E. Jean Carroll said Wednesday she was «overwhelmed with joy» for women across the United States after former President Donald Trump was found responsible for sexually abusing and defaming her.
Carroll, 79, said in an interview with NBC News’ Savannah Guthrie on «TODAY» Wednesday morning that the court’s victory was not about the millions he received in damages, but about securing a victory for all women.
«I am overwhelmed, overwhelmed with joy and happiness and delight for the women of this country,» she said.
«This is not about money. This is about getting my name back,» Carroll added.
A nine-person jury in New York awarded the writer $5 million in damages for assault and defamation claims, but said Trump was not responsible for Carroll’s alleged rape in a Manhattan department store in the 1990s.
Trump, who is campaigning for the 2024 presidency, has always denied Carroll’s claims.
“I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHO THIS WOMAN IS. THIS VERDICT IS A DISGRACE: A CONTINUATION OF THE GREATEST WITCH HUNT OF ALL TIME!” he wrote on his social networking site, Truth Social, after the verdicts were delivered.
A Trump campaign spokesman said in a statement Tuesday: «This case will be appealed and we will ultimately win.»
Carroll was with his attorney, Roberta Kaplan, who said she was confident her client will collect damages from Trump and that her team has no grounds to appeal.
«I have rarely felt more confident about an appeal than this one,» she said.
Kaplan said there was «no question» the jury was sending a message by awarding multi-million dollar damages and reaching a verdict in a matter of hours.
He also said that Trump’s decision not to testify had helped. «He didn’t even bother to introduce himself,» Kaplan added.
Carroll also spoke about the toll the case has taken on him for more than 30 years.
«The day before yesterday there was a concept of the perfect victim, who always screams, always reports to the police, always takes notes of when it happened, and their life folds up and they’re never supposed to be happy,» he said.
“Yesterday we demolished that concept, it’s gone. It’s not so much about me, it’s about all women.»
Asked what he would say to Trump if he could, Carroll said he reached out to his attorney, Joe Tacopina, at the conclusion of the case and let him know.
“Tacopina held out his hand and I said, ‘He did it and you know it.’ So I had my chance,» she recalled.
Several Republican senators warned that Tuesday’s verdict could affect Trump’s re-election chances. The verdict marks the first time a former president has been found liable for sexual misconduct in a civil case.
The outcome of the civil case has no criminal implications. The level of evidence needed to prove liability—on the preponderance of the evidence—was lower than that of a criminal trial, in which a case must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
Carroll sued in Manhattan federal court last year, alleging that Trump raped her in the dressing room of a Bergdorf Goodman department store near her Fifth Avenue home in 1995 or 1996. She first went public with the claim in 2019 in her book What Do We Need Men For? A modest proposition.»
Trump, first as president and then as a private citizen, dismissed Carroll’s account as a fiction he made up to boost book sales, saying that she is «not my type.» She did not testify at trial, but portions of her October video statement were played for the jury.
The verdict was to be unanimous. It was issued Tuesday after the jury deliberated for only about three hours.
Asked in their verdict sheet whether Carroll had proven «by a preponderance of the evidence» that «Mr. Trump raped Ms. Carroll,» the jury of six men and three women checked the box that read «no.» ”.
When asked whether Carroll had proven «by a preponderance of the evidence» that «Mr. Trump sexually abused Ms. Carroll,» the jury checked the box that read «yes.» Both allegations were elements of Carroll’s assault claim.
The jury also found that Trump had maligned Carroll by calling his claims a «hoax» and a «scam,» after deliberating for only about three hours. Carroll was awarded just over $2 million in the assault claim and just under $3 million in the defamation claims.