Writer E. Jean Carroll has claimed that a friendly encounter with Trump at Bergdorf Goodman in 1995 or 1996 turned violent when the real estate mogul pushed her up against a dressing room wall, unzipped his pants and forced himself on her. Carroll said that, in a “colossal struggle,” she pushed him off and ran from the store.
Trump told The Hill that Carroll is “totally lying” about the accusation, which he also denied earlier. “I know nothing about this woman. I know nothing about her,” he said. “She is — it’s just a terrible thing that people can make statements like that.”
Carroll included a photo of herself with Trump along with her description of the alleged assault, which New York magazine published on its website. Also in the photo were Trump’s then-wife, Ivana Trump, and Carroll’s then-husband, New York newscaster John Johnson.
Carroll, now 75, wrote in her book excerpt that Trump recognized her as “that advice lady” as he arrived at the Fifth Avenue store just as she was leaving. She said Trump invited her to help him buy a present for an unidentified “girl” and she agreed.
Carroll said that after Trump suggested a purchase of lingerie or underwear, he grabbed a bodysuit and urged Carroll to try it on. After some joking around about which one of them should try it on, Trump led Carroll to a dressing room, where, she alleged, Trump pushed her against a wall, pulled down her tights and assaulted her in an episode that lasted under three minutes.
Carroll said there were no attendants in the dressing room area and she did not file a report with the New York Police Department. She said she did, however, tell two journalist friends, one of whom urged her to contact the police while the other advised her to keep quiet, citing Trump’s access to lawyers.
“I wanted to forget it,” she said. “I thought A, my fault. B, I was stupid. C, I didn’t think of it … as rape. I thought of it as a violent incident. I thought of it as a fight.”