Seven months after E. Jean Carroll publicly accused Donald Trump of raping her in the mid-1990s, the author and Elle advice columnist is seeking a DNA sample from him. Her legal team says their goal is to determine whether his genetic material is on the dress she was wearing during the alleged attack.
In a New York Magazine cover story published last June, Carroll wrote that Trump cornered her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in late 1995 or early 1996, and thrust his penis inside of her, resulting in a “colossal struggle.” At the time, Carroll says she was wearing a black wool Donna Karan coat dress, which “still hangs on the back of my closet door, unworn and unlaundered since that evening.” (In response Carroll’s allegation, Trump said she’s “totally lying” and claimed that he has never met her before, despite a photograph from 1987 that shows the two posing together.)
According to the AP, Carroll’s lawyers contacted one of Trump’s attorneys today, demanding that the president submit a DNA sample for “analysis and comparison against unidentified male DNA present on the dress.” This demand is part of Carroll’s defamation suit against Trump, which she filed last November, after he publicly denied her allegation and labeled her a liar.
After Carroll filed the defamation suit, her lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, had the coat dress tested for DNA. A lab report found at least four peoples’ DNA on the sleeves, at least one of them male, and several potential contributors have already been tested and eliminated.
“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,” Carroll said in a statement on Thursday.
But the path forward won’t be free of obstacles: As noted by the AP, Carroll’s DNA demand will almost certainly spark a contentious battle in the courts.