Carroll, a longtime advice columnist, described the alleged assault for the first time in June in a memoir excerpt published in New York magazine. She reiterated the allegations in an interview with The Washington Post, saying Trump — then a well-known real estate developer — attacked her in late 1995 or early 1996 inside a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman, an upscale Manhattan department store. She said Trump knocked her head against a wall, pulled down her tights and briefly penetrated her before she pushed him off and ran out.
She said she told two close friends about the incident at the time, and she kept the coat dress she wore during the alleged assault in her closet.
Trump has vehemently denied the allegation and called it fake news, asserting that he had “never met this person in my life” and that Carroll was “not my type.” He also said Carroll had made up the story to promote her book. The request for DNA comes after Carroll sued Trump for defamation in New York state court in November, arguing he had smeared her and damaged her career by calling her a liar.
“After Trump sexually assaulted me, I took the black dress I had been wearing and hung it in my closet. I only wore it once since then and that was at the photoshoot for the New York Magazine article about my book,” Carroll said in a statement Thursday. “Unidentified male DNA on the dress could prove that Donald Trump not only knows who I am, but also that he violently assaulted me in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman and then defamed me by lying about it and impugning my character.”
Lawrence Rosen, an attorney who is representing Trump in the defamation case, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Post. According to the AP, a Manhattan judge this month declined to have the case thrown out, saying the attorney did not sufficiently support his argument that the case did not belong in a New York court.
A lab report served with the legal notice Thursday, reviewed by The Post, said DNA found on the sleeves of Carroll’s dress belonged to at least four people, at least one of whom is male. The lab noted that acid phosphatase activity, a “presumptive indication of the presence of semen,” was not detected.
Several people were tested and have been ruled out as possible matches to the DNA mixture found on the sleeves. Their names were redacted in the report.
Carroll is among 16 women who have publicly accused Trump of sexual misconduct over the past several decades. Many spoke out weeks before the 2016 election after The Post published a recording of Trump bragging during a 2005 “Access Hollywood” interview that his celebrity status gave him permission to grab women by their genitals. One of the accusers, former “Apprentice” contestant Summer Zervos, also sued the president for defamation in New York. Zervos accused Trump of forcibly kissing and groping her at the Beverly Hills Hotel in December 2007.
Trump’s attorneys have tried unsuccessfully to block Zervos’s suit.
Carroll said she did not come forward in 2016 because other women did, adding she “didn’t have the guts.” But inspired last year by the #MeToo movement that began in late 2017, she told The Post, “It’s time. It’s time.”
Trump has denied the allegations against him and called the women “liars.”
“This case turns on whether Donald Trump lied when he said that he had not sexually assaulted E Jean Carroll and, in fact, had never even met her,” Carroll’s attorney, Roberta Kaplan, said in a statement Thursday. “Testing unidentified male DNA on the dress she wore during that assault has become standard operating procedure in these circumstances given the remarkable advances in DNA technology, particularly where, as is the case here, other potential contributors have been excluded. As a result, we’ve requested a simple saliva sample from Mr. Trump to test his DNA, and there really is no valid basis for him to object.”
Beth Reinhard contributed to this report.