Writer E. Jean Carroll makes sexual assault claims against Trump and Moonves

By Kathryn Watson

/ CBS News

In a new book excerpt published in New York magazine, writer E. Jean Carroll has made sexual assault claims against President Trump and Leslie Moonves, the former chairman and CEO of CBS Corporation.

Carroll claimed that in late 1995 or early 1996, Mr. Trump sexually assaulted her in the dressing room of Bergdorf Goodman, an incident she said she described to two friends shortly after.

CBS News has not independently corroborated her accounts. Carroll, a longtime advice columnist for Elle magazine, wrote she did not go to the police at the time out of fear and fear of harassment.

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In the article, an excerpt from her new book, Carroll claimed she ran into Trump at the department store and he asked for advice on a gift for "a girl." Carroll claimed they eventually ended up in the lingerie department where Trump coerced her into a dressing room.

"The moment the dressing-room door is closed, he lunges at me, pushes me against the wall," she wrote.

"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," she wrote.

She then described an apparent rape.

Carroll said she was able to push Mr. Trump off of her and run away. She said the alleged incident lasted no more than three minutes.

Mr. Trump denied the alleged incident in a lengthy statement, and claimed he has never met Carroll — despite that Carroll published a photo from 1987 that appears to show her, Mr. Trump and Mr. Trump's then-wife Ivana Trump. More than a dozen women have accused the president of some form of sexual misconduct.

Below is the president's full statement:

"Regarding the 'story' by E. Jean Carroll, claiming she once encountered me at Bergdorf Goodman 23 years ago. I've never met this person in my life. She is trying to sell a new book—that should indicate her motivation. It should be sold in the fiction section.

"Shame on those who make up false stories of assault to try to get publicity for themselves, or sell a book, or carry out a political agenda—like Julie Swetnick who falsely accused Justice Brett Kavanaugh," Mr. Trump continued in his statement. "It's just as bad for people to believe it, particularly when there is zero evidence. Worse still for a dying publication to try to prop itself up by peddling fake news—it's an epidemic.

"Ms. Carroll & New York Magazine: No pictures? No surveillance? No video? No reports? No sales attendants around?? I would like to thank Bergdorf Goodman for confirming they have no video footage of any such incident, because it never happened.

"False accusations diminish the severity of real assault. All should condemn false accusations and any actual assault in the strongest possible terms.

"If anyone has information that the Democratic Party is working with Ms. Carroll or New York Magazine, please notify us as soon as possible. The world should know what's really going on. It is a disgrace and people should pay dearly for such false accusations."

Carroll also claimed she was assaulted by Moonves, who was ousted from CBS September 2018 after multiple claims of sexual assault and sexual harassment that spanned decades. In the excerpt, Carroll described an incident in the elevator of a Beverly Hills hotel in the mid-1990s following an interview for a magazine article. She described extensive groping, including "goosing and scooping and pricking and prodding and jabbing." In a statement to New York magazine, Moonves said he "emphatically denies" the incident occurred.

First published on June 21, 2019 / 7:11 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Kathryn Watson

Kathryn Watson is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.

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