Former US President, Donald Trump has been found guilty of battery and defamation to a certain E. Jean Carroll, a columnist and has been ordered to pa
Former US President, Donald Trump has been found guilty of battery and defamation to a certain E. Jean Carroll, a columnist and has been ordered to pay $5 million in damages.
This marks the end of a two-week civil trial in which Caroll alleged Trump raped her in a Manhattan department store nearly 30 years ago.
Altbough the jury didn’t find that Trump committed rape but found it more likely than not that he sexually abused Carroll in a dressing room of Bergdorf Goodman store, sometime around 1996.
Jurors also found that Trump defamed Carroll in comments he made denying her allegations, which she first made publicly in 2019.
Caroll testified over three days, telling jurors that she and Trump, then a prominent New York City figure and real estate mogul, struck up a rapport after bumping into one another at Bergdorf Goodman around 1996.
The playful banter continued in the lingerie section, she said, but ended once the two entered a dressing room for what she thought was so Trump could try on a see-through bodysuit as a gag.
“He immediately shut the door and shoved me up against the wall and shoved me so hard my head banged,” she recalled.
She testified in graphic detail about the alleged rape. The attack lasted a few minutes before she broke free from him.
“It left me unable to ever have a romantic life again,” she said.
Trump chose not to testify in the trial or attend any of the proceedings in person but in a videotaped deposition under oath, he accused Carroll of making up her allegations for publicity and political reasons, calling it “the most ridiculous, disgusting story.”
He called the verdict a disgrace.
“I have absolutely no idea who this woman is,” he said.
His lawyers argued that Carroll’s allegations contained inconsistencies, and that she had not behaved like a rape victim at the time of the alleged incident or in the years since.
Joe Tacopina, a lawyer for Trump tried to raise doubts about the details of her account, asking her why she didn’t scream or go to the police.
“Women like me were taught and trained to keep our chins up and to not complain,” Carroll said.
Tacopina called Carroll’s account inconceivable, saying it shared striking similarities to a 2012 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode in which a character describes a rape fantasy in the lingerie section of Bergdorf Goodman.
Tacopina also noted that Carroll had joked on Facebook about having sex with Trump for money and said that she was a fan of The Apprentice, the reality television show in which Trump previously served as the host.
The jury’s verdict puts a dent on Trump’s ambition to return to the White House in 2024 on the platform of the Republican party.
Trump is being dogged by a host of legal troubles.
He is separately facing New York criminal charges connected to his payment of hush money to a porn star before the 2016 election, as well as other criminal investigations, related to the pressuring of Georgia officials after the 2020 election, his actions on Jan. 6, 2021, and his handling of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago residence.
He is also facing civil fraud allegations from the New York attorney general and another civil lawsuit from Ms. Carroll, who formerly was a longtime Elle magazine columnist and at one time a writer for Saturday Night Live.
Trump however denies wrongdoing in all of these matters