E. Jean Carroll has taken the stand to talk about how Donald Trump allegedly had her in a department store dressing room in the mid-90s.
“I’m here because Donald Trump raped me and when I wrote about it he said it didn’t happen,” Carroll said when questioned by her attorney. “He lied and destroyed my reputation and I’m here to try and get my life back.”
The magazine columnist broke before a jury when she described how after flirting with the former president, he suddenly turned and pushed her against the wall, banging her head.
She cringed as she told the jury that even today – 27 years after the incident – she can still feel how “extremely painful” it was when Trump allegedly forced himself on her.
Magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll took the stand Wednesday to tell how Donald Trump allegedly raped her
Carroll cringed as she told the jury that even today she can feel how ‘extremely painful’ it was when Trump allegedly forced himself on her
The magazine columnist broke before a jury when she described how after flirting with the former president, he suddenly turned around and pushed her against the wall, banging her head.
The 79-year-old said that during the attack, “my only reason for being alive at the time was to get out of that room.”
The trauma of the alleged rape was so severe that she was “unable to ever lead a romantic life again.”
The testimony emerged on the second day of the New York case filed by Carroll for battery and libel.
She claims that after first writing about the incident in her 2019 memoir, Trump tried to “destroy” her with online threats.
Witnessing in a navy blazer, navy dress, and white shirt, Carroll described how she became a media personality in New York in the 1990s through her long-running advice column for Elle magazine and the TV show it inspired.
Carroll said she was at the Bergdorf Goodman department store in late 1995 or early 1996 and was about to leave when she saw Trump at the exit door.
She had met him before and thought he was a “storyteller,” which she told the jury was a “sophisticated man who is fun to be around.”
Carroll found Trump attractive because he was “very handsome,” she told the jury.
That day at Bergdorf’s, she said Trump had asked her to help him choose a gift for a girl he knew.
Carroll told the jury it was a “great prospect” and that she looked forward to spoiling her friends with the story later.
When Trump asked her age, she said she was 52 and he replied, “You’re so old,” but she laughed and admitted she “flirted” with him and was “absolutely enchanted.”
After Trump suggested they go to the sixth floor to look at lingerie, they continued to “josh” each other, Carroll told the jury.
In a glass-covered suitcase was a translucent grayish-blue bodysuit and Trump grabbed it and told her, “Put this on.”
Carroll told the jury she “had no intention” of doing so and told Trump to put it on instead. He gestured to the dressing room and she followed him, thinking it was a sketch for the Saturday Night Live comedy show, where she briefly worked as a writer.
As Carroll recalled, “the comedy escalated, it got funnier and funnier” and she “didn’t think anything was going to happen”.
Once they were in the room, Trump “immediately closed the door.”
Carroll told the jury, “He pushed me against the wall so hard my head was banging. I was extremely confused and suddenly realized that what I thought was happening wasn’t happening.
“I tried very quickly to find out what was going on. I pushed him back and he pushed me against the wall again, banging my head again.’
Carroll admitted that she kept laughing because she “didn’t want to make a scene.”
She said, “I didn’t mean to upset him.”
The encounter had gone from ‘light to absolute darkness’ in a second.
Carroll told the jury, “He put his shoulder against me and held me against the wall. He is very tall and his whole weight was against my chest and held me up there (against the wall).
‘I pushed him back. I was very clear, I didn’t want anything to happen again.
‘I didn’t yell. I’m not a shouter, I’m a fighter’.
While Carroll agreed that Trump tried to kiss her, she described it as Trump pressing his mouth against me.”
“I didn’t think it was a kiss,” she said.
She said, “I was almost too scared to think I was scared or not. I was stamping. My whole reason for being alive at the time was to get out of that room. I stomped and tried to get out from under him, but he pulled down my tights and his finger went into my vagina, which was extremely painful.
“As I sit here today, I still feel it. Then he inserted his penis (into me).’
Bergdorf Goodman (above) is just a block from Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue
Donald Trump in 1987 with his first wife, Ivana, rape prosecutor E. Jean Carroll and Carroll’s then-husband
Trump was said to have been married to Marla Maples at the time of the alleged rape. Maples gave birth to daughter Tiffany (above) in 1993
Asked by her attorney Michael Ferrara what she did next, Carroll became emotional and cried.
She said, “I tried… if you ask me what I was doing at the time, I always think back to why I walked in there (the locker room) to get myself into that situation.”
Carroll told the jury that while she couldn’t see what Trump was doing, she could feel it. Trump didn’t ejaculate and after a few minutes of fighting she was able to get her knee to him and push him off.
She ran out of the store and immediately called her friend Lisa Birnbach, a journalist and author who told her to call the police.
But another friend, Carol Martin, told her to shut up because Trump would “bury” her with legal threats — so she kept quiet until 2019 when she went public in her memoir.
In the days following the alleged rape, Carroll felt “extremely upset” and had pain in her genitals. She said, ‘I didn’t know who I was, I couldn’t believe it happened to me. It was very, very hard and took a long time to calm down.’
She was afraid she would be seen as “dirty good” if people knew she was a rape victim, so she kept quiet.
Carroll called going into the locker room with Trump “the worst decision of my life.”
She told the jury she hadn’t been in a relationship since the rape because flirting with Trump had “terrible consequences.”
She hasn’t had sex since – a span of nearly 30 years.
Carroll sometimes had “visions” of the incident, including one that was “sudden and horrific.”
She said, “I closed my eyes and when I woke up I felt Donald Trump on top of me. For a moment I thought I was going to die because I couldn’t breathe.’
Carroll — who voted Democrat in the last three presidential elections and donated $1,000 to Barack Obama — denied that her lawsuit was for political reasons, but admitted it was “a personal account.”
When Trump announced his candidacy for the White House in 2015, “Carroll didn’t think he would make a good president.”
“I thought he was bad for raping me,” she told the jury.
When asked about her opinion of Trump, Carroll said, “He’s mean.”
Trump furious that the whole thing was fueled by Democratic mega-donor Reid Hoffman, whose nonprofit gave money to Carroll’s defense
Trump is represented by Joe Tacopina, the attorney representing him in the criminal case brought by the Manhattan District Attorney, and five other attorneys
Earlier, Judge Lewis Kaplan admonished Trump Wednesday morning for a post on Truth Social, his own social network.
The post said the allegations were a “SCAM” and that the dress Carroll wore that day was supposed to be part of the case, similar to the one Monica Lewinsky wore during her affair with Bill Clinton.
Judge Kaplan said Trump was “trying to speak to his ‘audience’, but in this case was more troubling to the jury about things that shouldn’t be spoken about.”
Trump attorney Joe Tacopina said he would talk to the former president.
Judge Kaplan warned Trump’s statement was “completely inappropriate on the face of it.”
He said, “You’re getting into an area where your client may or may not be tampering with a new source of potential liability and I think you get my point.”
The case was brought under a law passed by New York State called the Adult Survivors Act, which opened up a year to bring sex crime cases even if they fell outside the statute of limitations.
In his opening argument, Tacopina said the case was politically motivated by Carroll because she “detested” the former president.
Tacopina said Carroll “made plans” with her two friends whom she said she called right after the rape because they couldn’t stand Trump running for president.
The allegations, as Carroll related, were “incredible” and a “sick story,” written to boost sales of her 2019 memoir, in which she first made the allegations public, Tacompina said.
The case is expected to last up to two weeks and it is unclear whether Trump will appear.