On Monday, May 1, E. Jean Carroll appeared in court for the third consecutive day to testify. Carroll accused former President Donald Trump of raping her in the 1990s but did not disclose the alleged incident until 2019. During the cross-examination led by Trump’s attorney, she defended her character.
Carroll filed two civil suits against Trump. The first lawsuit, initiated in 2019, was for defamation in response to the former president’s public statements regarding her allegations. However, the lawsuit has been stuck in the courts due to a technicality that grants immunity to government employees in defamation cases. Carroll’s legal team must demonstrate that Trump was not acting as the sitting president but as a private citizen when he spoke out against her accusations, or else the judge will dismiss the case. The status of this lawsuit is currently uncertain.
E. Jean Carroll defends her reputation in Trump rape accusation case – The Washington Post https://t.co/qTvapiAdR8
— Marylou von Heyman (@heyman_von) May 1, 2023
The second case, which Carroll filed in 2022, came after New York state passed a law allowing sexual assault survivors to sue alleged attackers years after the attack occurred. According to The Washington Post, Carroll claims that Trump “forcefully raped and groped her.” She did not report the incident at the time due to fear of possible repercussions and identifies herself as a member of the Silent Generation. Carroll expressed regret for waiting so long to come forward.
During the cross-examination, Joe Tacopina, who is Trump’s lawyer, accused Carroll of making up the alleged incident, pointing out similarities between her account and an episode of “Law & Order: SVU.” Carroll firmly denied the accusation. Tacopina also presented a passage from Carroll’s book in which she stated she “never suffered” as a result of the supposed rape. Carroll responded that she was attempting to project an optimistic and unencumbered public persona, but in private, she was struggling with issues she was not yet ready to confront. She claimed that the large number of witnesses who came forward against Harvey Weinstein and the movement that followed inspired her to be transparent about her experience.