13 things you probably don’t know about E. Jean Carroll

Source: Wikimedia Commons

We probably don’t have to tell you who E. Jean Carroll is.

On May 9, 2023, Carroll was awarded $5 million by a jury on her case against Donald Trump. The former American president was found liable for sexual abuse and defamation against Carroll.

But there are a number of intriguing things you might not know about the 79-year-old high-profile journalist.

Here’s our rundown.

1. Carroll had the longest-running advice column in history

Carroll’s column for ELLE Magazine was the longest-running advice column in American publishing. It ran from 1993 to 2019.

Carroll gave advice to readers on everything from how to end a relationship to the best course of action to take after being fired.

Early on, Carroll was known for being straight forward and using a lot of realism in her advice to women—particularly women who were afraid to leave difficult marriages.

2. She hosted her own advice show on MSNBC

“Ask E. Jean” was the predecessor to the network’s “America’s Talking,” and it ran from 1994 to 1996. Carroll was also the producer of the show.

At the time, Entertainment Weekly called Carroll “the most entertaining cable talk show host you will never see.”

3. She was the first woman to become a contributing editor to Playboy

Carroll is something of a trailblazer. Not only was she featured in Rolling Stones Magazine, but she became the first woman to become an editor in Playboy.

This was during a time when a lot of women weren’t being hired by men’s magazines.

Carroll has also written for Esquire, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, and Outside Magazine.

4. She was known for her “gonzo” brand of journalism

Carroll’s storytelling style often placed herself right at the heart of the story. This is known in journalism circles as gonzo-style reporting.

Some assignments included hiking the Star Mountains (situated in western Papua New Guinea and eastern end of Indonesia) with an Atbalmin tracker and a Telefomin warrior.

Carroll also wrote about the lives of basketball groupies in a story titled “Love in the Time of Magic”—referring to basketball legend Magic Johnson.

Carroll’s writing style has often been described as quirky, cheeky, and irreverent. An Esquire editor once said that Carroll’s stories were “institutionally incapable of being uninteresting.”

5. She used to write for Saturday Night Live

Carroll wrote for the iconic comedy sketch show in the mid-1980s. She was also nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program for the show back in 1987.

6. The writer of Sex and the City is a friend and a fan

Candace Bushnell, whose New York Observer column inspired the iconic HBO show of the same name, has high praise for Carroll.

In an interview with USA Today in 2019, Bushnell said of Carroll: “She was the coolest woman journalist around—daring, had a ton of guts, and was as funny as the guys. She was a female gonzo journalist. In the mid-nineties I hung out with her quite a bit. There really wasn’t and isn’t anyone like her.”

7. Carroll accused another high profile man of sexual assault in addition to Trump

In her 2019 memoir entitled What Do We Need Men For: A Modest Proposal, Carroll accused the former President of sexually assaulting her in New York City’s luxury department store Bergdorf Goodman’s dressing room in the mid-1990s.

On May 9, 2023, Trump was found liable by a jury in a New York courtroom.

Carroll also named former CBS CEO Les Moonves. She wrote that the incident occurred in the late 1990s. Carroll had just finished interviewing Moonves at a hotel and the incident occurred in an elevator right afterwards. Moonves denied the allegation.

8. Carroll first went public with the allegations in an article for New York Magazine

Carroll’s story for The Cut—a digital magazine by New York Magazine—came out on June 21, 2019. It was in this article—which included the telling excerpt from the book—that her accusations towards former President Trump first became public.

A few months after the article was published, Carroll filed a defamation lawsuit with the New York Supreme Court in November 2019.

The suit states that Trump had damaged her reputation which significantly harmed her career. It also stated that the former president had caused her emotional pain.

9. She’s an advocate for sexual assault survivors

Carroll has become a powerful voice in the #MeToo movement, tirelessly advocating for the rights of sexual assault survivors. Despite facing ridicule, disbelief, and backlash, she remains undeterred in her pursuit for justice.

Carroll testified in court last week that the #MeToo movement inspired her to come forward:

“Woman after woman stood up,” Carroll said. “I thought, well, this may be a way to change the culture of sexual violence. … I thought, we can actually change things if we all tell our stories.”

10. She authored a provocative memoir

In her 2019 memoir, “What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal,” Carroll provocatively reflects on her relationships with men throughout her life. The memoir also contains the allegations of sexual assault against Donald Trump and Les Moonves.

Speaking about her memoir, Carroll said she wrote it to help women find their voice, to let them know they are not alone and it’s okay to speak up.

11. Carroll is an avid nature enthusiast

Beyond her work, Carroll enjoys the great outdoors. She often spends her free time hiking, canoeing, and camping. E. Jean Carroll resides by herself in a petite cabin nestled in the Wawayanda Mountains near Warwick, New York. Her dwelling is situated on a private expanse of seven forested acres, in close proximity to the Appalachian Trail.

12. Carroll’s resilience is inspiring

Throughout her life and career, Carroll has faced many adversities, but she has always emerged stronger. Her strength, resilience, and courage continue to inspire many, especially women across the globe.

In one of her Elle columns, she wrote, “I believe in the power of women, in our strength, our courage, and our ability to bounce back from whatever life throws at us. We are fighters, and we are survivors.”

13. She has a strong belief in the power of the truth

Throughout her professional and personal life, Carroll has held steadfast in her belief in the power of truth. She has never shied away from speaking her mind or standing up for what she believes in.

“Today, the world finally knows the truth,” Carroll said in a statement on May 9th. “This victory is not just for me but for every woman who has suffered because she was not believed.”

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Justin Brown

I'm Justin Brown, the founder of Ideapod. I've overseen the evolution of Ideapod from a social network for ideas into a publishing and education platform with millions of monthly readers and multiple products helping people to think critically, see issues clearly and engage with the world responsibly.

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