- Columnist E. Jean Carroll said she wouldn’t bring a rape charge against President Donald Trump based on her allegation of an assault from the mid-1990s.
- In an interview with MSNBC after the account was revealed, Carroll recounted the allegations and said it took years of experience reading other women’s accounts of mistreatment for her advice column to come forward with the allegation.
- This is the most serious sexual misconduct allegation yet surfaced against the president, aside from his first wife Ivana’s allegation of violent rape, the description of which she later walked back.
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Columnist E. Jean Carroll said she wouldn’t bring a rape charge against President Donald Trump following her allegation that he assaulted her in the mid-1990s.
Carroll alleged Trump assaulted her in Bergdorf Goodman, a luxury department store in Manhattan, in an excerpt from her book published Friday in New York Magazine. Her account includes her memory of telling two close friends at the time, both of whom confirmed knowledge of the attack to the magazine.
In an interview with MSNBC, Carroll recounted the allegations that had been revealed hours earlier.
The story will be included in the print issue of the magazine, which will also feature the Carroll dressed in the outfit of a Donna Karan shirtdress and tights she said she was wearing at the time. The writer also said she still has the dress, which hangs untouched in her home.
Based on the details of the attack published in the magazine and repeated on-air by Carroll, a prosecutor had said earlier on the network that Carroll could stand to mount a rape charge against Trump.
Despite the possible case, Carroll told MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell she didn’t intend on bringing charges against Trump because she “would find it disrespectful to the women who are down on the border who are being raped around the clock down there without any protection.”
“Mine was three minutes, I’m a mature woman, I can handle it, I can keep going, my life has gone on, I’m a happy woman,” Carroll said. “For the women around the world…it seems disrespectful, it doesn’t make sense to me.”
The White House denied Carroll’s allegations in a statement to New York magazine.
“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,” the statement read.
Carroll wrote in the magazine that she didn’t come forward with her allegations until now because she feared revenge from Trump, who she said would “turn it around, deny, threaten, and attack.”
Carroll said on MSNBC that it took her years of experience consulting with people who would write in for advice from her column to come forward with her account.
“I felt that the situation at Bergdorf’s was my fault, I blamed myself for that,” Carroll said on MSNBC. “I said ‘I am the stupidest woman that’s ever walked,’ and I said that for years.”
The columnist’s allegation is the most serious sexual assault accusation against the president, in addition to his first wife Ivana Trump’s 1990 accusation that Trump raped her in a fit of rage in 1989.
Ivana did not bring a rape charge against her then-husband, instead later altering her description of the incident.
“I referred to this as a ‘rape,’ but I do not want my words to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense,” she said in a 1993 statement.