Skip to Content

E. Jean Carroll responds to Trump attorney: ‘I’m telling you, he raped me whether I screamed or not’


By Aaron Cooper, CNN

E. Jean Carroll returned to the stand on Thursday in her civil battery and defamation lawsuit against former President Donald Trump, with the columnist telling the jury about her experience with him in a New York department store in the face of cross-examination from Trump’s attorney.

Trump’s defense has focused on why Carroll did not publicly report the alleged rape at the time or get the attention of others in the store.

Attorney Joe Tacopina repeatedly asked questions about why Carroll did not scream during the approximately 3-minute alleged attack in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room, or even afterward.

“I’m not a screamer,” Carroll testified at the US District Court in Manhattan. “I was too much in panic to scream.”

“You can’t beat up on me for not screaming,” she told the defense lawyer. “Women who don’t come forward, one of the reasons they don’t come forward is they are asked why they didn’t scream. Some women scream, some women don’t. It keeps women silent.”

Carroll added: “I’m telling you, he raped me whether I screamed or not. I don’t need an excuse for not screaming.”

Carroll is suing Trump for battery and defamation, alleging that he raped her in the spring of 1996 and then defamed her years later when she went public with the allegations. Trump has repeatedly denied her allegations.

Just as she did Wednesday in the trial, Carroll described wrestling with Trump in the dressing room.

“I was very confused, the first push, I thought ‘he couldn’t have meant that.’ I thought he had made a mistake. I thought it was very strange,” Carroll said.

“I was trying to figure out what the hell was going … we had jut been laughing 12, 15 seconds before and here I am being pushed up against the wall. It just didn’t make any sense,” she added. “Then he put his mouth against mine and then I understood.”

Carroll said Trump was holding her against the wall with the weight of his shoulder and she eventually pushed him back with a knee.

“For me it was a colossal struggle,” she said, yet she never let go of her purse and was wearing 4-inch heels, she acknowledged to Tacopina. “I can dance backwards and forwards in 4-inch heels.”

After leaving the dressing room, Carroll testified that she didn’t say anything to Trump and was fearful he would follow her and grab her. She went down the six floors of escalators and left, and did not see a customer.

“I wasn’t looking for people. I was looking to get out,” she testified.

Carroll describes life since filing lawsuit

Earlier Thursday, Carroll’s attorney asked her why she was suing the former president, and what had happened to her since she filed the suit.

“I think rape is one of the most violent and horrible things that can happen to a woman or a man,” Carroll said.

“I don’t particularly like attention because — I’m suing. Getting attention for being raped is not — It’s hard. Getting attention for making a great three-bean salad, that would be good,” she said.

Asked by her attorney Mike Ferrara if she ever regrets bringing the suit, she replied: “About 5 times a day,” adding, “It doesn’t feel pleasant to be under threat.”

Trump called her first lawsuit a “con job” Carroll acknowledged as Ferrara put the words of Trump’s statement on a screen for the jury to see.

She was just getting back on her feet when the statement came out and “boom, he knocks me back down again,” she testified.

And Carroll said that negative comments about her followed Trump’s statement.

“A wave of slime, seedy comments, very denigrating. Almost an endless stream of people repeating what Donald Trump said,” she testified. “The main thing was ‘way too ugly’ … It’s very hard to get up in the morning receiving these messages that you are way too ugly to go on living, practically.”

Ferrara showed the jury some tweets calling his client ugly, a troll and a liar.

“These particularly hurt, because I thought I had made it through. There they are again,” Carroll said. “I looked at my Twitter this morning. They haven’t stopped.”

She testified about comments she saw on Twitter Thursday morning calling her “Liar, slut, ugly, old,” but, she said, “I couldn’t be more proud to be here.”

Defense highlights communication between Carroll and friend

Cross examination of Carroll began after her direct testimony Thursday morning, with Tacopina, challenging her about the believability of her account.

“Using your own words, the facts you have alleged in the story, you have alleged here, are odd,” he asked.

“Certain parts of this story are difficult to conceive of, yes,” Carroll said.

In one line of questioning, Tacopina sought to highlight an opposition to Trump by Carroll and her friends, as well as suggest they came together to make a plan.

“As soon as we are both well enough to scheme, we must do our patriotic duty again,” Carroll’s friend Carol Martin emailed her on September 23, 2017, one piece of evidence showed.

“TOTALLY!!!” Carroll responded in an email. “I have something special for you when we meet.”

Carroll testified she didn’t know what she meant in the more than five-year-old email by the words “something special.”

“This is an email … that I have no recollection of. I suspect it’s something funny. I can’t imagine what it is. I have no idea,” she said. “I don’t recall anything about this email.”

This story has been updated with additional developments.

™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Devan Cole contributed to this report.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

Jump to comments ↓

CNN Newsource


KIFI Local News 8 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content