| 2 December 2023, Saturday |

Trump accuser defends rape claim after judge denies mistrial

E. Jean Carroll, the author who has accused Donald Trump of rape and defamation, denied making up her allegations on Monday in an effort to promote her biography.

After a judge rejected Trump’s motion for a mistrial, Carroll testified in federal court in Manhattan and claimed that, despite acknowledging that appearances on TV and podcasts were a significant factor in book sales, she wasn’t doing it for attention.

Carroll also said that she hides her inner suffering in her role as an advice columnist, and that going to parties related to her lawsuits against Trump and stating publicly she was doing “fabulous” didn’t mean she was lying about him.

“In this courtroom, I’m being forced to tell the truth,” she told Trump’s lawyer Joe Tacopina on her second day undergoing cross-examination.

Carroll, 79, has accused Trump, 76, of raping her in a Bergdorf Goodman department store dressing room in late 1995 or early 1996, and then undermining her credibility and career by lying about it online.

Her defamation claim concerns an October 2022 post on Trump’s Truth Social platform, where Trump called the former Elle magazine advice columnist’s case a “complete con job” and “a Hoax and a lie.”

Carroll used to write for Elle magazine, and is now at Substack.

The rape claim was included in her memoir, “What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal,” excerpts of which were published in New York magazine in June 2019.

Carroll is seeking unspecified damages in her civil lawsuit.

She is also suing Trump separately for defamation after he denied her claims, using similar language, after the book excerpts were published.

Trump has not attended the trial, now in its fourth day. On Monday, he was in Scotland for a short trip to visit his golf courses there, with plans to visit another course in Ireland.


In seeking a mistrial, Tacopina sent an 18-page letter early on Monday accusing U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan of bias against Trump.

Trump’s lawyer said the effect of several “unfair and prejudicial” rulings by Kaplan “manifests a deeper leaning towards one party over another,” including comments where the judge “openly expresses favoritism.”

Tacopina said Kaplan, an appointee of Democratic President Bill Clinton, should have let him question Carroll about why she did not seek security camera footage of the alleged rape.

Trump is leading the Republican field in the 2024 presidential race.

Tacopina also challenged Kaplan’s statement that Trump might be “sailing in harm’s way” after his son Eric Trump discussed on Twitter how LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman was helping fund Carroll’s case.

Kaplan ruled last Wednesday that Trump’s lawyers could not mention Hoffman at the trial, calling it “unfairly prejudicial.”

Requests for mistrials are often long shots, though they often form a basis for eventual appeals.


Because Carroll’s case is civil, she must establish her claims by a preponderance of the evidence, meaning more likely than not, and need not meet the tougher criminal standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

Carroll had told jurors last Wednesday that Trump put his fingers into her vagina, which she called “extremely painful, extremely painful,” and then inserted his penis.

In Monday’s cross-examination, Tacopina questioned why Carroll did not contact police after encountering Trump, despite telling her readers they should if they believed they were crime victims.

“Listen, I was ashamed of what happened,” Carroll said. “I thought it was my fault.”

Tacopina also asked why Carroll did not sue former CBS chief executive Les Moonves for defamation after he publicly denied her claim in her memoir that he once tried to sexually assault her.

Carroll responded that Moonves’ denial was more straightforward than Trump’s.

“He didn’t grind my face into the mud the way Donald Trump did,” Carroll said.

Trump’s lawyers have not said publicly whether he plans to testify. They have identified only one other possible defense witness, the psychiatrist Edgar Nace.

Others who may testify for Carroll include two friends with whom she spoke shortly after the alleged rape, two other women who have said Trump assaulted them, and a professor who could help jurors estimate Carroll’s damages.

Several women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct. He has denied their allegations.

  • Reuters