"I'm here to get my life back." On Wednesday April 26, former American columnist E. Jean Carroll gave herself up before a citizen jury in a civil lawsuit in New York against former United States President Donald Trump. She asks for compensation. On the second day of this trial in Manhattan federal court, E. Jean Carroll, 79, spoke in a calm and serious voice, in front of the nine citizens drawn by lot to determine whether Donald Trump has it or not. assaulted in the mid-1990s, in a fitting room of the New York luxury department store Bergdorf Goodman.
"I'm here," she said, "because Donald Trump raped me." In dead silence, the former Elle magazine columnist continued: "When I wrote about it (in a book published in 2019, editor's note), he said it didn't happen. He lied and shattered my reputation." "I'm here to get my life back," she added.
For more than an hour, the writer, elegant, distinguished, with slightly sunken features, recounted how "such a funny New York scene" - the chance meeting with Donald Trump at the entrance of a department store, then a few jokes on the shelves - turned into a nightmare in the dressing room of the lingerie department on the 6th floor. According to her account, the then-all-New York businessman and celebrity recognizes her because she writes a column in Elle, "Ask E. Jean," and very playfully invites her to the help choose a gift. In the lingerie department, Donald Trump grabs an "undergarment".
Elizabeth Jean Carroll still cannot explain more than 25 years after the alleged facts how she was able to follow him into the cabin. The rest, she gave a testimony without detours. She claims that Donald Trump pushed her against the wall, pinned her down, then pulled down her pantyhose and penetrated her with "his fingers in (her) vagina" and then her penis. The scene lasted "a few minutes".
"I know people have been through a lot worse but it made me unable to find a love life again," E. Jean Carroll testified. Why did it take more than 20 years to come out of silence? "I was afraid of Donald Trump...I was ashamed...I thought it was my fault."
The former president of the United States, who is not on criminal trial, was not present on Tuesday and Wednesday and is not expected to appear in civil court. But his lawyers should submit E. Jean Carroll to a tight cross-examination. On Tuesday, one of them, Joe Tacopina, had portrayed her as a storyteller hungry for money and recognition.