Days after going public with her claim that Donald Trump sexually assaulted her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in the mid-’90s, writer E. Jean Carroll is explaining why she’s now speaking out.
Carroll appeared on the CNN show New Day on Monday to discuss her encounter with Trump, which she describes in her new book, What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal, an excerpt of which appeared in New York magazine’s The Cut.
“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,” wrote Carroll of visiting the New York City department store with Trump in either 1995 or 1996. “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.”
She alleged that Trump thrusted himself “halfway — or completely, I’m not certain — inside me” until she was able to push him off.
Trump has denied her allegations, first insisting, “I've never met this person in my life. She is trying to sell a new book — that should indicate her motivation. It should be sold in the fiction section."
When asked about a photo that shows him and Carroll at a 1987 party with their then-spouses, he wrote it off.
"Standing with my coat on in a line, give me a break, with my back to the camera,” he told reporters. “I have no idea who she is.”
During her appearance on New Day, Carroll seemed unsurprised by the president’s denials.
“With all the 15 women or 16 who have come forward, it's the same,” she said. “He denies it. He turns it around. He attacks. And then he threatens… Then everybody forgets it and then the next woman comes along. And I am sick of it."
The longtime Elle advice columnist also shared that she initially thought Trump was joking around when they allegedly walked through Bergdorf Goodman’s lingerie department, where she says he demanded she put on a “see-through bodysuit.” She explained that she found it “so funny” because she was 52 at the time, and responded by telling him to put it on instead.
But she says things soon turned violent.
“The minute he closed that door, I was banged up against the wall,” she said, adding that she hit her head.
“I want women to know, I did not stand there, I did not freeze, I was not paralyzed, which is a reaction that I could have had because it was so shocking. No, I fought. And it was over very quickly. It was against my will, 100 percent. And I ran away, out.”
Carroll also said that she had “trouble” describing the alleged attack as a “rape” or portraying herself as a “victim.”
“Legally, it was rape,” New Day host Alisyn Camerota responded. “It’s unambiguous. What you describe in the book, it was rape.”
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