The White House has swiftly responded to writer E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit against President Trump filed Monday morning, describing it as “frivolous,” and calling both the story and its author as a “fraud.”
“Ms. Carroll is suing the President for defending himself against false allegations? I guess since the book did not make any money she’s trying to get paid another way,” press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement to TheWrap. “The story she used to try and sell her trash book never happened, period. Her version of events is not even feasible if you’ve ever tried on clothing in a dressing room of a crowded department store. The lawsuit is frivolous and the story is a fraud – just like the author.”
Carroll, a journalist and columnist for Elle Magazine, is suing the president in state court on the grounds that when Trump denied her June accusation of a sexual assault in the 1990s, he damaged her reputation, according to the New York Times.
In a pre-release excerpt of her book, published earlier this year, Carroll accused Trump of sexual assault in a department store dressing room. He denied the attack.
Carroll wrote that after she ran into Trump in a department store, he asked her to help him pick out lingerie for someone, which Carroll agreed to do. She said Trump encouraged Carroll to try on a lace bodysuit, and that she joked that he should try it on instead, quipping, “it goes with your eyes.” She said Trump took her by the arm and said “come on,” adding, “let’s put this on.”
Carroll said that while still wearing a business suit, Trump opened his overcoat once they were in the dressing room, unzipped his pants and forced “his fingers around my private area.” Trump then “thrusts his penis halfway — or completely, I’m not certain — inside me. It turns into a colossal struggle.”
She said it lasted “no more than three minutes,” and that she doesn’t believe Trump ejaculated. She said she tried to push him away, and that she kneed him and ran out of the room.
A representative for President Trump did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment at the time, but a White House spokesperson told New York Magazine: “This is a completely false and unrealistic story surfacing 25 years after allegedly taking place and was created simply to make the President look bad.”
Later, in an interview with The Hill, Trump said, “She’s not my type.”
According to the New York Times, Carroll’s lawsuit says his statements “are fully consistent with his tried-and-true playbook for responding to credible public reports that he sexually assaulted women.” A lawyer for Carroll did not immediately return a request for comment.
Carroll tweeted Monday, “I am filing this on behalf of every woman who has ever been harassed, assaulted, silenced, or spoken up only to be shamed, fired, ridiculed and belittled. No person in this country should be above the law – including the president.”
Her Twitter bio now reads, “Salute! I’m suing Donald Trump.”
At least 15 other women have previously accused Trump of sexual misconduct. He has denied the accusations.