US writer claims Trump sexually-assaulted her in department store
A writer has come forward and claimed she was raped by President Donald Trump in the 1990s, agencies reported on Friday.
E. Jean Carroll, an advice columnist for Elle fashion magazine, wrote that Trump sexually assaulted her in the dressing room of a New York department store more than two decades ago.
She wrote in her book that assault took place in either 1995 or 1996, when Trump was a renowned property tycoon and she a well-known writer and television host.
The excerpt of Carroll's latest book was published by New York magazine on Friday. She is at least the 16th woman to have accused Trump of sexual misconduct before he became president.
Carroll, 75, said she ran into Trump at the Bergdorf Goodman department store in Manhattan while they were both shopping.
After an initially friendly encounter, Trump then asked her for advice on lingerie for an unnamed woman. They both jokingly suggested that the other should try it on.
"The moment the dressing-room door is closed, he lunges at me, pushes me against the wall, hitting my head quite badly, and puts his mouth against my lips," Carroll wrote.
Carroll said she was pinned against the wall by Trump who proceeded to pull down her tights, unzip his pants and penetrate her. She managed to escape and run from the dressing room.
Carroll never went to the police as she said she was afraid of "receiving death threats, being driven from my home, being dismissed, being dragged through the mud".
"Joining the 15 women who've come forward with credible stories about how the man grabbed, badgered, belittled, mauled, molested and assaulted them, only to see the man turn it around, deny, threaten, and attack them, never sounded like much fun," she wrote.
The magazine quoted a senior White House official saying that the accusation "was created simply to make the president look bad", while Trump asked if Carroll had links to his opponents in the Democratic party.
Trump immediately responded with a statement saying he'd never met Carroll and that the incident "never happened."
"I've never met this person in my life. She is trying to sell a new book - that should indicate her motivation," he said in a statement. "It should be sold in the fiction section."
He then laid into New York magazine, calling it a "dying publication" and had tried to "prop itself up by peddling fake news".