Skip to Content

Columnist E. Jean Carroll Accuses Trump of Sexual Assault in 1990s

Elle Magazine Party - September 20, 2006Elle Magazine Party - September 20, 2006
E Jean Carroll during Elle Magazine Party - September 20, 2006 at 137 West 26th. St in New York City, New York, United States. Johnny Nunez—WireImage via Getty Images
A woman has come forward alleging that Donald Trump sexually assaulted her in a department store dressing room in the 1990s.

E. Jean Carroll, an author and columnist, described the alleged assault in an excerpt published Friday by New York magazine from her upcoming book about her experiences with men. The magazine said that Carroll confided in two friends at the time, and that both verified her account now.

Trump issued a statement Friday denying the allegation and saying Carroll made up the story. “I’ve never met this person in my life,” Trump said, despite a picture published by the magazine showing them together at a party. “She is trying to sell a new book — that should indicate her motivation. It should be sold in the fiction section.”

Carroll, 75, is one of at least a dozen women who have come forward with accusations of sexual misconduct by Trump, who formally launched his re-election bid this week.

In the excerpt, Carroll wrote that she ran into Trump at the door of a Bergdorf Goodman department store in late 1995 or early 1996. At the time, she was hosting a TV show called Ask E. Jean TV on America’s Talking, a cable network. She said Trump recognized her from television and asked her advice on buying a present.

She said they headed to the lingerie section, and that Trump grabbed a bodysuit and said she should try it on. They went into a dressing room together, and once the door closed, she alleges that Trump pushed her against the wall.

“He lunges at me, pushes me against the wall, hitting my head quite badly, and puts his mouth against my lips,” Carroll wrote. “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 described Trump then “forcing his fingers around my private area” and penetrating her with his penis. She said she tried to push him off before eventually doing so, opening the door and leaving the room. The episode lasted no more than three minutes, she said. She said she has never had sex with anyone since.

She said she didn’t report it to police, that the department store has no security footage from that time and that she didn’t come forward earlier because of the death threats and harassment faced by other women who’ve alleged Trump attacked them.

“Receiving death threats, being driven from my home, being dismissed, being dragged through the mud, and joining the 15 women who’ve come forward with credible stories about how the man grabbed, badgered, belittled, mauled, molested, and assaulted them, only to see the man turn it around, deny, threaten, and attack them, never sounded like much fun. Also, I am a coward,” she wrote.

Representatives of Carroll didn’t respond to requests for comment on Friday.

Carroll’s excerpt also includes an allegation that longtime CBS Corp. Chief Executive Officer Les Moonves made an advance on her in an elevator in the 1990s after she interviewed him for a story. Moonves told the magazine he emphatically denies the account. He resigned in September 2018 after several sexual misconduct allegations.

CBS declined to comment. Moonves couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

More must-read stories from Fortune:

—Trump’s MAGA rallies cost big bucks—and cities foot the bills

Black women voters will be central to the 2020 election, experts predict

—Can Trump fire Fed Chair Jerome Powell? What history tells us

—Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s message for democrats after “boy bye” tweet

—What you need to know about the upcoming 2020 primary debates

Get up to speed on your morning commute with Fortune’s CEO Daily newsletter.