E Jean Carroll, an advice columnist, has testified in a Manhattan court accusing former President Donald Trump of raping her in the 1990s and then denying it when she wrote about it. Carroll is seeking damages in her civil lawsuit for battery and defamation, accusing Trump of sexually assaulting her in a changing room in a New York department store.
Trump’s lawyer, Joe Tacopina, has claimed that Carroll conspired with two other women to falsely accuse Trump because they “hate” him. Tacopina also alleged that Carroll filed the lawsuit for political reasons, to sell a book, and to gain public attention.
In her testimony, Carroll sought to head off the accusation, stating that she was “settling a personal score, not a political score.” She gave a detailed and at times tearful account of the alleged attack by Trump, describing going into the dressing room with him as “very stupid.”
Trump’s lawyers have said they could yet call him to the witness stand. Trump has repeatedly claimed that the encounter never happened, that he does not know Carroll, and that she is not his “type.”
He launched a counter-attack on his Truth Social platform, calling the case “a made-up scam” and labeling Carroll’s lawyer as a political operative.
The judge, Lewis A Kaplan, warned Trump’s lawyers after the former president made inappropriate comments about the case on social media, calling it “entirely inappropriate” and warning that Trump may be tampering with a new source of potential liability.
Trump was scheduled to visit New Hampshire for his first campaign appearance since Joe Biden launched his own re-election bid. He was expected to speak about the economy, the opioid epidemic, and other subjects.
Carroll’s allegations against Trump first appeared in a New York magazine article in June 2019. She was one of more than 20 women who accused Trump of sexual misconduct, harassment, or assault before he was elected president. Trump has denied all of the allegations.