The Current

Amid sexual assault allegation, E. Jean Carroll says Trump is just 'one of 21 hideous men' in her life

Last month, advice columnist E. Jean Carroll accused U.S. President Donald Trump of sexually assaulting her in the mid-1990s. While he denies the allegation, she tells us why she waited so long to make it.

Writer accuses president of assaulting her in 1990s, but says she's not a victim

E. Jean Carroll's new book contains allegation that she was assaulted by U.S. President Donald Trump back in the mid-1990s. (Craig Ruttle/Associated Press)
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WARNING: This story contains graphic detail of an alleged sexual assault

Advice columnist E. Jean Carroll says she waited more than two decades to accuse Donald Trump of sexual assault because she didn't want to boost his chances of winning the 2016 U.S. presidential race. 

During the campaign, the Republican nominee denied the accusations of sexual misconduct by more than a dozen women dating back years. 

"I could see it was helping him. As the women came forward, he became more and more popular," said Carroll, a well-known author who has dispensed advice to readers of Elle magazine since 1993.

In her first interview on Canadian radio, Carroll told The Current's guest host Megan Williams that she's seen allegations made against powerful men before — including former U.S. president Bill Clinton — only to be dismissed.

"We watch women put their reputations on the line, we watch women put their livelihoods on the line to come forward, and say what happened with their leaders," she said.

"And the men are elected not despite, but many times because these women came forward."

Carroll has written a book, What Do We Need Men For?, about 21 'hideous men' in her life. (Macmillan)

The allegations against Trump are made in Carroll's new book, What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal, released this month and chronicles attacks on her by "hideous men" during her life.

Carroll, now 75, claims the future U.S. president sexually assaulted her at New York City's Bergdorf Goodman department store, in what she thinks was the fall of 1995 or spring of 1996. After he asked her to help him choose a gift from the lingerie department, she alleges he forced himself on her in a dressing room.

She told Williams that Trump threw her against the wall and "knocked [her] head really hard," before he "unzipped his pants and inserted his penis."

In June, Trump denied the allegation, insisting they had never met.

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

Trump denied the allegation, and said Carroll is not his 'type.' (Evan Vucci/Associated Press)

Carroll said she was prompted to come forward after the revelations of the #MeToo movement, and the realization that she had been answering letters about abuse in her column for years.

"They're asking me, and I'm just full of malarkey because I've never admitted any of these things have happened to me," she said.

"I felt they were owed the truth about the person they're writing to."

'Get rid of men'

She spent almost 30 years offering advice on everything from orgasms to religion, but explains she has seen a common thread throughout.

"Ninety per cent of the time there is a line in the letter where the cause of the problem is revealed — and that cause is men," she said.

"I want to get rid of men," she told Williams, before adding: "I love men, OK, I love them. I just don't want them to run everything." 

I was not particularly interested in having everybody know it … I just thought he was a hideous man, one of 21 hideous men.- E. Jean Carroll

For her book, she travelled around North America asking women why they need the men in their lives. The road trip motivated her to create a list of 21 "hideous men" in her own life.

By including Trump and the allegation that he sexually assaulted her, Carroll said she has faced accusations that she is just trying to sell copies of her book.

She refuted that claim, noting the allegations against Trump are not mentioned on the book's cover and that she and her publisher had "almost kept it quiet."

"I was not particularly interested in having everybody know it … I just thought he was a hideous man, one of 21 hideous men."

Two people have gone public to corroborate E. Jean Carroll's claim that she was raped by Donald Trump in mid-90s. Trump has denied sexually assaulting anyone, including Carroll. 2:18

Carroll said she doesn't consider what happened to be rape, because the term "is an action that turns a woman into a victim, and I am having none of that."

"I am A: past this event, B: it was just a few minutes out of my life, C: I was not the victim, I fought." 

In her book, she writes that she never had sex again after that day, but told Williams she thinks she just hasn't met the right person.

"I'm sure there are a million therapists who will say it's connected with that ... 15 minutes. I put it down to luck," said Carroll.

"I know people think that I've been ... somehow harmed, but I don't see it." 

Click 'listen' near the top of this page to hear the full conversation.


Written by Padraig Moran. Produced by Howard Goldenthal.

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