Advice columnist E. Jean Carroll said her black “Donna Karan” brand jacket dress has hung in her closet for more than 20 years — ever since the day that she alleges President Trump raped her in a dressing room. And now, after many years of not being used, Carroll says the dress may be the key to proving who the perpetrator of her assault really is.

Carroll’s lawyers said in court filings on Thursday that they have found that her dress contains unidentified DNA evidence, and they are now demanding that Trump submit a sample for comparison.

The news of the court filings were first reported by The Associated Press. 

In her original complaint, filed in 2019, Carroll said that she ran into Mr. Trump while shopping at Bergdorf Goodman, a luxury department store in New York City, in late 1995 or early 1996. She said she was “acquainted” with Mr. Trump, and that he had asked her to help him purchase a gift for a girl. He allegedly insisted she try on a see-through bodysuit, maneuvered her into a dressing room, and assaulted her. After the alleged assault, Carroll said she ran out of the store.

Forensic Analytical Crime Lab analyzed the dress and found multiple strands of DNA — all but one of which were confirmed to be either Carroll’s or people who possibly came into contact with Carroll during the photoshoot for her book cover, where she is wearing it. In a statement, Carroll said the black dress she wore when Mr. Trump allegedly sexually assaulted her is still in her closet, and that the only time she has worn it since the alleged incident is during the photoshoot.

“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,” she said. 

Mr. Trump’s attorneys did not respond to request for comment. Mr. Trump last year said the alleged assault “never happened” and Carroll is “totally lying.”

Mr. Trump has been accused by more than a dozen women of sexual misconduct. 

According to court documents, Mr. Trump is required to provide a buccal, blood or skin cell sample for DNA analysis and comparison on March 2. The DNA will be compared against unidentified male DNA that has been found on Carroll’s dress. 

Carroll’s attorney Robert Kaplan said Mr. Trump’s DNA could determine whether he lied when he said he didn’t assault Carroll, or had ever even met her. 

“Testing unidentified male DNA on the dress she wore during that assault has become standard operating procedure in these circumstances given the remarkable advances in DNA technology, particularly where, as is the case here, other potential contributors have been excluded,” she said. “As a result, we’ve requested a simple saliva sample from Mr. Trump to test his DNA, and there really is no valid basis for him to object.”

According to AP, Kaplan decided to have the dress tested after Mr. Trump’s denial. In November, Carroll filed a defamation lawsuit against the president. 

AP also reported that Mr. Trump’s lawyer tried to get the case dismissed, but a judge declined earlier this month to do so because the attorney had not backed up his arguments that the case didn’t belong in a New York court.