In the months following her allegations earlier this year that Donald J. Trump raped her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room circa 1996, advice columnist and Warwick resident E. Jean Carroll says that he made numerous false and defamatory statements about her.
And she’s through putting up with it.
Carroll filed a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court Nov. 4 against Trump, alleging his defamatory statements “inflicted emotional pain and suffering, damaged her reputation and caused substantial professional harm,” according to the complaint.
In an emailed statement, Carroll said that her legal action wasn’t just about her.
“I am filing this lawsuit for every woman who’s been pinched, prodded, cornered, felt-up, pushed against a wall, grabbed, groped, assaulted, and has spoken up only to be shamed, demeaned, disgraced, passed over for promotion, fired and forgotten,” she said. “Born a baby girl of the Silent Generation, I was taught to laugh off sexual violence and believe that being raped was my own fault.”
Carroll added that as a grown woman, she’s taking Trump to task for lying about the alleged incident.
“While I can no longer hold Donald Trump accountable for assaulting me more than 20 years ago, I can hold him accountable for lying about it and I fully intend to do so,” she said. “No one, not even the president, is above the law.”
Robbie Kaplan, of the law firm Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP, which is representing Carroll, said in a written statement that Trump remembers what happened then and knows what is going on now.
“When Carroll’s account of what had happened to her was published, Donald Trump not only denied the rape, but denied ever having met Carroll or knowing who she was,” Kaplan said. “But Trump knew his statements were false and defamatory — he knew who Carroll was that day at Bergdorf Goodman and he knows who she is now.”
Calling Carroll “brave,” and saying that the firm is “honored” to represent her, Kaplan said that the writer is doing exactly what she’s always encouraged others to do.
“In her advice column, Carroll encourages her readers to be brave, to think clearly and to seek justice,” Kaplan said. “So Carroll has decided to follow her own advice.”
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in an emailed statement that "the lawsuit is frivolous and the story is a fraud – just like the author."
Grisham also said that Carroll is simply trying to make money with her legal action.
"I guess since the book did not make any money she’s trying to get paid another way," she said. "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."