(NEW YORK) — E. Jean Carroll returned to the witness stand on Thursday in her federal battery and defamation lawsuit against former President Donald Trump.
Carroll told the jury she had been assaulted by then-CBS chairman Les Moonves after an interview. She said she and Moonves entered an elevator and then “he pushed me up against the wall.”
Carroll said she told no one and Moonves denied it as part of a blanket denial of all allegations women had made against him.
She did not sue Moonves, Carroll said, because “he did not defame me. He did not call me a liar.”
Carroll, however, sued Donald Trump in November 2019 “because he called me a liar. Because he said I accused other men of rape. He said I was an operative or in a conspiracy with the Democratic Party … and he said I was too ugly to rape. So I sued him.”
Anticipating cross-examination, Carroll said no one told convinced her to sue but she “had a conversation” with Republican lawyer and Trump critic George Conway, who Carroll said “does not like Donald Trump.”
After Trump’s defense attorney said Carroll was out for money, she said she was not struggling financially when she filed her lawsuit and was not looking for a large payoff.
“It’s not about the money. It’s about getting my name back,” Carroll said, who added that she is constantly under threat.
“This morning, for instance, I thought I would just take a peek at my Twitter. And there it was again, the onslaught of the lair, slut, ugly, old. It’s not a great way to begin the day. But I could not be more proud to be here.”
On Wednesday, Carroll told the jury “Donald Trump raped me.” She described in sometimes graphic terms the pain of the alleged assault and the weight of Trump’s body against her.
“I remember him being — he was very large and his whole weight came against my chest and held me up there, and he leaned down and pulled down my tights,” Carroll, who testified for nearly three-and-a-half hours, said.
Her testimony may have also given the defense an opening since Carroll conceded she “wasn’t 100% certain” when the alleged attack occurred.
“This question, the when, the when, the date has just been something that I am constantly trying to pin down. It’s very difficult,” Carroll said.
Anticipating other possible lines of cross-examination, Carroll’s attorneys asked her whether she had watched “The Apprentice,” Trump’s reality television show. When she said she had, her attorney, Michael Ferrara, asked why.
“I love the premise of ambitious young businesspeople competing for a job. I thought that was really quite witty and it was different. It was so much better than, you know, the dating contests and the beauty contests and those — this was a real contest where you could watch it and learn a thing or two. It was very — it was beautifully produced,” Carroll said.
She also testified she still shops at Bergdorf Goodman, where the alleged attack occurred, because “they have some of the loveliest things that the world has ever created.”
It remains unclear if Trump will testify himself at any point. The judge demanded to know this week whether Trump will appear, telling the defense that it was time to “fish or cut bait.”
Trump has denied all allegations that he raped Carroll or defamed her.
The trial is expected to last about five days. The nine-member jury of six men and three women is weighing Carroll’s defamation and battery claims and deciding potential monetary damages.
This week’s trial is taking place as Trump seeks the White House for a third time while facing numerous legal challenges related to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, his handling of classified material after leaving the White House and possible attempts to interfere in the Georgia’s 2020 vote. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said Monday she would decide whether to file criminal charges against Trump or his allies this summer.
Carroll’s lawsuit is her second against Trump related to her rape allegation.
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