The former advice columnist, E Jean Carroll, has testified to a New York jury that Donald Trump raped her in 1996.
Carroll stated that the assault occurred in a New York department store changing room and has filed a civil lawsuit seeking damages for battery and defamation.
Trump denied the accusations, and after Carroll testified, Judge Lewis Kaplan warned that Trump’s post on social media site, Truth Social, calling Carroll’s accusations a “made-up SCAM” and a “witch-hunt” may have crossed the line into jury-tampering.
Carroll recounted running into Trump as she was leaving the Bergdorf Goodman luxury department store.
Trump allegedly asked her to help him buy a gift, and she suggested a handbag, then a hat for the woman he was buying for, but he was not interested.
Trump picked up a fur hat and suggested lingerie, leading the way to the escalator.
Carroll said she was “delighted” to go to lingerie with him as he was very talkative, and she was “absolutely enchanted”.
Carroll said Trump “snatched up” a grey-blue bodysuit in the lingerie department and demanded she try it on.
She said she had no intention of putting it on and suggested he should. Trump suggested they both try it on and motioned toward the dressing room.
Carroll said she did not take it seriously. Trump allegedly shut the door immediately after entering the dressing room and shoved her up against the wall.
She said she was extremely confused when he thrust her back against the wall, banging her head.
The mood quickly turned dark after that, and Trump allegedly leaned down and pulled down her tights.
She tried to push him away, but he forced her to the ground and raped her.
Carroll escaped when she lifted her knee and pushed him off. She fled the store.
Carroll testified that the rape left her unable to ever have a romantic life again, and Trump lied and shattered her reputation when he accused her of lying and perpetrating a hoax.
She said she was there to try and get her life back. Trump’s defense team claimed during opening statements that Carroll conspired with other women to falsely accuse the former president of sexual assault because they “hate” him.
Trump’s lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, said Carroll went after his client for political ends, to sell a book, and for public attention.
Carroll’s legal team is expected to call several witnesses, including two women she claims to have told about the alleged rape shortly after it happened.
Lisa Birnbach and Carol Martin have corroborated the account in interviews.
Who is E Jean Carroll?
American journalist, author, and advice columnist Elizabeth Jean Carroll gained fame for her popular “Ask E. Jean” column in Elle magazine, which ran from 1993 until 2019.
It became one of the longest-running advice columns in American publishing history, and Carroll’s unique approach to advice-giving made her a favorite among readers.
In 2019, Carroll published a book titled “What Do We Need Men For?: A Modest Proposal,” in which she alleged that Les Moonves and Donald Trump sexually assaulted her during the mid-1990s.
Both men denied the accusations. In response to the allegations, Carroll sued Trump in the New York Supreme Court for defamation and battery.
Carroll was born in Detroit, Michigan, and also known as “Jeannie.” Her father, Thomas F. Carroll, Jr., was an inventor, while her mother, Betty (née McKinney) Carroll, was a retired Allen County, Indiana politician.
She grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, alongside her two sisters and one brother.
Carroll attended Indiana University, where she was a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority and a cheerleader.
She was crowned Miss Indiana University in 1963, and in 1964, she won the Miss Cheerleader USA title as a representative of the university.
She even appeared on the game show “To Tell The Truth” in 1965.
Carroll’s allegations against Les Moonves and Donald Trump, two prominent men, garnered significant media attention.
In response to the allegations, Moonves lost his job as the CEO of CBS, and Trump faced criticism from various groups.
Despite the challenges and backlash, Carroll has continued to speak out about the experiences she detailed in her book.
Her story has sparked important conversations about sexual assault and the treatment of women in American society.