E. Jean Carroll spent years as a prominent writer, media figure, and advice columnist, including having hosted a show on America's Talking, which later became MSNBC. She's written a new book on her experiences, which includes allegations of misconduct toward several men.
In a book excerpt published in New York magazine, one of the allegations is directed at Donald Trump.
When Carroll meets Donald Trump in Bergdorf Goodman, the encounter starts as a friendly one. Trump recognizes her as "that advice lady"; Carroll recognizes him as "that real-estate tycoon." Trump tells Carroll that he's there to buy a gift for "a girl," and though we don't learn the identity of this mystery woman, Carroll places the ensuing incident in late 1995 or early 1996, during which time Trump was married to Marla Maples.When Trump asks Carroll to advise him on what to buy, she agrees, and the two eventually make their way to the lingerie section. Trump suggests a lace bodysuit and encourages Carroll to try it on; she, deflecting, jokingly suggests that he try it on instead. After they reach the dressing rooms, events turn violent. In Carroll's account, Trump shoves her against a wall inside a dressing room, pulls down her tights, and, "forcing his fingers around my private area, thrusts his penis halfway -- or completely, I'm not certain -- inside me."
She said she told two friends about the alleged incident at the time, both of whom are journalists the writer did not identify by name.
Carroll's allegations, which have not been independently verified, come nearly three years after many other women raised related claims of misconduct against the New York Republican.
A White House official described Carroll's claims as "completely false and unrealistic." Trump also repeatedly denied any wrongdoing after facing earlier accusations, and in 2016, he condemned his accusers as "liars." Two weeks before Election Day 2016, Trump also vowed to file lawsuits against the women once the race was over.
While he never followed through on that promise, one of his accusers, Summer Zervos, is currently suing Trump for defamation, and while the president's lawyers have tried to derail her litigation, those efforts have thus far failed and the case continues.
The larger controversy surrounding Trump's alleged misconduct took a serious turn three years ago when the public was confronted with a recording from 2005 in which he was heard bragging about committing sexual assaults. The Republican said, among other things, that he kisses women he considers attractive -- "I don't even wait," Trump claimed at the time -- which he said he could get away with because of his public profile.
"When you're a star, they let you do it," Trump said on the recording. "You can do anything. Grab 'em by the p—y."
New York magazine's report, published today, added, "New York has verified that Carroll did disclose the attack to these friends at the time, and has confirmed that Bergdorf Goodman kept no security footage that would prove or disprove Carroll's story."
Update: Trump himself issued a statement this afternoon claiming that he's never met E. Jean Carroll. Her newly published article, however, includes a photograph showing the two interacting at an event in the mid-1980s.