E. Jean Carroll: 'I Don't Need an Excuse for Not Screaming'

Columnist returns to the stand in her civil suit against Trump
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 28, 2023 12:30 AM CDT
E. Jean Carroll: 'I Don't Need an Excuse for Not Screaming'
Former advice columnist E. Jean Carroll, right, leaves federal court with her lawyer Roberta Kaplan, Thursday, April 27, 2023, in New York.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

E. Jean Carroll took the stand for the second day Thursday in her rape and defamation civil lawsuit against Donald Trump. The columnist had a forceful response when a lawyer for the former president questioned her about why she didn't scream as the alleged assault was taking place in the dressing room of a New York department store in 1996, CNN reports: "You can’t beat up on me for not screaming. Women who don’t come forward, one of the reasons they don’t come forward is they are asked why they didn’t scream," she said. "I’m telling you, he raped me whether I screamed or not. I don’t need an excuse for not screaming.”

She recounted her feeling of confusion when, she says, Trump first pushed her up against the dressing room wall. "I was very confused, the first push, I thought ‘he couldn’t have meant that.’ I thought he had made a mistake," she said. "I was trying to figure out what the hell was going … we had just been laughing 12, 15 seconds before and here I am being pushed up against the wall. It just didn’t make any sense." Trump's lawyer also questioned her for not filing a police report and for calling a friend after the alleged assault instead of 911, the Washington Post reports.

The defense also suggested Carroll and her friends are anti-Trump and colluded together in 2017, pointing to texts in which a friend wrote to Carroll, "As soon as we are both well enough to scheme, we must do our patriotic duty again" and Carroll promised "something special" when they met up. "This is an email … that I have no recollection of," she said on the stand. "I suspect it’s something funny. I can’t imagine what it is. I have no idea." The judge reprimanded Trump's lawyer at one point, noting that things would go a "lot faster” if he stopped the repetition and “argumentative questions.” The trial took a break after Carroll's testimony and will resume Monday. (More E. Jean Carroll stories.)

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