E. Jean Carroll Speaks out After Trump Verdict

May 10, 2023

E. Jean Carroll, the plaintiff in the federal lawsuit in which a jury found former President Trump liable for sexual abuse and defamation Tuesday, said Wednesday that she felt “on top of the world” about the verdict.

“Yesterday was the happiest day of my life,” she said during an interview on MSNBC. “The former President has smeared me so badly and so evilly and with such malice and such spite that it wasn’t until yesterday [that] I got back up on my feet and felt, my name is back.” 

Carroll, a former advice columnist for Elle magazine, filed suit against former President Trump for battery under New York State’s Adult Suvivors Act (ASA) on the same day the legislation went into effect—Thanksgiving day.

Carroll, who had asserted that Trump raped her in a department store dressing room in the mid-1990s, acknowledged Wednesday that the ASA had given her and her attorneys a “nudge” to hold Trump accountable. 

Carroll already had a pending lawsuit against Trump for defamation, saying his public denials and disparaging comments have damaged her reputation. She was seeking unspecified damages in her battery lawsuit, asserting that Trump caused her lasting psychological harm.

Trump had 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.

On Tuesday the jury found Trump liable for nearly $5 million for sexual abuse and defamation against Carroll. 

Afterward, Trump went on his Truth Social media site and continued to assert that Carroll was lying. 

“This is another scam,” his said in a posted video. “It’s a political witch hunt,” he continued, accusing Carroll of having been financed by “Democratic operatives” and adding, “She totally lied about it.”

Trump did not testify in his own defense during the trial, despite an extended offer from Judge Lewis Kaplan to allow him to do so even after his attorneys had rested their case.

Carroll’s attorney Roberta Kaplan—no relation to Judge Kaplan—appeared alongside her client during Wednesday morning’s interview, and she said it was a videotaped deposition from October during which Ms. Kaplan questioned Trump that was the the deciding factor in the case’s outcome. 

“I think [the jury] saw in that video who Donald Trump is, what he believes and how he acts. And he said it in his own words,” Ms. Kaplan said.

During the deposition Ms. Kaplan asked the former President about about the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape from 2005 in which Trump can be heard saying, “When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything,” adding: “Grab them by the p***y,” Trump replied that “historically” that’s been true, “unfortunately or fortunately.”

He further told the attorney that he considered himself a star. 

Carroll and Kaplan on Wednesday also responded to critics of the outcome like Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) who said, “That jury’s a joke.”

“This was not a New York City jury,” Ms. Kaplan pointed out. “I think we had one juror from the Bronx, one juror from Manhattan, all the rest were from Westchester and North.”

Ms. Kaplan further noted that Trump attorney Joe Tacopina in his opening argument praised the jury system, which in the Carroll trial consisted of three women and six men.

Carroll also described an encounter she had after the trial with Tacopina, who had cross-examined her for three days.

She said Tacopina had congratulated her legal team, then “my turn came around. He put out his hand, and I looked him in the eye. I said, ‘He did it, and you know it.'” 

When asked what Tacopina’s response to that was, Carroll, who described Trump’s attorney as “charming,” said he merely smiled.

Ms. Kaplan said she expected Trump to appeal within “six months to a year,” but added that she doesn’t expect his side to win because “he has no good arguments.” 

“It’s a victory, not really for me but for every woman because we did away with the ‘perfect victim’ concept,” Carroll said of the verdict, making air quotes with her fingers and going on to explain that the so-called “perfect victim” is expected to always scream, always write the date in her diary, and is always “a sad person.” 

“We smashed that concept,” she stated. “So for every woman in the country, this is for you. I think this will help you all be believed.” 

PHOTO: E. Jean Carroll in 2006

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