E. Jean Carroll Speaks on Trump Allegedly Sexually Assaulting Her: ‘It Became a Fight… It Hurt. And It Was Against My Will’
Writer and advice columnist E. Jean Carroll described in detail an alleged sexual assault by Donald Trump in the dressing room of Bergdorf Goodman, saying of his violent attack: “It became a fight, and it was, it hurt. And it was against my will.”
Carroll, a former comedy writer who also wrote the “Ask E. Jean” advice column for Elle magazine for more than two decades divulged the alleged assault in an excerpt published in New York Magazine, from her new book What Do We Need Men For? When the news broke of her story, it ignited a media firestorm and added another name to a list of nearly 20 women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct and worse.
Speaking with Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC’s Last Word, Carroll said she was inspired to tell her story by the #MeToo movement, after hearing other women finally reveal their own, long-hidden tales of sexual abuse at the hands of powerful men. In a long segment, Carroll walked viewers through the entire alleged assault, which, as she tells it, lasted mere minutes but forever changed her.
President Donald Trump has denied the allegation in a written statement and said he has never met Carroll. That is untrue, as the New York Magazine article includes a photo of him and his first wife, Ivana, meeting and Carroll and her then-husband John Johnson at a party in 1987.
Carroll describes a chance encounter with Trump years later at the department store Bergdorf Goodman in the mid-1990s. After some banter, she said she led Trump toward the dressing room to get him to put on an item of women’s lingerie as a joke. But once inside, Carroll claims he immediately began to forcibly kiss her once they got behind closed doors.
“He pushed himself up against me with one shoulder,” she recalled. “You know, he’s a large man, not as large as he is now, but he’s 6’3”. At the time I was wearing four-inch heels and 6’1” and a competitive athlete. So he’s going to have to struggle to do anything.” She continued on:
“He’s trying to kiss me again which is just — which, stopped me laughing a minute, but then I could push him back. The next thing he did was put his shoulder against me and then his hand went — I was wearing just a black Donna Karan coat dress and tights and it was the work of a second [for him] to reach in under my Donna Karan, threw it open in the front through the Donna Karan dress and pulled down my tights. That’s when I — that’s when my brain went on — when the adrenaline started and it became — it became a fight. It was, it hurt. And it was against my will, and it — I don’t know where I got the strength, because he was big, but I think — I was stomping my foot. I had my handbag in this arm. I never put it down. I’m holding it. I have no idea — the only reason I know I’m holding it is when I got out on the street I still had it in my hand. So somehow I got my knee up and pushed him back and the minute he backed up, I was out the door and right down the — the steps and I don’t know if I went to the elevator or the escalator. I have a feeling I just took the slow escalator down and made it out to Fifth Avenue.
When O’Donnell pointed out that New York state has no statute of limitations on first-degree rape, Carroll rejected the idea of bringing charges against Trump.
“I can handle it. I can keep going. My life has gone on, I’m a happy woman,” Carroll said by way of her reasoning. Notably, many women who have come forward with #MeToo sexual assault allegations have likewise chosen not to seek prosecution of their perpetrators, even when a legal case remains. “No matter high or low in it just feels disrespectful that I would bring — it just doesn’t make sense to me.”
Watch the video above, via MSNBC.
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