The advice columnist who claimed President Trump sexually assaulted her more than two decades ago has now filed a lawsuit that the White House slammed as “frivolous.”
But the lawsuit filed Monday by E. Jean Carroll is not over her allegations that Trump raped her in the dressing room of an upscale department store in New York City in the 1990s. Carroll’s lawsuit is actually accusing Trump of defamation over his denial that the incident she revealed in a New York magazine story in June ever happened.
“I am filing this on behalf of every woman who has ever been harassed, assaulted, silenced, or spoken up only to be shamed, fired, ridiculed and belittled,” Carroll said in a statement, according to The Washington Post. “No person in this country should be above the law – including the president.”
Trump unequivocally denied the writer’s claims following the publication of the story, saying he had never met her, that she was “totally lying,” and “she’s not my type.”
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) June 21, 2019
“Through express statements and deliberate implications, [Trump] accused Carroll of lying about the rape in order to increase book sales, carry out a political agenda, advance a conspiracy with the Democratic Party, and make money,” Carroll’s lawsuit stated. “He also deliberately implied that she had falsely accused other men of rape. For good measure, he insulted her physical appearance.”
Carroll, a longtime advice columnist for Elle magazine, claimed that she had run into the then-real estate mogul in Bergdorf Goodman and after asking her advice on buying a gift for a woman, the two ended up in the women’s dressing room over a discussion about lingerie.
She never went to the police with the allegations that Trump had pushed her against a wall and kissed her before allegedly pulling down her tights. She told MSNBC in June that she was not planning to pursue rape charges because it would be “disrespectful to the women who are down on the border who are being raped around the clock, down there without any protection.”
The president had slammed the accusations after the publication of the story, accusing Carroll of trying to drum up publicity for her new book.
“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,” he said in a statement at the time.
— Fin Gomez (@finnygo) June 21, 2019
Carroll claimed in the lawsuit that Trump’s words, not her own public disclosure of the alleged incident, have caused her “emotional pain and suffering” and harmed her career. The president’s comments “caused Carroll to lose the support and goodwill of many of her readers,” the lawsuit claimed, alleging that her advice column has seen a drop since last year by about half in the number of letters received.
The White House slammed the “frivolous” lawsuit in a statement on Monday, calling out Carroll as a “fraud.”
“Let me get this straight — Ms. Carroll is suing the President for defending himself against false allegations?” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said.
“I guess since the book did not make any money she’s trying to get paid another way. The story she used to try and sell her trash book never happened, period. Her version of events is not even feasible if you’ve ever tried on clothing in a dressing room of a crowded department store,” Grisham added. “The lawsuit is frivolous and the story is a fraud — just like the author.”
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