President Donald Trump said Friday that he “never met” a New York advice columnist and author who claims that he raped her in the dressing room of a high-end New York department store in the 1990s.
In a statement, Trump said “there is zero evidence” to support longtime Elle columnist E. Jean Carroll’s account of sexual assault.
In next week's cover story, E. Jean Carroll shares for the first time her violent encounter with Donald Trump. The coatdress she was wearing that day has hung in her closet ever since; she wore it again for the first time for her portrait with New York https://t.co/yPaLsRoVcH pic.twitter.com/Tx2HAzt1mi
— New York Magazine (@NYMag) June 21, 2019
Carroll recounts the attack in an upcoming memoir, What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal, an excerpt of which was published in New York magazine on Friday.
A major issue with Trump’s statement is that the New York magazine article includes a photo of Trump and Carroll, along with their then-spouses at an NBC party around 1987.
One note: In a new statement from Trump in response to E. Jean Carroll, he claims that he has never met Carroll, but the article includes a photo of "Carroll, Donald and Ivana Trump, and Carroll's then-husband, television-news anchor John Johnson, at an NBC party around 1987." pic.twitter.com/1ex00TCb7A
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 21, 2019
In an official White House statement denying E. Jean Carroll's claim that Donald Trump raped her, the president says "I've never met this person in my life."
Here's a photo of them together. pic.twitter.com/1ROaiiPykw
— Angus Johnston (@studentactivism) June 21, 2019
In that excerpt, Carroll, 75, says she ran into Trump at the Manhattan department store in 1995 or 1996, and he recognized her as “that advice lady” from her “Ask E. Jean” TV show for the cable station America’s Talking, a precursor to MSNBC.
Trump asked Carroll to help him pick out a gift for “a girl,” and Carroll said they eventually made their way to the lingerie section. At the time of the alleged incident, Trump was married to his second wife, Marla Maples.
When Trump insisted that Carroll try on a lace bodysuit he had selected, she writes: “This is gonna be hilarious, I’m saying to myself, and as I write this, I am staggered by my stupidity. As we head to the dressing rooms, I’m laughing aloud and saying in my mind: I’m gonna make him put this thing on over his pants!”
When they reached the dressing room, Carroll said Trump became violent.
“The moment the dressing-room door is closed,” she said, “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.”
“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,” Carroll wrote. “It turns into a colossal struggle. I am wearing a pair of sturdy black patent-leather four-inch Barneys high heels, which puts my height around six-one, and I try to stomp his foot. I try to push him off with my one free hand — for some reason, I keep holding my purse with the other — and I finally get a knee up high enough to push him out and off and I turn, open the door, and run out of the dressing room.”
The New York Magazine feature notes that Carroll is the 16th woman to accuse Trump of sexual misconduct.
Carroll writes that she told two friends about the Trump attack at the time, both journalists. New York Magazine verified her claim with both friends. One friend told her to go to the police while another told her to keep it to herself as, “He has 200 lawyers. He’ll bury you.”
Carroll said she did not come forward earlier 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. Also, I am a coward.”
Carroll also claimed that the dress she wore on the night of the encounter, “still hangs on the back of my closet door, unworn and unlaundered since that evening.