The longtime Elle magazine advice columnist said Monday that she tried to fight back against Donald Trump's advances in a fitting room of Bergdorf Goodman. The president has denied the accusation.
A longtime Elle magazine columnist who says she was sexually assaulted by President Donald Trump in the 1990s told CNN on Monday that he threw her up against a wall so hard that "I hit my head really hard: boom."
Speaking publicly for the first time since Trump denied her accusations, the columnist, E. Jean Carroll, said that she tried to fight back against Trump's violent advances in a fitting room of Bergdorf Goodman in Manhattan.
But in her new book, What Do We Need Men For?, scheduled for release July 2, Carroll wrote that Trump overpowered her and pinned her against the wall, pushed his mouth against her lips, then pulled down her tights, unzipped his pants and forced his "fingers around my private area, thrusts his penis halfway — or completely, I'm not certain — inside me."
The episode took place in late 1995 or early 1996, according to Carroll, who said Monday that Trump asked her to model lingerie that he was looking to purchase in the try-on room. At the time, Trump was married to Marla Maples.
"The minute he closed that door, I was banged up against the wall," Carroll said during an appearance on New Day with Alisyn Camerota. "I want women to know that I did not stand there. I did not freeze. I was not paralysed, which is a reaction I could have had because it was so shocking. No, I fought."
Carroll said the release in October 2016 of the Access Hollywood video in which Trump boasted of sexual assault to the television host Billy Bush was validation for her. CNN played the 2005 clip during Carroll's appearance.
"It knocked me back; I felt relief," Carroll said. "We have to change this culture of sexual violence."
More than a dozen women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct that they said took place before he was elected president.
"It's the same," Carroll said. "He denies it. He turns it around. He attacks and then he threatens. I am sick of it. Think how many women have come forward. Nothing happens."
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Carroll, 75, stopped short of using the word "rape" on Monday to characterise the episode, which she said in an excerpt from her book that she disclosed to two friends at the time. One urged her to report it to the police, while a journalist friend warned her to keep quiet because Trump would "bury you." The New York Times spoke to the two friends, who confirmed that Carroll had spoken about it with them but said they did not want to be identified.
"I have difficulty with the word," Carroll, author of Ask E. Jean in Elle, said Monday. "I see it as a fight. He pulled down my tights. It was over very quickly. It was against my will 100 per cent."
The accusation is a focal point of Carroll's new book. It was also the basis of an excerpt from her book published online Friday by New York magazine, which featured Carroll on the cover wearing the same black wool Donna Karan coatdress that she said she wore when the episode took place.
Carroll rejected the president's contention that she was motivated by publicity for her book.
"Male authors never get this question," Carroll said. "It was not about selling a book about Donald Trump."
The White House referred Monday to previous comments by Trump, who told reporters Saturday as he was leaving for Camp David that the allegations were baseless.
"It's a total false accusation," Trump said. "I don't know anything about her. She's made this charge against others, and you know, people have to be careful, because they are playing with very dangerous territory."
In a statement Friday by Trump, the president said he had never met Carroll, but the two were photographed together at a party in 1987 with Carroll's ex-husband, John Johnson. Trump said on Saturday that the image was misleading.
"Standing with my coat on in a line?" Trump said. "Give me a break — with my back to the camera? I have no idea who she is."
Written by: Neil Vigdor
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