US & Canada

Two women say E Jean Carroll told them about Trump alleged sexual assault

E. Jean Carroll and Donald Trump Image copyright Reuters and Getty
Image caption Ms Carroll has accused Mr Trump of sexually assaulting her in the 1990s

Two women have publicly said columnist E. Jean Carroll confided in them after Donald Trump allegedly raped her in the 1990s.

Carol Martin and Lisa Birnbach at the time disagreed on whether Ms Carroll should call the police, the New York Times newspaper reports.

President Trump denies the allegation, saying Ms Carroll is "totally lying" and "she's not my type".

Ms Carroll, 75, is the 16th woman to accuse Mr Trump of sexual misconduct.

Mr Trump, 73, has rejected all allegations against him.

What did Ms Martin and Ms Birnbach say?

Ms Martin, a TV news anchor in 1975-95, and Ms Birnbach, a writer, spoke publicly for the first time about the alleged sexual assault on the New York Times podcast The Daily.

Ms Carroll, the Elle columnist, said in the same podcast she had called Ms Birnbach straight after the alleged assault, telling her that Mr Trump had forced himself on her.

Ms Birnbach responded by saying she thought it was rape, urging Ms Carroll to call the police.

"Let's go to the police. I'll take you to the police" Ms Birnbach said, but added that her friend refused.

Ms Carroll described what had happened between her and Mr Trump as a "fight", not "a crime".

She also told the podcast she felt that she had encouraged Mr Trump's behaviour. Asked whether she felt responsibility for what happened, she said: "One hundred percent."

Ms Carroll said two or three days later she also told Ms Martin about the alleged assault.

Ms Martin advised against calling the police, saying Mr Trump was a powerful men with numerous lawyers.

"I said: Don't tell anybody. I wouldn't tell anybody this," Ms Martin is quoted as saying in the podcast.

Where did the alleged assault happen?

E. Jean Carroll said it happened at a Bergdorf Goodman store in New York's Manhattan in late 1995 or early 1996, when the pair bumped into each other while shopping.

The former Apprentice star and real estate magnate allegedly asked her for advice when buying lingerie for another woman and jokingly asked her to model it for him.

In the changing rooms, she said Mr Trump lunged at her, pinned her against a wall and forced himself on her.

Ms Carroll, whose "Ask E. Jean" advice column has appeared in Elle magazine since 1993, claims she managed to push him off after a "colossal struggle".

Ms Carroll made the allegations for the first time in the New York magazine last Friday. She said she would consider pressing charges against the president.

How did Mr Trump respond?

Speaking to The Hill on Monday, Mr Trump staunchly dismissed the allegations due to appear in Ms Carroll's forthcoming book, What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal.

He denied even knowing Ms Carroll despite being pictured with her in New York magazine alongside details of her allegations.

"She is - it's just a terrible thing that people can make statements like that," he said.

It was his third denial since Ms Carroll went public, with Mr Trump previously accusing her of "trying to sell a new book" and "peddling fake news".

In 2016, Mr Trump made similar remarks about another accuser, Jessica Leeds, who alleges he groped her on an aeroplane in the 1980s.

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Media captionJessica Leeds is calling on Congress to open an inquiry into President Trump

Addressing crowds at a rally, Mr Trump said "she would not be my first choice".

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