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Elle Columnist E. Jean Carroll Accuses Trump of Rape

Elle Columnist E. Jean Carroll Accuses Trump of Rape

Trump and Jean Carroll

In a new book excerpted by New York magazine, columnist E. Jean Carroll says Donald Trump raped her in the 1990s.

Elle advice columnist E. Jean Carroll has accused Donald Trump of raping her in the 1990s, joining a long list of women who have said they were subjected to various degrees of sexual assault or misconduct by him.

The accusation is detailed in an excerpt from Carroll's latest book, What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal, carried in Monday's issue of New York magazine and published online today. The book will be published July 2 by St. Martin's Press.

The incident took place in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman, a high-end New York department store, in 1995 or 1996, according to Carroll. At the time she was doing a TV show called Ask E. Jean on the cable channel America's Talking, a predecessor to MSNBC. She was about to enter the store when she encountered Trump, who recognized her. He asked for her help in selecting a gift for "a girl," and they ended up in the lingerie department.

There, he picked up a lace bodysuit and asked her to try it on. She joked that he should try it on instead. They headed to a dressing room together. "This is gonna be hilarious, I'm saying to myself -- and as I write this, I am staggered by my stupidity," Carroll says in her account.

"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 writes. "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. It turns into a colossal struggle. ... 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." No salespeople were nearby, she notes, and Bergdorf Goodman has not retained security camera footage from the time.

Carroll says she did not report the matter to the police but told two friends about it at the time. One encouraged her to go to the police, and the other advised her not to do so, as Trump had enough lawyers to "bury" her. Both women confirmed their accounts to the magazine.

"Why haven't I 'come forward' before now?" Carroll writes. "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." Other sources, such as Vox, put the number of Trump's previous accusers at 21.

Trump issued a statement denying that the incident happened; the president has denied all other allegations as well. In today's statement, Trump said he had never met Carroll and that she was making the accusation only to sell books. He called New York "a dying publication" that is "peddling fake news." He likened Carroll to Julie Swetnick, who accused Brett Kavanaugh, now a Supreme Court justice, of having participated in a gang rape. Senators questioned the veracity of her account, but there were other women who accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault, including Christine Blasey Ford, who testified before the Senate during Kavanaugh's confirmation process last fall. Trump's statement also raised the possibility that Carroll was working with the Democratic Party.

There is, however, photographic evidence that Trump had met Carroll; a picture accompanying the excerpt in New York shows him and his then-wife, Ivana, with Carroll and TV anchor John Johnson, her husband at the time, at a party in 1987.

Carroll details several encounters with other "hideous men" in the book excerpt, including another famous man who has been accused of sexual assault by others, former CBS Chief Executive Les Moonves, who she says groped her in a hotel elevator after she interviewed him. Moonves, who has at least 13 other accusers, also said her account is false.

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