Donald Trump accused of rape
Former President Donald Trump charmed and flirted with writer E. Jean Carroll before leading her into the dressing room of a luxury department store and raping her, she claimed in testimony to jurors in New York on Wednesday. Trump has denied the allegations, calling Carroll’s allegations a “made-up scam.”
Carroll testified that she ran into Trump in a luxury department store in Manhattan in the 1990s. The real estate mogul allegedly asked her for help choosing lingerie for a different woman, and the pair flirted as they moved through the store. Trump then supposedly suggested that Carroll model some of the lingerie, and the two walked toward the dressing rooms.
“He immediately shut the door and shoved me up against the wall,” she claimed. “He shoved me so hard my head banged. I pushed back and he thrust me back against the wall again, banging my head again.”
“He leaned down and pulled down my tights,” she continued, saying that Trump went on to rape her.
Carroll did not file a police report. She first aired her accusations in a 2019 column for New York magazine, providing further details in a book published the same year. Trump denied ever meeting Carroll and publicly accused her of lying to harm him politically. Carroll sued Trump for defamation following his denial, and for battery after New York authorities removed the statute of limitations on such cases last year.
The case is a civil one, and Carroll is seeking an undisclosed amount in damages from the former president.
When Carroll first went public with her claims, Trump described her as “a woman who I had nothing to do with, didn’t know, and would have no interest in knowing her if I ever had the chance.” He recently called the entire case a “made-up scam” and Carroll’s lawyer a “political operative.” Trump also claimed that the case was being financed by “a big political donor.”
LinkedIn co-founder and Democratic donor Reid Hoffman is financing the case, claiming that he is “protecting the rule of law from the threat posed by Donald Trump’s scorched-earth legal methods.” Judge Lewis Kaplan banned all discussion of the case’s funding in the courtroom on Wednesday.
Trump is not required to appear before Kaplan in person, and has given no indication that he plans to testify. The former president gave a video deposition to Carroll’s lawyers last October, which although focused on the defamation charge may be used as evidence in the battery suit. Earlier this week, Kaplan warned Trump that he could open himself up to further charges if he continues to comment on the case on social media.