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E. Jean Carroll elated at verdict that Trump sexually abused her

2023-05-10T14:38:25Z

E. Jean Carroll reacts as she exits the Manhattan Federal Court following the verdict in the civil rape accusation case against former U.S. President Donald Trump, in New York City, U.S., May 9, 2023. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

Former Elle magazine advice columnist E. Jean Carroll said on Wednesday she felt “fantastic” after a jury a day earlier found Donald Trump liable for sexually abusing and defaming her, and awarded her $5 million in damages in her civil lawsuit against the former U.S. president.

The verdict in Manhattan federal court represented a fresh legal setback for Trump as he seeks to regain the presidency in 2024. It also provided vindication for Carroll, 79, who in 2019 publicly accused Trump, 76, of raping her in a Bergdorf Goodman department store dressing room in the mid-1990s.

While jurors did not find that Trump raped Carroll, it awarded damages over the incident and over a post last October on Trump’s Truth Social platform in which he called Carroll’s claim a “complete con job,” hoax and lie.

“I feel fantastic. Yesterday was probably the happiest day of my life,” Carroll told ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Trump, who did not attend the trial, plans to appeal.

In a Wednesday post on Truth Social, Trump wrote: “I HAVE NO IDEA WHO THIS WOMAN, WHO MADE A FALSE AND TOTALLY FABRICATED ACCUSATION, IS. HOPEFULLY JUSTICE WILL BE SERVED ON APPEAL!”

Accompanied by her lawyer Roberta Kaplan, Carroll said on “Good Morning America” that she felt “shaken” while Trump’s lawyer Joe Tacopina challenged her account during two days of cross-examination, but felt strong because she knew she was telling the truth.

“He said terrible things about me,” Carroll said, referring to Trump, “dragged me through the mud, ground my face in the dirt.”

Carroll described holding hands with her lawyer as the verdict was read.

“Her hand was ice cold, ice cold,” Carroll said. “And when that jury said, ‘Yes,’ we looked at each other, and that was the moment. It was such an overwhelming moment.”

Asked during a separate appearance on CNN whether she expects Trump to pay her, Carroll said, “This is not about the money – not about the money. This is accomplishing something that I set out to do many years ago to get my name back, and that’s what we did.”

Kaplan called Trump’s chance of success in his appeal “absolute zero,” saying the judge in the case went out of his way to ensure a fair trial.

“He gave them more process than even anyone else ever gets,” Kaplan said on “Good Morning America.” “He gave Donald Trump multiple chances to come to that courtroom and testify. He refused to do so. He has no appeal.”