Advice columnist E. Jean Carroll said Friday that she would not pursue rape charges against President Donald Trump because it would be disrespectful of migrant women.
In a New York magazine cover story published earlier in the day, Carroll, 75, accused Trump of raping her in a New York department store dressing room 23 years ago. The article, headlined “Hideous Men,” was excerpted from Carroll’s upcoming book “What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal,” which she said was inspired by #MeToo.
Trump emphatically denied the allegations in a statement Friday.
Tomorrow on @amjoyshow I'll talk with @ejeancarroll about the allegations she has leveled against Donald Trump. We will also discuss the horrendous conditions under which migrant men, women and children are being detained, and the coming ICE raids. A lot going on. pic.twitter.com/7gEMwxkhRS
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) June 23, 2019
Carroll, who writes “Ask E. Jean” for Elle magazine, was asked about taking legal action against Trump in an appearance on MSNBC’s “The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell.” She quickly answered, “No,” saying that migrant women being raped on the U.S.-Mexico border have it much worse.
“I 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,” Carroll said. “The women have very little protection there. It would just be disrespectful.”
The New York Times recently reported that migrant women and girls along the U.S. Mexico border are sexually assaulted in incidents that are not reported or prosecuted.
“Mine was three minutes. I’m a mature woman. I can handle it. I can keep going. You know my life has gone on. I’m a happy woman,” Carroll continued. “But for the women down there and, actually, around the world, you know, in every culture this is going on no matter high in society or low in society, it just seems disrespectful that I would bring … It just doesn’t make sense to me.”
.@Lawrence: “Would you consider bringing a rape charge against Donald Trump?”
E. Jean Carroll, who has accused the president of sexual assault: “No.” pic.twitter.com/LVqdigtVDt
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) June 22, 2019
According to Carroll, Trump assaulted her in late 1995 or early 1996 in a lingerie dressing room of Berdorf Goodman, a high-end store across from Trump Tower in Manhattan. She told O’Donnell that she managed to escape after a “colossal struggle.”
“It hurt, and it was against my will,” Carroll said.
New York magazine corroborated Carroll’s claim with two unnamed sources, who said Carroll told them about them about the incident soon after it happened. One advised her to file a police report and the other told her to stay silent.
Carroll said she decided not to speak out for fear of skepticism and backlash.
New York has no statute of limitations on first-degree rape claims. Prosecutors ultimately decide whether to press charges.
E. Jean Carrol and Donald Trump clash over rape
In his statement and again to reporters on Saturday, Trump slammed Carroll and New York magazine for allegedly trying to profit off “fake news.” He compared himself to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who faced a decades-old sexual assault accusation during his confirmation hearings last year.
“When you look at what happened to Justice Kavanaugh, and you look at what’s happening to others, you can’t do that for the sake of publicity,” he told reporters.
In her New York magazine article, Carroll also accused former CBS CEO Les Moonves of sexual assault. Moonves, who was fired from CBS last year over numerous allegations of sexual harassment and assault, “emphatically denies” the incident occurred.
When reporters asked Trump about his claim to have never met Carroll, despite a photograph showing them together with their then-spouses that was published alongside her article, the president was dismissive.
“Standing with my coat on in a line,” he said. “Give me a break. With my back to the camera.”