In an explosive essay excerpted in New York magazine from her upcoming book, What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal, writer and Elle columnist E. Jean Carroll alleged that President Donald Trump assaulted her in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman, an upscale department store in New York City.
In the piece, which recounts six times that Carroll, 75, says she was sexually assaulted throughout her life, Carroll recalls meeting Trump (whom she refers to not by name, but as “No. 20 on the Most Hideous Men of My Life List”) at the department store in the mid-1990s. After recognizing her from her TV appearances as an advice columnist, Carroll writes, the future president asked her to help him pick out a present for “a girl.” Carroll then alleges that when she and Trump reached the lingerie department, he asked her to try on a lacy, see-through bodysuit, and she agreed to accompany him to the changing room, thinking that she would get him to try on the bodysuit over his clothes, as well.
Carroll then recounts the alleged assault in graphic detail, writing:
“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.”
Trump then allegedly “for[ced] his fingers around my private area” and inserted his penis inside her. Carroll writes that she initially tried to fight him off by stomping on his foot, but then wrested him off her and ran out the door. She told two close friends about the encounter, both of whom corroborated hearing about the story at the time to New York magazine. Carroll also writes that she still has the coat-dress she was wearing when she was assaulted hanging up in her closet, and that her encounter with Trump marked the last time she had sex.
This is the story behind E. Jean Carroll's account of her alleged encounter with Donald Trump in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room more than two decades ago https://t.co/8GV1bw9cXA
— New York Magazine (@NYMag) June 21, 2019
Carroll is at least the 16th woman to accuse President Trump of sexual misconduct, including journalist Natasha Stoynoff, who alleges that Trump locked her in a room during a tour at Mar-a-Lago and forcibly kissed her; former Miss Washington USA Cassandra Searles, who alleges that Trump groped her buttocks while she was competing in the pageant in 2013; and adult performer jessica drake, who also alleges that Trump hugged and kissed her without her consent. In 1993, Trump’s former wife Ivana Trump told the author of a book about Trump that her former husband at one point sexually assaulted her, saying, “As a woman, I felt violated, as the love and tenderness, which he normally exhibited towards me, was absent”; in 2015, during her husband’s presidential campaign, she recanted this claim, saying the allegation was totally “without merit.”
In a statement to New York, the White House denied Carroll’s claims. “This is a completely false and unrealistic story surfacing 25 years after allegedly taking place and was created simply to make the President look bad,” the statement said.
Trump followed that with a longer statement on Friday:
“Shame on those who make up false stories of assault to try to get publicity for themselves, or sell a book, or carry out a political agenda — like Julie Swetnick who falsely accused Justice Brett Kavanaugh. It’s just as bad for people to believe it, particularly when there is zero evidence. Worse still for a dying publication to try to prop itself up by peddling fake news — it’s epidemic.
“Ms. Carroll & New York Magazine: 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.
“False accusations diminish the severity of real assault. All should condemn false accusations and any actual assault in the strongest possible terms.
“If anyone has information that the Democratic Party is working with Ms. Carroll or New York Magazine, please notify us as soon as possible. The world should know that’s really going on. It is a disgrace and people should pay dearly for such false accusations.”
He also stated that he had “never met this person in my life,” although the article features a photo of them beside each other.
Trump says in his statement on Carroll's allegations, "I've never met this person in my life." Her article features a photo of them beside each other. pic.twitter.com/nlnvtyED0M
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) June 21, 2019