Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday was found liable for sexual abuse and defamation — and ordered to pay more than $5 million in damages — by a federal jury in writer E. Jean Carroll’s lawsuit accusing him of raping her in a Bergdorf Goodman fitting room decades ago.
Carroll, 79, held her head down as the verdict was read in Manhattan federal court — and nodded when she heard the jury finding in favor of her defamation claim for Trump, 76, branding her a liar when she came forward with her allegations.
The nine-person jury — three women and six men — decided the case after three hours of deliberations that began just before noon Tuesday.
Neither Carroll nor her attorney, Roberta Kaplan, spoke to the mass of reporters outside the Lower Manhattan courthouse as they left hand in hand, with the former “Ask E. Jean” columnist breezing through the crowd and into a waiting car.
“I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHO THIS WOMAN IS. THIS VERDICT IS A DISGRACE – A CONTINUATION OF THE GREATEST WITCH HUNT OF ALL TIME!” Trump wrote on his social media platform Truth Social following the verdict.
Speaking outside court, his attorney, Joe Tacopina, vowed to appeal the verdict.
“He’s firm in his belief, as many people are, that he can’t get a fair trial in New York City based on the jury pool,” Tacopina said of Trump. “I think one could argue that’s an accurate assessment based on what happened today.”
As a reporter asked if it would derail Trump’s run for the Republican nomination in the 2024 presidential election, Tacopina quickly interjected: “nope.”
In a statement through her attorney later Thursday, Carroll said she filed suit against Trump “to clear my name and to get my life back.”
“Today, the world finally knows the truth,” she said. “This victory is not just for me but for every woman who has suffered because she was not believed.”
While jurors rejected Carroll’s claim in her 2019 suit that Trump had raped her, they found him liable for sexual abuse. Carroll had accused Trump of attacking her in a fitting room at the Fifth Avenue department store, most likely in 1996. He has denied her allegations.
Watchers in the court gallery cried tears of joy when the verdict finding Trump liable for sexual abuse was read.
Jurors also found in favor of Carroll on her claim that the ex-president defamed her in a lengthy Oct. 12, 2022, Truth Social post claiming her accusations were a “hoax.”
The decision comes after eight days of trial spread over three weeks, where the jury heard from 11 witnesses including Carroll, two other Trump accusers and two pals whom Carroll confided in about the alleged attack.
Trump did not attend the trial but the jury saw clips of his video deposition. He also didn’t call any witnesses or present any evidence.
Carroll took the witness stand for three days, recounting how she ran into the real estate mogul at Bergdorf Goodman, across from Trump Tower, most likely in the spring of 1996.
Carroll — who had a successful column in Elle magazine at the time — agreed to help Trump find a gift for a woman and the pair walked through the store flirting and exchanging banter, she said.
Trump led her to a desolate sixth-floor lingerie department where he tossed a see-through negligee at Carroll, asking her to try it on, she claimed. But Carroll jokingly threw the lacy one-piece back at Trump, telling him to try it on, she claimed.
Then Trump led her into an open fitting room, where he pinned her against the wall and bumped her head twice, during what she called a “fight,” Carroll testified.
E. Jean Carroll walks out of courthouse after civil suit finds Donald Trump liable for sexual abuse
Trump then penetrated her with his fingers and later with his penis, she claimed, saying she could “still feel the pain” of his fingers inside her.
Friend Lisa Birnbach told jurors that a “hyperventilating” Carroll called her just minutes after the alleged attack. Birnbach said she advised Carroll to go to the police, even offering to accompany her. But Carroll was insistent that she didn’t want to report the incident and swore Birnbach to secrecy, the pal said.
Two other Trump accusers, Natasha Stoynoff and Jessica Leeds, were also called by Carroll to tell jurors about incidents in which they alleged Trump sexually assaulted them.
Leeds, 81, claimed that Trump groped and tried to kiss her on a plane in the late 1970s and then when she saw him years later, he said, “You’re that c–t woman from the airplane.”
Stoynoff, a journalist, told jurors that Trump came on to her in 2005 while she was at Mar-a-Lago working on a piece for Trump and third wife Melania’s first anniversary.
Melania — who was pregnant at the time — was off changing while Trump forcibly kissed Stoynoff, who was freed from his grasp when a butler interrupted, Stoynoff testified through tears.
Carroll’s lawyer, Kaplan, told jurors during closing arguments Monday that Leeds and Stoynoff’s claims showed that what happened to Carroll wasn’t a one-off incident.
Kaplan claimed that Trump is a habitual liar and blasted the fact that he “didn’t even bother” to show up at trial.
Carroll’s side repeatedly brought up the infamous 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape in which Trump was unwittingly recorded saying that he grabbed women “by the p—y” and that they let him because he’s a star.
Kaplan claimed that this was Trump saying how he treated women. But Trump claimed in his deposition that this video was simply “locker room talk.”
Trump lawyer Joe Tacopina told the jury during his closings that Carroll’s claims were a “work of fiction.”
The fact that Carroll never went to the police and the fact that she couldn’t recall the exact date of the alleged assault were just a few of the indications that she made up the thing.
Trump has claimed that Carroll, Birnbach and a third friend — whom Carroll told about the alleged assault — were all political operatives who cooked up the allegations to hurt Trump’s presidency. He’s also claimed that Carroll made up the story to push the sales of her book.
Carroll went public in June 2019 when New York Magazine published an excerpt of her book. She filed a first lawsuit against Trump for defamation in November 2019 and later for the rape claim in November 2022.
Trump denied knowing Carroll and said she wasn’t his “type” in public statements after.
But at trial, jurors saw a photo of Carroll, Trump and their then-respective spouses taken years prior to the rape. She also claims he would have known who she was because she had a television show on his pal Roger Ailes’ network at the time.
In a post on Truth Social earlier Tuesday, Trump said he planned to appeal “no matter what the outcome!”2069
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He said in the post that he wasn’t allowed to speak or defend himself in the case — despite being given every opportunity to show up in court and testify if he chose to.
The embattled real estate tycoon also faces criminal charges in connection to alleged hush-money payments to ex-porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal. He has denied the charges.
New York Attorney General Letitia James also brought a civil fraud case against Trump and his company. The president has denied wrongdoing in that case.
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