US author testifies in court

She was a successful author and he was a powerful businessman. A harmless flirt apparently turned into a nightmare – now Jean Carroll is testifying in court.

This courtroom sketch shows author E. Jean Carroll testifying on the witness stand in federal court in New York on Wednesday.

This courtroom sketch shows author E. Jean Carroll testifying on the witness stand in federal court in New York on Wednesday. Elizabeth Williams/AP

The US author Jean Carroll accused Donald Trump of sex crimes in her testimony in the civil trial against the former president. “Trump raped me,” said the 79-year-old in New York about Trump’s alleged act in a New York luxury department store in the mid-1990s. According to media reports, she told the jury how Trump first approached her and asked for help with a gift for a friend.

As a result, he signaled her to go into a dressing room with him. According to Carroll, he pressed himself against her there and penetrated the writer first with his fingers and then with his penis. Carroll went on to say that she eventually pushed Trump away and fled the department store. “I was ashamed, I thought it was my fault,” Carroll said, according to the New York Times. After the incident, she was unable to enter into romantic relationships.

US author Jean Carroll comes to federal court in Manhattan. 

US author Jean Carroll comes to federal court in Manhattan. Little/AP

Real estate entrepreneur Trump, who was not yet a politician at the time, denied the allegation. The criminal allegations are statute-barred, but under civil law Carroll was free to file a lawsuit. It is estimated that the trial – which started on Monday – could take a week. Trump himself has not yet appeared.

Donald Trump: Alleged rape victim ‘not my type’

The trial started on Tuesday. Carroll’s attorney Shawn Crowley in court: “The moment they were (in the dressing room) everything changed. Suddenly nothing was funny anymore.”

Trump’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, said there was no evidence of the assault and that Carroll “abuses the system for money, for political reasons, and for her status.” Carroll only made her allegation public in 2019, when Trump was president. He then accused Carroll of lying and said she wasn’t his “type”.

Carroll initially sued Trump for defamation. Last November, she filed an additional lawsuit alleging the alleged rape herself. This was made possible by a new law in the state of New York that allows alleged rape victims to sue alleged perpetrators for damages regardless of the statute of limitations.

Carroll’s attorney: “He ridiculed her. He destroyed her”

“Trump committed bodily harm when he violently raped and groped Carroll,” the lawsuit reads. On a second count, Carroll also accuses the ex-president of defamation. She refers to a post on his online platform Truth Social from October 2022. In it, Trump accused Carroll, among other things, of “inventing” the incident and spoke again of a “lie”. “He went on the offensive,” attorney Crowley said at Tuesday’s court hearing. “He made fun of her. He destroyed them.”

According to Judge Lewis Kaplan, the process that has now started should take between five and ten days. It is considered unlikely that Trump will appear in person. He is not obliged to do this.

Trump mistook alleged victim for ex-wife

The ex-president was questioned under oath by Carroll’s attorney in October. The ex-president made an embarrassing mistake: When Trump was shown a photo from the 1990s that showed Carroll, among other things, he thought it was his ex-wife Marla Maples. “This is Marla, yes. This is my wife,” Trump said, according to a released transcript of the survey.

Trump has been accused by numerous women of sexual misconduct, including rape, over the decades. The Republican, who wants to run again in the 2024 presidential election, has always denied such allegations.

Just under a month ago, Trump became the first ex-US President in history to be accused of paying hush money to porn actress Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election. The Manhattan Attorney’s Office accuses the 76-year-old of falsifying business documents in 34 counts.

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