’t blame Elle ... I blame @realdonaldtrump.” 

Carroll made the rape allegation in her 2019 book. She described a scene in which Trump, then married to Marla Maples, threw her against Bergdorf Goodman dressing room wall and sexually assaulted her.

Trump responded in an interview with The Hill, saying Carroll was “totally lying.” 

“I’ll say it with great respect: Number one, she’s not my type,” Trump reportedly said in the Oval Office interview. “Number two, it never happened. It never happened, OK?”  

Carroll’s lawsuit said Trump’s verbal attacks “smeared her integrity, honesty, and dignity,” “inflicted emotional pain and suffering,” “damaged her reputation” and “caused substantial professional harm.” The president’s “defamatory statements caused [her] to lose the support and goodwill of many of her readers” and the number of letters to her advice column plunged 50%, the suit said.

“I am filing this on behalf of every woman who has ever been harassed, assaulted, silenced, or spoken up only to be shamed, fired, ridiculed and belittled,” Carroll said in a statement when she filed the suit. “While I can no longer hold Donald Trump accountable for assaulting me more than 20 years ago, I can hold him accountable for lying about it and I fully intend to do so.” 

Carroll included an email from an Elle executive in a court filing related to the lawsuit on Tuesday. The email, from Erin Hobday, executive managing editor, said Carroll’s contract was terminated and the magazine would pay for five remaining columns in her contract.

“We and your readers so appreciate your many years of work for the magazine, and the wonderful columns you contributed to our publication,” Hobday wrote in the email. “We will miss you tremendously.”

Carroll alleged in the same court filing that Trump is purposely delaying the case and avoiding Carroll’s requests for discovery, and is refusing her demand that he provide a DNA sample.

“Nothing in Trump’s extensive history of personal litigation during his presidency supports his bald assertion that discovery into whether he lied about raping Carroll will harm the national interest,” Carroll’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, wrote in the filing.

Trump lawyers are arguing that the lawsuit should be suspended until New York state’s highest court decides whether a sitting president can be sued, according to Bloomberg.

HuffPost has reached out to Carroll and Hearst, Elle’s parent company, for further comment.

CONVERSATIONS