E. Jean Carroll said Wednesday that a Manhattan federal jury’s finding that Donald Trump sexually abused her in the spring of 1996 – awarding her $5 million for battery and defamation – is a victory for all women who are victims of sexual assault.
“The old view of the perfect victim was a woman who always screamed. A woman who immediately reported. A woman whose life was supposed to fold up and she’s never supposed to experience happiness again,” Carroll told CNN’s Poppy Harlow on “This Morning.” “That was just shut down with this verdict, the death of the perfect victim has happened. Now this verdict is for all women.”
Asked by Harlow what she was thinking when the jury did not find that Carroll proved Trump raped her, Carroll said, “Well, I just immediately (said) in my own head, ‘Oh, yes, he did. Oh yes, he did.’” When she shook hands with Trump lawyer Joe Tacopina, she said to him, “he did it. And you know it.”
Carroll alleged that Trump raped her in the Bergdorf Goodman department store and then defamed her when he denied her claim, said she wasn’t his type and suggested she made up the story to boost sales of her book.
Trump has denied all wrongdoing and does not face any jail time as a result of the civil verdict. He has said he will appeal the verdict.
Carroll, who called the verdict a “great moment,” said she is happy to get her name back and will soon get a new dog now that the trial is over.
“I’m really sort of taking in the moment and the overwhelming flood of a lot of hate that’s part of it,” she said, adding that she is feeling an “overwhelming amount of relief and joy.”
“There’s a sort of a feeling of victory that, at last, somebody has held him accountable in a courtroom,” Carroll said.
This story has been updated with additional reaction.