- E. Jean Carroll testified in her rape and defamation lawsuit against Trump on Wednesday.
- The writer said that Trump jammed a finger up her vagina and then penetrated her in a dressing room.
- She said she didn’t report the rape because she was afraid he’s retaliate, but told two friends.
E. Jean Carroll said she can still feel the pain of Donald Trump sexually assaulting her more than two decades later, as she took the stand on Wednesday to testify in her rape and defamation lawsuit against the former president.
The longtime Elle advice columnist claims Trump raped her in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman sometime in the mid-1990s. She then claims he defamed her by denying her story in a post on Truth Social in October, calling it a “hoax and a lie.”
After giving the jury a background on her childhood in Indiana and early years as a writer, she got to the heart of her lawsuit against Trump.
Carroll said that she ran into Trump while leaving the department store and that the two got into a lighthearted exchange while she helped him shop for another woman. She said the two had met years previously, at a party with their respected spouses at the time.
But she said the encounter took a turn when Trump led her to the lingerie department and tried to cajole her into trying on a see-through bodysuit. Carroll said she insisted Trump try the teddy on, and didn’t feel any fear as they headed to a changing room on what she described as a deserted sales floor.
Once inside Carroll said Trump closed the door and “shoved me so hard my head banged” against the wall.
Carroll said she was “extremely confused” and laughed because initially, she thought the shove might have been an accident.
But when he tried to kiss her and shoved her again, she knew their joking was over.
Carroll said adrenaline was “pouring” through her, as she tried to fight him off while he yanked down her tights and shoved a finger up her vagina.
“It was a horrible feeling because he curved his finger. As I’m sitting here today, I can still feel it,” Carroll said.
Carroll said Trump then inserted his penis. She said she was soon able to get a knee up on him though, and push him off, and she fled the department store.
Carroll said she’s not sure whether she said “no,” or whether she screamed.
E. Jean Carroll outside of US Federal Court in Manhattan
“I didn’t want to make scene. I know that sounds strange,” Carroll said. “I didn’t want him angry at me.”
That night, Carroll said she called a friend, Lisa Birnbach, who told her she was raped and that she should report it to the police. Carroll said she told another friend, Carole Martin, the story the next day, who gave her much different advice.
“Keep it to yourself. He has 200 lawyers. He’ll bury you,” Carroll said Martin told her. Carroll said she agreed with Martin, and never went to the police.
Martin and Birnbach are expected to testify later in the trial.
The day started off with testimony from Cheryl L. Beall, who was the general manager at Bergdorf’s at the time of the alleged assault. Beall testified that it wasn’t uncommon for the sixth floor, where the lingerie section is located, to be left unstaffed. And while sales associates were supposed to lock the dressing rooms, they were “regularly” left open. She also said that Bergdorf’s workers were trained “to provide privacy and discretion” to celebrities who shopped at the store.