Writer E. Jean Carroll has written a book that’s a true bombshell, a harrowing account of misogyny and rape by men she’s come across in her journey into the written word.
But the most harrowing account may be the one that involves president Donald Trump, a real estate magnate at the time, Mediaite reports. She bumped into him at the Manhattan department store Bergdorf & Goodman in New York and the two struck up a conversation.
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In next week's cover story, E. Jean Carroll shares for the first time her violent encounter with Donald Trump. The coatdress she was wearing that day has hung in her closet ever since; she wore it again for the first time for her portrait with New York https://t.co/yPaLsRoVcH pic.twitter.com/Tx2HAzt1mi
— New York Magazine (@NYMag) June 21, 2019
Trump told her he was looking for a gift for “a girl” and wanted her advice. It was 1995 or 1996 and he was still married to Marla Maples at the time, New York reports. The two wend their way through the lingerie section; he finds a lace bodysuit and pressures her into a dressing room.
And then, she alleges, he raped her.
“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.”
Shoving him backward, Carroll was so shocked that she laughed. Trump, however, is not deterred.
“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 coatdress and pulls down my tights.”
At this point, it’s evident that Carroll is in shock, but her memory of the incident is still crystal-clear.
“I am astonished by what I’m about to write: I keep laughing. The next moment, still wearing correct business attire, shirt, tie, suit, jacket, overcoat, he opens the overcoat, unzips his pants, and, forcing his fingers around my private area, thrusts his penis halfway — or completely, I’m not certain — inside me.”
Carroll fights back and the situation becomes increasingly harrowing.
“I am wearing a pair of sturdy, black patent leather four-inch Barneys heels, which puts my height around six-one, and I try to stomp his foot. I try to push him off with my one free hand — for some reason, I keep holding my purse with the other — and I finally get a knee up high enough to push him out and off, and I turn, open the door, and run out of the dressing room.”
Carroll’s experience is the fear that every woman lives with. It’s the worry that if we are even momentarily unwise, a man will cause lasting damage. It’s the wrong moment in time that could last a lifetime. And it’s also the worry that we will be blamed for something that is entirely someone else’s fault.
Maybe that’s why Carroll didn’t go to the police. Instead, she recounted the story to two close friends. Both confirmed her story to New York magazine.
And of course, the White House has, in a statement, denied this happened.
“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 story is excerpted from her book What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal, scheduled to be published July 2 by St. Martin’s Press. In the book, Carroll recounts six situations that involved attacks on her by men, including one that involved Les Moonves, the former CEO of CBS. Moonves, who was ousted last year over misconduct allegations, allegedly forced himself on her after an interview concluded.
Carroll now finds herself in the company of more than a dozen women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct. I’m hoping that one day one of these women will find the courage to go to the police to charge him with the crimes he’s allegedly committed. But I understand their hesitance.
Because they will be questioned. The Trump administration will continue to deflect this by blaming the women. People on social media will blame women. So-called journalists who should know better (Fox News, are you listening?) will blame the women. With a possible rapist-in-chief in power, these women already know what the situation is.
And it’s not a good one.
Featured image courtesy of the video above