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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

In searing detail, Trump’s accuser tells her story

The U.S. District Courthouse on the first day of E. Jean Carroll’s civil trial against former President Donald Trump in New York, April 25, 2023.

By Benjamin Weiser, Lola Fadulu, Kate Christobek and Karen Zraick

Writer E. Jean Carroll earlier this week told a Manhattan jury a harrowing story of being raped in the mid-1990s by Donald Trump in a department store dressing room — describing a brutal attack that she tried to fight off by stamping on his foot and that has left her traumatized for decades.

Just before she began testifying in federal court, the former president infuriated the judge overseeing the case by railing against the proceeding on social media. Trump, who has so far avoided the trial, was not there as Carroll related a tale she said she had waited decades to tell.

“Being able to get my day in court, finally, is everything to me,” she said, her shaky voice rising. “I’m happy. I’m glad that I got to tell my story.”

Carroll spoke of an encounter that haunted her and ended her romantic life for good.

“I was ashamed. I thought it was my fault,” she said, describing how she had initially been laughing and joking with Trump after she ran into him at Bergdorf Goodman in Manhattan. “It was high comedy. It was funny, and then to have it turn into the …” Her voice then trailed off.

Carroll, 79, testified on Day 2 of the civil trial stemming from the lawsuit she filed against Trump last year under a New York law that granted adult sexual assault victims a one-year window to seek redress for long-ago events. Her suit, heard in federal court because she and Trump live in different states, added to a litany of legal action against him.

She is seeking damages for battery in connection with the rape allegations and also for defamation for the attacks he made on her on his Truth Social platform last October, when he called her case a “Hoax and a lie.”

Trump, 76, who has denied Carroll’s allegations, has not said whether he will testify in his own defense and has not appeared in court so far. Seeking to regain the presidency, he was scheduled to make a campaign appearance in New Hampshire on Thursday. But from outside the courtroom, he attacked the proceedings within.

On Wednesday morning, Trump used Truth Social to call Carroll’s case a “made up SCAM” and a “fraudulent & false story,” which led the judge, Lewis A. Kaplan of U.S. District Court, to suggest that the former president was trying to influence the jury.

Speaking without the jury present, Kaplan told Trump’s lawyer Joseph Tacopina that Trump’s statements seemed “entirely inappropriate.”

“Your client is basically endeavoring certainly to speak to his ‘public,’” Kaplan said, “but, more troublesome, to the jury in this case about stuff that has no business being spoken about.”

The judge implied the statements could lead to a contempt sanction by the court.

Tacopina said he would talk with his client, but attacks continued, with Trump’s son, Eric, posting later in the day on Twitter that a prominent backer of Carroll’s case had been motivated by “pure hatred, spite or fear of a formidable candidate.”

The Truth Social and Twitter posts were brought to the judge’s attention by Carroll’s lawyer, Roberta A. Kaplan. Tacopina said that he had not seen or been aware of them.

Nonetheless, after Eric Trump’s attack, the judge implied that stronger action might be required.

“Remedies that might be available from this court may not be the only relevant remedies,” he told Tacopina. “If I were in your shoes, I’d be having a conversation with the client.”

Tacopina and Carroll’s lawyer, Kaplan, had no comment after court.

While the former president has so far shunned the courtroom where Carroll’s case is being heard, his accuser relished her chance to speak in an official forum. On the witness stand, she was questioned by one of her lawyers, Michael Ferrara.

“Why are you here today?” Ferrara asked.

“I am here because Donald Trump raped me, and when I wrote about it, he said it didn’t happen,” Carroll said. “He lied and shattered my reputation, and I am here to try to get my life back.”

The courtroom was silent when Carroll testified in excruciating detail about the events that she said took place nearly 30 years ago.

Carroll, a longtime advice columnist for Elle magazine, told the jury how she had bumped into Trump as she was leaving Bergdorf’s after work one evening.

“He came through the door and he said, ‘Hey, you are that advice lady,’” she testified, adding that she replied, “Hey, you’re that real estate tycoon.”

She said she was delighted when he asked for her help selecting a gift for a woman. “I love to give advice, and here was Donald Trump asking me for advice about buying a present,” Carroll testified. “It was a wonderful prospect for me.”

They made their way to the lingerie section, where Trump found a bodysuit, directing her to “go put this on.” She declined and said he should put it on instead. She recalled how he motioned her over to a dressing room; she said did not see anybody else in the area.

Once they were inside, Trump immediately shut the door, and the sexual assault began, she said.

“I was extremely confused and suddenly realizing that what I thought was happening was not happening,” Carroll said. She said she didn’t want to anger Trump, explaining, “I didn’t want to make a scene.”

She said she pushed him back and he again shoved her against the wall, banging her head. She described how Trump used his weight to hold her against the wall, then pulled down her tights. Carroll grew emotional as she testified. “I was pushing him back,” she said. “I was almost too frightened to think if I was afraid or not,” she added later.

“His fingers went into my vagina, which was extremely painful,” Carroll testified. Then, she said, he inserted his penis. She testified that she had not had sex since.

Carroll said “visions” of the incident filled her mind repeatedly over the years. “I’ve had them ever since the attack. They were more frequent right after the attack, and they stayed,” Carroll said.

She said that the experience had robbed her of an essential sense of possibility.

“I am a happy person, basically, but I’m aware that I have lost out on one of the glorious experiences of any human being,” Carroll said. “Being in love with somebody else, making dinner with them, walking the dog together.

“I don’t have that,” she said.

33 views7 comments


Rose Rose
Rose Rose
Apr 29, 2023


Rose Rose
Rose Rose
Apr 29, 2023


Rose Rose
Rose Rose
Apr 29, 2023


Rose Rose
Rose Rose
Apr 29, 2023 The reason these morons will Do anything illegal to get him out is because Trump is the only person who wants to pull the USA out of the EU, UN, NATO and any European run members club, because he know they owe the Americas reparations. Your PR government is part of the colonizers club over in Europe, hence why your moron governor requested Venezuelan oil from a communist country and his staff treats US military people who know their history and the islands true history like crap.

Rose Rose
Rose Rose
Apr 29, 2023
Replying to

Reparations and a government handout is not the same, they prefer the citizens have the government handouts in order to be dependent and not Reparations in order to be independent, hence why they keep throwing you breadcrumbs here and there, they treat the citizens of Boriken horrendously. I couldn’t tolerate it because I know my worth.

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