Advice columnist and journalist E. Jean Carroll publicly accused President Donald Trump of sexual assault on Friday.
In an excerpt from her upcoming book, “What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal,” published on New York magazine’s website, Carroll described Trump pushing her into a dressing room at the department store Bergdorf Goodman 25 years ago, hitting her head against a wall, holding her against the wall, and forcibly penetrating her:
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. 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.
I am astonished by what I’m about to write: I keep laughing. 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 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 whole episode lasts no more than three minutes. I do not believe he ejaculates. I don’t remember if any person or attendant is now in the lingerie department. I don’t remember if I run for the elevator or if I take the slow ride down on the escalator. As soon as I land on the main floor, I run through the store and out the door—I don’t recall which door—and find myself outside on Fifth Avenue.
The story will appear in the magazine’s print edition next week, with Carroll on the cover wearing the dress she was wearing when Trump allegedly assaulted her.
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
The excerpt published in New York details numerous encounters Carroll had with “hideous men” during her childhood, adolescence, and adulthood—including one with former CBS executive Les Moonves—as she embarked on a career as a journalist and the author of the “Ask E. Jean” column at Elle.
Carroll also describes the questions she believes she may be asked as the public learns about the alleged assault:
Did I tell anyone about it?
Yes. I told two close friends. The first, a journalist, magazine writer, correspondent on the TV morning shows, author of many books, etc., begged me to go to the police.
“He raped you,” she kept repeating when I called her. “He raped you. Go to the police! I’ll go with you. We’ll go together.”
My second friend is also a journalist, a New York anchorwoman. She grew very quiet when I told her, then she grasped both my hands in her own and said, “Tell no one. Forget it! He has 200 lawyers. He’ll bury you.” (Two decades later, both still remember the incident clearly and confirmed their accounts to New York.)
Why haven’t I “come forward” before now?
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.
As with the other women who have publicly accused Trump of assaulting them, and with the audio tape of the president himself bragging about committing sexual assault, the White House promptly dismissed Carroll’s account.
Women’s advocacy organization UltraViolet called on lawmakers to launch an investigation into the many allegations against the president.
“The American people have known that Donald Trump is a dangerous, predatory misogynist since they saw him bragging about sexually assaulting women in 2016,” said executive director Shaunna Thomas. “Carroll’s experiences are incredibly disturbing, though hardly surprising given the more than twenty allegations of sexual abuse that already exist against President Trump. These latest accusations serve as a reminder that Donald Trump is a self-confessed serial sexual abuser and Republicans in Congress have refused to hold him accountable for his actions, putting partisan political interests over survivors and the country.”
“Enough is enough,” she added. “70 percent of Americans want Trump investigated for sexual harassment. Women like E. Jean Carroll risk everything to come forward with their stories. They put everything on the line in hopes that their abuser will be held accountable and survivors of sexual assault like Carroll deserve better.”
On social media, others wrote unequivocally that Carroll had shared a compelling account of having been raped by the president, and condemned the Republican Party for continuing to support Trump despite numerous similar accusations which have been public for years.
This is a compelling account of the president of the United States violently raping someone. https://t.co/jyaezNZNnJ
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) June 21, 2019
Venerated advice columnist @ejeancarroll has written about Donald Trump sexually assaulting her in a department store dressing room. It is completely horrific https://t.co/jFSM0hjyCs pic.twitter.com/bheWROvtR6
— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) June 21, 2019
So I guess I'm wondering, how many women have to accuse Trump of rape and sexual assault before Republicans give a shit?
— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) June 21, 2019
Donald Trump is a sexual predator who has sexually harassed or assaulted at least 20 women. It's past time for us to listen to survivors and hold Trump accountable.
E. Jean Carroll: We are listening and we believe you. https://t.co/bIhrmQeVxg
— UltraViolet (@UltraViolet) June 21, 2019
The headline says ‘attacked’ but the words clearly describe rape.https://t.co/X0eVZ7Xnp9
— Greg Hogben (@MyDaughtersArmy) June 21, 2019
E. Jean Carroll and her harrowing account and allegation of Trump violently assaulting her in the 80's should be a major story, not just for today, but for weeks to come. I fear she, like so many other women, will be forgotten and brushed aside.
— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) June 21, 2019
This is who the people who used to lecture about family values have lined up behind. https://t.co/KuttQhWMjR
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) June 21, 2019