In this Me Too era, we’ve seen a lot of apologies, non-apologies and out-right denials from men accused of sexual assault, harassment, misconduct and discrimination. U.S. President Donald Trump has come up against many allegations himself (the numbers range from 15 to more than 20 depending on how you count) and has issued his fair share of denials, but with the latest allegation leveled against him, he’s given arguably the worst response we’ve ever seen to a public rape allegation (well, since the last time he said nearly this same thing anyway).
In a feature for New York Magazine‘s The Cut, long-time Elle columnist E. Jean Carroll detailed an alleged encounter she had with then “real-estate tycoon” Donald Trump in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in the mid-1990s. In the piece, which is an excerpt from her upcoming book What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal, she describes in detail how the future president coaxed her into a dressing room and proceeded to force himself on her.
Carroll prefaces her recount with a statement from the White House that reads, “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.” She also pays homage to the other credible allegations that have been made against Donald Trump since he started his run for president in 2015, which he has issued a blanket denial for.
In an Oval Office interview with The Hill Monday, Trump went a bridge further in his denial, asserting that Carroll is “totally lying” and that he had never heard of her, adding that even if he had, he wouldn’t be interested.
“I’ll say it with great respect: Number one, she’s not my type. Number two, it never happened. It never happened, OK?” he said. It’s a similar sentiment to his reaction to accusations from Jessica Leeds in October 2016. At the time, he called her a, “horrible woman,” adding, “she wouldn’t be my first choice.”
The denial doesn’t come as a surprise to Carroll, but she’s thrilled she doesn’t have to worry about being his “type.”
“I love that,” she told CNN’s Anderson Cooper Monday afternoon. “I’m so glad I am not his type.” She went on to say she figured he took advantage of her because she was “at that moment, in that five minutes, the most attractive woman in Bergdorf.”
In The Cut excerpt, Carroll, who is now 75, shares some of her “Most Hideous Men of My Life List” which includes 21 men (including the U.S. president) who have sexually assaulted or attempted to assault her over the course of her life. The list contains unnamed men from her youth but also names that have already been in the news along with Me Too, including former CBS CEO Les Moonves and late Fox News boss Roger Ailes.