Donald Trump Sexually Abused, Defamed E. Jean Carroll, Jury Finds; Awards $5M In Damages

Former President Donald Trump sexually abused writer E. Jean Carroll in a department store in the 1990s and then defamed her when he claimed she was lying about the allegation, a New York jury found in a unanimous verdict.

Former President Donald Trump and columnist E. Jean Carroll.
Former President Donald Trump and columnist E. Jean Carroll. Photo Credit: ICIR/Gage Skidmore & WIkimedia Commons/julieannesmo

The Manhattan federal jury read its verdict shortly after 3 p.m. Tuesday, May 9 after deliberating for approximately 2.5 hours.

Jurors found Trump liable for battery based on Carroll’s sexual assault claim, as well as defamation.

The jury did not, however, find Trump liable for the alleged rape.

Carroll was awarded total damages of nearly $5 million, which includes $2.7 million in compensatory damages for the defamation claim and $2 million for the battery claim.

She was seen smiling as she left the courthouse following the verdict, but did not address the crowd of reporters gathered outside.

Carroll, now age 79 and living in the Hudson Valley, in Orange County, made headlines in June 2019 when she claimed in a cover story for New York Magazine that Trump raped her in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman in the mid-1990s.

Trump repeatedly denied the allegations, saying he never met Carroll and that she is “totally lying” to sell her memoir and is “not my type.”

Those comments, made in 2019 while Trump was president, prompted Carroll to sue him for defamation.

“I’m here because Donald Trump raped me, and when I wrote about it, he said it didn’t happen,” The Washington Post quoted Carroll as saying on the stand. “He lied and shattered my reputation and I’m here to try to get my life back.”

Carroll went on to describe for jurors how she was “delighted” to meet Trump at Bergdorf Goodman, where she claimed she followed him to the lingerie section to help him pick out a gift for another woman.

She then testified that she accompanied Trump into a dressing room, where she claimed he forced his fingers inside of her.

“It was a horrible feeling because he put his hand inside of me and curved his finger,” The Washington Post quoted Carroll as testifying.

She testified that Trump then raped her in the dressing room before she fought him off by kneeing him away.

Carroll said she did not file a police report after the alleged incident because she blamed herself.

“I always think about why I walked in there to get myself in that situation,” The Washington Post quoted her as testifying. “And I’m proud to say I did get out. I got my knee up, I pushed him back.”

She went on to say that she’s been “unable to ever have a romantic life again,” and hasn’t had sex since the alleged encounter.

Carroll sued Trump under New York’s Adult Survivors Act, which temporarily gives victims of sexual abuse a one-year window to file a civil claim, even if it occurred decades ago.

The former president did not attend the trial.

In an all-caps statement on Truth Social following the verdict, Trump denied knowing who Carroll is, and called the verdict a "disgrace," saying it was "a continuation of the greatest witch hunt of all time."

In another post made hours before the verdict, Trump said he planned to appeal his "unconstitutional silencing," claiming he was "not allowed to speak or defend myself," despite having the opportunity to testify during the trial.

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