Hours after dropping her bombshell sexual assault allegations against President Trump on Friday, writer E. Jean Carroll said she has no plans to take legal action against him.
“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,” she told MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell. She said there are “women around the world” enduring much worse assaults than what she described as her own alleged “three-minute” attack.
Carroll, who is at least the 16th woman to accuse Trump of sexual misconduct since he ran for president, said he forced himself on her in a dressing room inside the Bergdorf Goodman department store in the mid-1990s.
Both the White House and Trump have denied the allegations contained in Carroll’s new memoir, What Do We Need Men For, and in a graphic account published by New York magazine. Trump said, “I’ve never met this person in my life”— a statement that many were quick to cast doubt on in light of a photo published by the magazine that seemed to show Trump speaking to Carroll at an NBC party in 1987.
Recalling the alleged encounter more than two decades ago, Carroll told O'Donnell on Friday night that she’d coped by learning to laugh rather than cry.
“Either you laugh or you cry, and if you cry, the burden is double. If you laugh, it can recede into the past,” she said. “We use humor to move on.”
While she said she “still can’t kick that feeling that it was my fault,” she went on to suggest she’d gotten over it.
“It doesn’t hurt me now at all. It hurt me a little bit that day, but I very quickly… I think I got over it quickly,” she said.
When asked about the Access Hollywood recording that surfaced shortly before the 2016 election—in which Trump purportedly said that “you can do anything” to women if you’re a “star” and even “grab them by the pussy” — Carroll said she was “astounded.”
But she suggested she had come to believe that he could get away with anything.
“He’s a powerful man, he takes what he wants. That’s the thing. His power is so great that it doesn’t matter.”
“The American voters liked it, cause that was a referendum—are they going to vote for a sexual harasser? Yes, they are. His power is so great that it doesn’t matter.”