Writer E. Jean Carroll testified Wednesday in her lawsuit alleging that former President Trump raped her in the 1990s.
“I’m here because Donald Trump raped me, and when I wrote about it, he said it didn’t happen. He lied and shattered my reputation, and I’m here to try and get my life back,” Carroll said under oath in federal court in lower Manhattan.
Carroll, a former advice columnist for Elle magazine, filed suit against former President Trump for sexual battery under New York State’s Adult Suvivor’s Act on the same day the legislation went into effect—Thanksgiving day. She has asserted that Trump raped her in a department store dressing room in the mid-1990s.
Carroll already had a pending lawsuit against Trump for defamation, saying his public denials and disparaging comments have damaged her reputation. She is seeking unspecified damages, asserting that Trump caused her lasting psychological harm.
Trump has called her allegations “a con job,” a “hoax” and a “lie,” as well as “a complete scam,” which he maintains aren’t defamatory comments and are the truth.
During Carroll’s testimony, Trump was not present in the court room. It remained unclear as of Wednesday whether Trump, one of only two witnesses listed for the defense, will testify in person during the trial.
However, Carroll’s attorneys have said they plan to use a deposition of Trump taken in October, during which he asserted that Carroll was “not my type”—but then also misidentified a photograph of Carroll as his ex-wife, Marla Maples.
Ahead of the trial Judge Lewis Kaplan rejected Trump’s bid to exclude the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape, in which he brags that he as a celebrity can get away with sexually assaulting women, as well as testimony from two other women who claimed he sexually assaulted them along with evidence that Carroll suffered emotional harm.
Kaplan also rejected a request from Trump attorneys for a one-month “cooling off” period following Trump’s April 4 arraignment on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to hush money paid to at least two women ahead of the 2016 Presidential election. That hearing took place just a few blocks from where the rape trial is occurring.
Kaplan has said he expects the trial to last five to 10 days.