Donald Trump accused of sexually assaulting writer

E Jean Carroll alleges the US president attacked her in a Manhattan store in the 1990s

US president Donald Trump  is facing a fresh allegation of sexual assault. Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

US president Donald Trump is facing a fresh allegation of sexual assault. Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

 

US president Donald Trump is facing a fresh allegation that he sexually assaulted a woman in his days as a real estate developer in the mid-1990s, adding to the long list of claims against him of sexual misconduct.

In a cover story in New York magazine, the writer E Jean Carroll relates an incident in which she encountered Mr Trump in the Manhattan department store Bergdorf Goodman some time in late 1995 or early 1996. She was 52 years old, and he would have been 49 or 50, at a time when he was married to Marla Maples. The account is taken from Ms Carroll’s new book, What Do We Need Men For?, which is published next month.

Ms Carroll alleges that Mr Trump assaulted her in a dressingroom in the store after he had asked her for advice on a present to buy a female friend. He selected a “lacy see-through bodysuit of lilac gray” and asked her to model it for him; she quipped back that he should try it on.

Ms Carroll alleges that, when they reached the dressingroom, Mr Trump lunged at her and over the next three minutes sexually assaulted her. “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 writes.

In a “colossal struggle” he unzipped his trousers and forced his fingers around her genitals and thrust his penis “halfway – or completely, I’m not certain – inside me”.

She managed to force him off her, Ms Carroll alleges, before opening the door of the dressingroom and fleeing.

White House response

The White House has responded to the account in New York magazine with a flat denial of the allegations. In a statement to the magazine, a spokesman said: “This is a completely false and unrealistic story surfacing 25 years after allegedly taking place and was created simply to make the president look bad.”

New York magazine said that two of Ms Carroll’s friends – both prominent but unnamed journalists – confirmed that she had related the alleged incident to them at the time and that they had full recollection of the account.

Describing the reaction of one of her friends, Ms Carroll writes: “‘He raped you,’ she kept repeating when I called her. ‘He raped you. Go to the police! I’ll go with you. We’ll go together.’”

Ms Carroll said in her article that she had not gone to the police with a complaint right after the alleged incident and that there was no visual or other lasting evidence of the events to corroborate her claims.

In the piece, Ms Carroll asks herself the question that many people will now ask: why didn’t she come forward with these details earlier? She writes that she had watched other women making similar allegations against Mr Trump “receiving death threats, being dismissed, being dragged through the mud? Also, I am a coward.”

Ms Carroll has added her name to a long line of women who have come forward to publicly accuse Mr Trump of sexual improprieties and assault. In her own article, she listed 15 such women: Jessica Leeds, Kristin Anderson, Jill Harth, Cathy Heller, Temple Taggart McDowell, Karena Virginia, Melinda McGillivray, Rachel Crooks, Natasha Stoynoff, Jessica Drake, Ninni Laaksonen, Summer Zervos, Juliet Huddy, Alva Johnson and Cassandra Searles. – Guardian