In a book excerpt published in New York magazine on Friday, advice columnist and journalist E. Jean Carroll accused President Trump of sexually assaulting her in the mid-1990s.
In the excerpt, Carroll describes an incident in Bergdorf Goodman, when she had a chance encounter with Trump while he was supposedly shopping for a gift for a woman. Carroll wrote that after Trump rejected the idea of buying a handbag or hat, he urged Carroll to come help him pick out lingerie. In her telling, he then urged her to try on a lace body suit as she jokingly suggested he try it on herself.
The two then went to the dressing room, where Carroll says she thought she could get Trump to try the bodysuit on over his pants. But Trump allegedly lunged at her in a dressing room and held her against the wall with his shoulder. She then described what happened next in vivid detail.
“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,” she wrote.
Carroll says she was able to force him off of her and run away and out of the department store, ending an episode she recalls lasting about three minutes.
Anticipating questions about corroboration, Carroll wrote that she did not recall a store attendant present in the lingerie department at the time and that Bergdorf Goodman no longer has security tapes from that time. She also wrote that she told two friends about the incident, who confirmed to New York magazine that they recall hearing about the alleged assault from Carroll.
Trump has denied that he sexually assaulted Carroll.
“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 White House said in a statement.
Trump responded to the story himself in a statement Friday evening.
“I’ve never met this person in my life,” he said. “She is trying to sell a new book—that should indicate her motivation. It should be sold in the fiction section”
“False accusations diminish the severity of real assault,” he added. “All should condemn false accusations and any actual assault in the strongest possible terms.”
Trump went on to suggest the Carroll or New York magazine may be working with the Democratic Party to damage him politically. (Read Trump’s full statement below.)
Elsewhere in the excerpt published by New York magazine, Carroll accused Les Moonves — who was ousted as CEO of CBS over sexual harassment scandals — of groping her in an elevator.
Read Trump’s full statement:
“Regarding the “story” by E. Jean Carroll, claiming she once encountered me at Bergdorf Goodman 23 years ago. 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.
“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 an 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 what’s really going on. It is a disgrace and people should pay dearly for such false accusations.”