A prominent author and advice columnist, E. Jean Carroll, has accused President Trump of sexual assault in the 1990s in her forthcoming book, an excerpt of which was published by New York magazine Friday.
The White House denied the claim in a comment to New York magazine. President Trump, in a statement, said, “I’ve never met this person in my life. She is trying to sell a new book — that should indicate her motivation. It should be sold in the fiction section.”
Carroll, a long-time advice columnist for Elle magazine and the author of several books, made the accusation in a piece detailing a series of incidents throughout her life when she was the victim of assault or molestation. The individuals Carroll describes as the “hideous men” in her life also include former CBS CEO Les Moonves, whom she interviewed for a 1997 Esquire story and who she says groped her repeatedly in an elevator, a claim Moonves denied to New York magazine.
Carroll wrote that she encountered Trump, then a real estate developer, outside a New York City Bergdorf Goodman store in the mid-1990s, and the two recognized one another. Trump solicited Carroll’s help in choosing a gift for an unnamed woman, and she wrote that she and Trump considered various items in the department store before he suggested they look at lingerie.
Carroll wrote that Trump goaded her to try on a bodysuit — “I wanna see how this looks,” he said, according to Carroll — and the two went into a dressing room.
“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,” she wrote, and said she laughed as she pushed him back before he pushed her again, this time pulling down her tights.
“It turns into a colossal struggle,” Carroll wrote.
She alleged he unzipped his pants and penetrated her before she pushed him away and fled.
Carroll wrote that she did not report the alleged assault to police, but she told two friends, both of whom confirmed their recollections of hearing about the incident to New York magazine. The White House denied the accusation to New York magazine, calling it a “fake” story “created simply to make the president look bad.”
At least 15 women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct, with many coming forward in the wake of the 2016 Access Hollywood tape, in claims that range from harassment to sexual assault. Carroll said she did not come forward about the alleged assault before now because she did not wish to face the public backlash endured by the other women.
“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. Also, I am a coward,” she wrote.