Friend Told E. Jean Carroll, 'He'll Bury You'

'To get my day in court finally is everything,' says writer who accuses Donald Trump of rape
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 27, 2023 6:37 AM CDT
Friend Told E. Jean Carroll, 'He'll Bury You'
E. Jean Carroll testifies on the witness stand with a photo of herself and Donald Trump shown on the screen, far left, in the trial of her federal lawsuit, Wednesday, April 26, 2023, in New York.   (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

A "very funny situation" in the Bergdorf Goodman department store developed into anything but when Donald Trump followed E. Jean Carroll into a dressing room and raped her in 1996, the writer testified in court Wednesday. Breaking down in tears at various points during the hours-long testimony, the former Elle advice columnist said she'd run into Trump, whom she'd met previously and liked, and was happy to accept his request for advice on buying a gift for a woman, per Mother Jones. Then he held up a sheer bodysuit and asked Carroll to try it on, she said. "I had no intention of putting it on. I said, 'You put it on, it's your color,'" she said, per the Guardian. "He said, 'Let's go try it on,'" Carroll continued. "The comedy was escalating." Then Trump held open a dressing room door.

"That open door has plagued me for years, because I just walked into it," Carroll said. Trump followed and "shoved me so hard my head banged," she said. Pinning her against a wall, he pulled down her tights and put his hand under her skirt, even as she tried to push him off, she testified. "His finger went into my vagina, which was extremely painful," Carroll said. "As I sit here today, I can still feel it. Then he inserted his penis." "My whole reason for being alive at that moment was to get out of the room," she continued, adding she was able to raise a knee and get away. She said she then called a friend, Lisa Birnbach, who told her to go to the police. But Carroll sided with another friend who advised, "Keep it to yourself, he has 200 lawyers, he'll bury you," Carroll recalled.

She described the guilt and shame she experienced in the aftermath. "I thought it was my fault. Because I was flirting with him, because I was laughing," she said. She also described how she lost her job and suffered a "staggering" amount of hate after she wrote about the encounter in 2019 and Trump denied it had even happened. She said she regretted coming forward "about 100 times but, in the end, being able to get my day in court finally is everything." "I'm not settling a political score. I'm settling a personal score," she added. Carroll—whose lawyers will present the infamous Access Hollywood tape as evidence that Trump admitted to grabbing women's genitals without consent, per Slate—is set to be cross-examined by Trump's attorneys on Thursday. (More E. Jean Carroll stories.)

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