Less than one week after columnist E. Jean Carroll accused President Donald Trump of sexually assaulting her in the 1990s, the two previously unnamed women Carroll said she confided in immediately after the attack have also come forward to corroborate her account.
Former TV news anchor Carol Martin and author Lisa Birnbach joined Carroll in an interview for the New York Times’ The Daily podcast on Wednesday, confirming that Carroll had come to them in the days following the attack, and backing up her claim that they’d offered differing suggestions for what to do next.
While Birnbach had urged Carroll to go to the police, “I said ‘Don’t tell anybody,’” Martin recalled. “I wouldn’t tell anybody this.”
“It wasn’t like she started crying or nothing that was a frantic kind of response to it,” Martin also said. “It was like, ‘I can’t believe this happened.”
“You did say, ‘He put his penis in me,’” Birnback told Carroll. “And I said ... ‘What? He raped you?”
Carroll herself pushed back on that terminology at one point, saying that “every woman gets to choose how she describes it. This is my way of saying it. This is my word. My word is fight. My word is not the victim word.”
“I have not been raped,” Carroll added. “Something has not been done to me. I fought.”
For his part, Trump has grotesquely denied these latest allegations, calling Carroll “not my type” while insisting he’s never met the longtime columnist and author—despite the existence of a photograph showing the two speaking.
Carroll now joins the nearly two dozen women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct, although she told the Times that she has “no expectations” about what would happen when she came forward with her story.