"I have absolutely no idea who this woman is. This verdict is a disgrace — a continuation of the greatest witch hunt of all time," said Trump in a post to Truth Social minutes after the verdict.
The jurors, six men and three women, completed deliberations in about three hours. They awarded 79-year-old Carroll $5 million in compensatory and punitive damages in the civil case.
Though Carroll alleged Trump raped her in a dressing room of a Bergdorf Goodman store across the street from Trump Tower in the mid-1990s, the jury did not find Trump liable for rape.
According to Carroll, she and Trump ran into one another at the department store when Trump was shopping for a gift. She says that when she agreed to help Trump with the gift, he "coaxed her into a dressing room, slammed her head into a wall and raped her," Reuters reported.
Carroll brought a civil claim of battery in 2022, when the state of New York allowed people, for one year, to bring sexual assault cases that would ordinarily be barred based on the statute of limitations, CNBC explained.
Carroll sued Trump for defamation over a comment Trump made saying Carroll was lying about the alleged rape. Trump said Carroll, who wrote for Elle magazine, concocted the allegations to boost her book sales and harm him politically, Reuters reported.
Carroll and two women she told about the the incident soon after it allegedly occurred, all testified. Two other women testified that "Trump had kissed and groped them without their consent," the outlet also reported.
Trump did not testify but sat for a deposition October 2022.
"You know, facts are stubborn things, and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts in evidence. The facts in evidence made plain here that E. Jean Carroll's story is not worthy of your belief, not even close," Trump's attorney, Joe Tacopina, said in closing arguments, as reported by Fox News Digital.
Carroll's attorney, Roberta Kaplan, argued that the 2005 "Access Hollywood" video in which Trump is heard saying he can grab women "by the p****" bolstered her client's case.
Prior to the verdict, Trump posted to Truth Social.
"Waiting for a jury decision on a False Accusation where I, despite being a current political candidate and leading all others in both parties, am not allowed to speak or defend myself, even as hard nosed reporters scream questions about this case at me.
"In the meantime, the other side has a book falsely accusing me of rape, & is working with the press. I will therefore not speak until after the trial, but will appeal the unconstitutional silencing of me, as a candidate, no matter the outcome!"
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