Writer says her love life stopped after Trump raped her
NEW YORK (AP) — The advice columnist E. Jean Carroll said during a deposition that the “music had stopped” in her love life after she was raped by Donald Trump in the 1990s at an upscale Manhattan department store.
Excerpts of the October deposition were filed late Monday in the court where Carroll is suing the former president over the alleged attack — which Trump says never happened.
During the videotaped deposition, Carroll said she didn’t develop any new romantic relationships after her encounter with Trump at Bergdorf Goodman. She said she hasn’t had sex since 1994 or 1995.
“Looking back on it, it may have been what happened at Bergdorf’s,” she said.
Trump has denied knowing Carroll, calling the former Elle columnist’s rape allegations, first made public in 2019, “a complete con job.”
Trump and Carroll have both been questioned by each other’s attorneys in the run-up to a civil trial that could happen next year. Trump’s deposition has not yet been made public.
Carroll is suing Trump for defamation, saying his denials and disparaging comments damaged her reputation. Her civil claims were recently updated to include rape upon the enactment of a New York State law that temporarily allows sexual assault victims to sue their abusers for crimes that occurred even decades ago.
Under questioning by Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, Carroll acknowledged she initially didn’t want to tell people she was raped.
“Women who have been raped are looked at in this society as less, are looked at as spoiled goods, are looked at as rather dumb to let themselves get attacked,” she said.
And she said rape victims will be asked why they didn’t scream and why they didn’t come forward sooner.
She said the MeToo movement helped her rethink her experience — though coming forward, she said, still came with a price. She said she lost her job and is now looked at with doubt.
“I’m looked at as a woman who’s untrustworthy, looked at now as a woman who can’t be believed. I’m looked at as a woman who was stupid and dumb enough to have happen to her what happened to her,” Carroll said.
Habba did not return a request for comment Tuesday.
In the deposition, Carroll said if she had been questioned about the encounter even four or five years ago, she would have said it had no impact on her life, “But I’ve come to understand that that rape changed my life which is shocking for me to now understand,” she said.
The Associated Press generally does not name alleged victims of sexual assault in stories unless they agree to tell their stories publicly, as Carroll has done.
The longtime columnist, writer and TV host said the attack happened after she ran into Trump at the department store and he asked for her help picking out a gift for a woman in the store’s lingerie section.
She said she viewed the encounter as something she hoped to describe to friends over dinner and recalled their lighthearted banter as each suggested the other try on a piece of lingerie.
Carroll said she thought she’d get Trump to pull the see-through lingerie over his pants “and I am laughing and thinking this is the greatest thing” when they entered a dressing room together.
But she said Trump pushed her against the wall and she bumped her head.
“I was so shocked that I didn’t speak. What I did was I laughed,” she said, recalling that he then pushed her back again and she struck her head a second time.
Carroll said Trump pulled down her tights and sexually assaulted her. She said it lasted a “very short time” and she never got the impression he wanted to hurt her.
“But he had no concern for me. I was just there,” she said.
She said she called a friend after the encounter and told her what happened and was shocked by the friend’s words.
“She told me I had been raped,” Carroll said, adding that the thought had not occurred to her before she spoke to the friend.
Nearly three dozen pages of excerpts of Trump’s deposition were blacked out in Monday’s court filing. They might potentially be made public at a later date.