Carroll, 79, who ran an Elle magazine advice column, is seeking unspecified damages from Trump
The columnist who sued him Donald Trump claiming he raped her nearly 30 years ago, testified to a jury today that the former US president sexually assaulted and defamed her, lying about what happened.
“I’m here because Donald Trump raped me and when I wrote this he lied and said it didn’t happen” E. Jean Carroll said in Manhattan federal court where her lawsuit is being heard. “He lied and damaged my name and I’m here to try and get my life back”he added.
79-year-old Carol, who maintained an advice column in Elle magazineis seeking unspecified damages from Trump, 76, who is again seeking the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidential election. The case involves a meeting Carroll said the two had at the Bergdorf Goodman department store in late of 1995 or early 1996, where she says Trump raped her.
Carol sued him for defamation after the former president denied raping her and claimed in a post on the website Truth Social that he doesn’t know her, is “not his type” and was making the claim to sell her memoir. She also sued him for rape, citing a New York law that allowed, for a limited time, victims to sue even if the statute of limitations has expired.
Carroll testified that she met Trump years before their meeting at the department store and found him to be “pleasant” and “social.” At Bergdorf, she said, she was leaving when Trump recognized her and reached out to her, causing her to stop.
“He said, ‘Hey, you’re that advice lady,’ and I said, ‘Hey, you’re that real estate mogul,'” he said. The two began joking and Trump’s tone was “teasing,” she continued, testifying that he wanted to buy underwear for another woman. He asked her to try on a pair of underwear, and she joked, suggesting that he put them on himself. As he argued, then he led her into a testing room, closed the door, pushed her against the wall and raped her.
Carol fought back tears as she described how she pushed him away.
When asked by her lawyer if she said ‘no’, she replied: ‘I don’t remember saying that. Maybe I said it.”
He added that at the time she blamed herself, she was afraid she would lose her job and that Trump would retaliate against her if she extradited him.
Trump’s lawyers are expected to ask Carroll questions, mainly about the fact that she doesn’t remember exactly when the incident happened. She said it was a Thursday night but “I’m not 100% sure.”
The jurors, six men and three women, will have to decide whether Trump should pay Carroll damages and how much.
The trial began on Tuesday and will last a week or two.
Trump is not in court and is not required to be there. But today he criticized Carroll again with posts on Truth Social, prompting Judge Lewis Kaplan to warn him that he could face further trouble with the law if he continues to comment publicly on the case.
“You’d think I’d take a then almost 60-year-old woman, a woman I didn’t know, from the entrance of a busy department store (and I was very recognizable, to put it mildly!) into a small fitting room. Didn’t he shout? No witnesses? Did no one see it?’ he wrote, calling the charges a “fraud”. “It’s a fraudulent, untrue story – a witch hunt,” he added.
Kaplan called on Trump’s lawyers to ask their client to stop these kinds of posts about the case, and one of them, Joe Tacopina, said he would talk to him today and “do my best.”
Two of Carroll’s friends, to whom she had spoken about the alleged rape, as well as two other women who have accused Trump of sexual assault, may testify at trial.
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