Since a jury in New York is now tasked with determining whether E. Jean Carroll really was raped by Donald Trump nearly three decades ago, it’s a good time to reflect on just how ridiculous her claim was when she originally made it in 2019.
But more critical than the 79-year-old magazine writer’s allegation that Trump assaulted her in a fitting room after the two noisily galavanted throughout a popular department store — a claim she made to promote a new book — is the absolute nonsense she said immediately after.
It’s pretty stunning to accuse a sitting president of rape but then not want to call it rape, which is exactly what Carroll did at the time. In an interview with The New York Times, “It was an episode. It was an action. It was a fight. It was not a crime. It was, I had a struggle with a guy.” She added in the same interview, “I am not — I have not been raped. Something has not been done to me. I fought. That’s the thing.”
If it were just some kind of coping mechanism, a self-empowerment move to omit the word from her vocabulary, it might make sense. But when asked in a separate interview on MSNBC whether she would consider attempting to press criminal charges against Trump, her answer was even more bizarre. She flatly said no, and when asked why, she said, “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 … It would just be really disrespectful.”
If you’re not following, that’s okay. Carroll was simply saying that she wouldn’t seek charges against the man who allegedly raped her because she had too much compassion for illegal immigrants. Understand?
Further minimizing the traumatic event she supposedly went through, Carroll said, “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.”
It wasn’t until three years later, in 2022, that Never-Trump Resistance slob George Conway recommended a lawyer for Carroll that could bring a defamation suit against Trump for denying the rape allegation and accusing Carroll of being a liar.
And now for the borderline comical details of the non-rape that she says took place at the New York Bergdorf Goodman sometime in the mid-90s. By Carroll’s telling, she happened upon Trump at the store, and the two proceeded to flirt and giggle throughout the entire business before eventually heading toward the fitting rooms with a piece of lingerie. She alleged in an essay for New York magazine that inside the fitting room, Trump pressed her against the wall and forced his mouth onto hers, though she continued to laugh. At some point, she said he was able to force himself upon her before she could break away and exit the store.
No fellow shopper saw it. No fitting room attendant. No sales clerk. It was by every indication a ghost town in that Manhattan department store. Even Carroll acknowledged the peculiarity of such unexpected desolation, writing, “99 percent of the time, you will have an attendant in Bergdorf’s. All I can say is I did not, in this fleeting episode, see an attendant.” As for how the pair ended up in a fitting room without assistance: “And the other odd thing is that a dressing-room door was open. In Bergdorf’s dressing rooms, doors are usually locked until a client wants to try something on.”
I suppose stranger things have happened than finding yourself with a celebrity businessman who gets the rare opportunity to commit a sex crime in public completely unnoticed within an unusually empty high-end department store.
It’s weird out there!
Anyway, I’m not inclined to believe a jury in New York won’t take the opportunity to nip at Trump’s ankles, even if it means pretending to believe Carroll’s fantastical rape story. I just think it’s interesting the corporate media covering the lawsuit seemed to forget how stupid it was.