Trump denies rape allegation by attacking E. Jean Carroll's appearance

Trump has a pattern of disparaging the physical appearances of the women who have accused him of sexual misconduct

Published June 25, 2019 11:15AM (EDT)

 (Getty/Mandel Ngan)
(Getty/Mandel Ngan)

President Donald Trump said Monday that a New York-based advice columnist and author who accused him of raping her in a New York City department store in the mid-1990s was not his "type."

"I'll say it with great respect," Trump told The Hill in an interview at the White House. "Number one: She’s not my type. Number two: It never happened."

Writer E. Jean Carroll claims that a seemingly friendly encounter with Trump at Bergdorf Goodman in 1995 or 1996 turned violent when the real estate mogul pinned her up against a dressing room wall, pulled down her tights, unzipped his pants and put his penis inside her before she was able to fight him off and run from the store.

Trump told The Hill that Carroll was "totally lying" about the accusation, which he also denied in earlier statements.

"I know nothing about this woman. I know nothing about her," the president previously said. "She is — it’s just a terrible thing that people can make statements like that."

The prominent author, who for years worked as an advice columnist for Elle magazine, first came forward with the allegations in an article published Friday in New York magazine, in which she detailed various instances of sexual assault or attempted assault throughout her life. Her account was included in an excerpt of her upcoming book, "What Do We need Men For?: A Modest Proposal."

"I've never met this person in my life," Trump said last week, referring to Carroll, even though the excerpt in New York magazine was accompanied with a photograph that showed the two together at a party in 1987. "She is trying to sell a new book — that should indicate her motivation. It should be sold in the 'fiction' section."

Carroll told CNN’s Anderson Cooper later Monday that she was "glad" Trump did not consider her to be his type.

"I love that," she said. "I'm so glad I am not his type."

Carroll said there were no attendants in the dressing room area at the time of the alleged rape and that she did not file a formal complaint against Trump with the New York Police Department.

"I wanted to forget it," she said. "I thought: A, my fault. B, I was stupid. C, I didn't think of it . . . as rape. I thought of it as a violent incident. I thought of it as a fight."

Carroll is the 16th woman to publicly accuse Trump of sexual misconduct. Trump has denied the allegations, claiming the women are liars.

The president's remark that Carroll is not his "type" echoes similar comments he made of other women who have accused him of sexual misconduct.

In 2016, Trump said he would not have assaulted accuser Jessica Leeds, because she was not attractive enough to have drawn his interest.

"Believe me — she would not be my first choice," he said at a rally in Greensboro, North Carolina. "That I can tell you. You don't know. That would not be my first choice.

Trump has also dismissed former People magazine reporter Natasha Stoynoff's allegation that he forcibly kissed her in 2005 at his Mar-a-Lago golf club in Florida.

"She's a liar. She's a liar," he said. "She's writing a story — check out her Facebook page — you'll understand."

Carroll on Monday referred to Trump's pattern of disparaging the physical appearances and integrity of the women who have accused him of sexual misconduct.

"With all of the 15 or 16 women who have come forward, it is the same. He denies it, he turns it around, he attacks and he threatens. Then everybody forgets it, and then the next woman comes along," she said. "And I am sick of it."

"Think of how many women have come forward — nothing happens," Carroll added. "The only thing we can do is sit with you and tell our stories so that we empower other women to come forward and tell their stories, because we have to change this culture of sexual violence."

By Shira Tarlo

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