Advice Columnist E. Jean Carroll Alleges Donald Trump Raped Her In Department Store Dressing Room, In New Book

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During his 2016 presidential campaign, and in the time since, a total of 23 women have accused Donald Trump of various forms of sexual misconduct, ranging from groping and unwanted kissing to outright rape, according to an inventory of the accusations assembled by Business Insider. Trump has denied the allegations, labeling all of the women who have accused him “liars” and their accounts of his sexual misconduct “total fabrications,” even promising during his campaign to sue all of the women who have accused him — to date, he has sued none of them.

On Friday, Trump faced a new, and graphic accusation of rape published by the New York Magazine site The Cut and written by author and advice columnist E. Jean Carroll. In the article, an excerpt from her upcoming memoir, What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal, the now-75-year-old Carroll describes an incident which she says took place in late 1995 or early 1996, when Trump would have been 49 years old, in a dressing room located inside the luxury midtown Manhattan department store Bergdorf Goodman.

According to the account, summarized in New York Magazine, the incident started as a friendly encounter, in which Trump recognized Carroll as “that advice lady,” and Carroll acknowledged Trump as “that real-estate tycoon.” Then, the unplanned meeting reportedly turned violent.

Trump, according to Carroll’s account, flirtatiously suggested that she buy an item of lingerie — and that she try it on for him. As she entered a department store dressing room to change into the garment, Trump then physically forced her up against a wall, “forcing his fingers around my private area, thrusts his penis halfway — or completely, I’m not certain — inside me,” Carroll writes.

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In the excerpt from her book published by The Cut, Carroll says that she told two friends, both journalists, about the attack shortly after it occurred. According to her article, one of the friends implored Carroll to report the incident to the police, saying, “He raped you!…I’ll go with you. We’ll go together.”

But the second friend advised Carroll to forget it, saying, “He has 200 lawyers. He’ll bury you.”

New York Magazine reporters, the magazine added, contacted the two Carroll friends, who are not named in the article. Both confirmed Carroll’s account of her revelation to them, remembering the incident clearly despite the distance of at least 23 years, according to New York.

Carroll also explained that she did not come forward with her account of the sexual assault by Trump before now because she anticipated receiving death threats and other harassment, and that the prospect “never sounded like much fun.” She also described herself as a “coward,” by way of explanation for why she has not revealed her allegation against Trump until now.