Donald Trump found liable for sexual abuse, defamation

Wednesday, 10 May 2023 (11:15 IST)
A New York jury found former US President Donald Trump liable for sexual abuse and defamation against advice columnist E. Jean Carroll. He was ordered to pay $5 million (€4.56 million) in compensation and fines in the civil lawsuit.
However, the jury rejected Carroll's claim that Trump sexually assaulted her in 1996.
During the two-week-long trial, Carroll testified that Trump had sexually assaulted her in a fitting room at a luxury Manhattan store. She said he then harmed her reputation by writing in a post on his platform Truth Social in 2022 that her allegations were a "complete con job," "a hoax" and "a lie."
"Today, the world finally knows the truth," Carroll said in a statement after the ruling.
"This victory is not just for me but for every woman who has suffered because she was not believed." 
How did Trump respond?
Trump maintained he did not assault Carroll or even know her. He did not attend the trial.
The former president, who is seeking a run for the White House in 2024, said the verdict was a "disgrace," and again claimed it was part of a political "witch hunt" against him.
Trump has previously cited the trial in campaign fundraising emails as evidence of what he describes as a Democratic attempt to destroy him politically.
In March, he was indicted over hush money payments to an adult film star before his 2016 presidential election victory. His poll number improved after the indictment, which made him the first former US president to be criminally charged. 
What were the accusations against Trump?
The 79-year-old Carroll said that Trump allegedly raped her at the Bergdorf Goodman department store almost 30 years ago.
She was working as a writer for Elle magazine at the time and said that Trump asked her for help choosing a gift for a woman. They allegedly ended up in a dressing room after looking around the store and making small talk. Here Carroll said that Trump pushed her against the wall and raped her.
She said that she was then able to flee after a few minutes.
"I'm here because Donald Trump raped me, and when I wrote about it, he said it didn't happen. He lied and shattered my reputation, and I'm here to try and get my life back," Carroll said in her testimony at the trial.

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