Monday 14 October 2019

'Donald Trump raped me in luxury New York store,' writer claims

Allegations: Journalist E. Jean Carroll says she was ‘a coward’ not to come forward about the assault earlier
Allegations: Journalist E. Jean Carroll says she was ‘a coward’ not to come forward about the assault earlier

Associated Press reporter

A New York writer has said Donald Trump sexually assaulted her in a changing room at a Manhattan department store in the mid-1990s.

Agony aunt E Jean Carroll wrote in the New York magazine that after what started as a friendly encounter with Mr Trump at Bergdorf Goodman in 1995 or 1996, the real estate mogul pushed her up against a wall, unzipped his trousers and forced himself on her.

Ms Carroll said that in a "colossal struggle" she pushed him off and ran from the store.

In a statement, Mr Trump called the accusation "fake news" and said there was no evidence.

He added: "I've never met this person in my life."

The allegation against Mr Trump by Ms Carroll is included in her upcoming book about the "hideous men" that the Elle magazine columnist says she has encountered throughout her life.

Allegations: Donald Trump has been accused by journalist E Jean Carrol of raping her in a New York store changing room. Photo: Reuters/Getty
Allegations: Donald Trump has been accused by journalist E Jean Carrol of raping her in a New York store changing room. Photo: Reuters/Getty

Mr Trump responded: "No pictures? No surveillance? No video? No reports? No sales attendants around?? I would like to thank Bergdorf Goodman for confirming they have no video footage of any such incident, because it never happened."

During the 2016 presidential campaign, more than a dozen women accused Mr Trump of sexual misconduct in earlier years.

He has denied the allegations and said the women are lying. While those cases generally involved groping and kissing without consent, Ms Carroll alleged rape.

Ms Carroll, now 75, wrote in her book excerpt on the magazine's website that Mr Trump recognised her as "that advice lady" as he arrived at Bergdorf Goodman on Fifth Avenue just as she was leaving. She said he invited her to help him buy a present for an unidentified "girl" and she agreed.

She said that after Mr Trump suggested a purchase of lingerie or underwear, he grabbed a bodysuit and urged her to try it on.

After some joking around about which one of them should try it on, Mr Trump led Ms Carroll to a changing room, where, she alleged, Mr Trump pushed her against a wall, pulled down her tights and assaulted her in an episode that lasted under three minutes.

She said there were no attendants in the dressing room area and she did not file a report with the New York Police Department. She said she did, however, tell two journalist friends, one of whom urged her to contact the police while the other advised her to keep quiet, citing Mr Trump's access to lawyers.

New York magazine said it confirmed the accounts of Ms Carroll's friends but it did not identify either individual by name.

Mr Trump was caught on tape in 2005 boasting of grabbing women by their genitals and kissing them without permission. When the tape became public weeks before the November 2016 general election, Mr Trump said he never acted in any of the ways described on the tape, and described it as just "locker-room talk".

In March, a New York state appeals court ruled that Summer Zervos, a former contestant on Mr Trump's reality TV show The Apprentice who accused him of unwanted kissing and groping, can move forward with her defamation lawsuit against him.

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