The New York jury on Wednesday, heard advice columnist E. Jean Carroll narration of how former United States President Donald Trump raped her.
She said the abuse left her unable to have a romantic relationship, and then he “shattered my reputation” by denying the attack occurred.
Carroll testified in her civil lawsuit seeking damages for battery – after Trump allegedly sexually assaulted her in a New York department store changing room in 1996 – and for defamation, after he accused her of lying and perpetrating a hoax when she went public with her accusations in a book.
“I’m here because Donald Trump raped me, and when I wrote about it, he said it didn’t happen. He lied and shattered my reputation. I’m here to try and get my life back,” she told the jury.
Trump denies the accusations.
Carroll described the former president’s attempts to kiss her as “a shocking thing”.
“My whole reason for being alive at that moment was to get out of the room,” she said.
But Carroll said she could not escape Trump’s grip. Speaking quietly and slowly, she said he raped her.
Carroll said she escaped after she was able to lift her knee and push him off. She fled the store.
Carroll said she will always regret going into the dressing room with Trump, describing it as “very stupid”.
“It left me unable to ever have a romantic life again,” she said.
Trump’s defence team was expected to cross-examine Carroll later in the day, after claiming during opening statements that she conspired with other women to falsely accuse the former president of sexual assault because they “hate” him. Trump’s lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, said Carroll went after his client for political ends, to sell a book and for public attention.
Carroll’s legal team is expected to call several other witnesses, including two women Carroll claims to have told about the alleged rape shortly after it happened, Lisa Birnbach and Carol Martin, who have corroborated the account in interviews.