At a civil trial to establish if the former U.S. president abused her and then lied about it, a writer described in explicit detail how Donald Trump allegedly raped her nearly 30 years ago.
“I’m here because Donald Trump raped me, and when I wrote about it, he lied and said it didn’t happen,” E. Jean Carroll told jurors in Manhattan federal court. “He lied and shattered my reputation, and I’m here to try to get my life back.”
Carroll, 79, a former Elle magazine advice columnist, is seeking unspecified damages from Trump, 76, who leads the Republican field in the 2024 presidential campaign.
Her lawsuit concerns an alleged encounter in a Bergdorf Goodman department store dressing room in late 1995 or early 1996, where she says Trump raped her before she could flee.
Carroll says Trump defamed her by calling her rape claim a hoax, lie and “complete con job” on his Truth Social media platform, and said she was not his “type” and had made up the claim to sell her memoir.
She is also suing under New York’s Adult Survivors Act, which lets adults sue their alleged abusers long after statutes of limitations have run out.
Trump is not attending and not required to attend the trial, which began on Tuesday. He has a scheduled New Hampshire campaign event on Thursday, and both sides have indicated it is unlikely Trump will testify.
Trump maintained his scorn nonetheless for Carroll’s case on Truth Social on Wednesday, calling her lawyer a “political operative” and the rape claim “a made up SCAM,” adding: “This is a fraudulent & false story–Witch Hunt!”
U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan warned that Trump could face more legal problems if he kept discussing the case.