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Donald Trump allegedly raped advice columnist E Jean Carroll during a chance encounter at an upmarket New York department store and then “destroyed” her career when he repeatedly lied about the claims, a civil jury in New York heard on Tuesday.

Ms Carroll, now 79, is suing Mr Trump, 76, for battery and defamation in a civil trial in a US Federal Court in Lower Manhattan.

Ms Carroll had been leaving Bergdorf Goodman on 5th Avenue some time in the spring of 1996 when she met Mr Trump at a revolving door entrance, Ms Carroll’s attorney Shawn Crowley told the jury in opening arguments.

She recognised Mr Trump as “that real estate guy”, and he knew her as “that advice columnist”, Ms Crowley said.

He told her that he wanted to find a gift for a female acquaintance and she agreed to help thinking it would be a funny story to tell her friends, the jury of six men and three women was told.

The pair took an escalator up to the 6th floor, and joked about who should try on a pair of lingerie, the court heard. The lingerie section was deserted, and they continued to exchange pleasantries as Mr Trump took her by the arm to a dressing room.


“Then when they went inside everything changed,” Ms Crowley said. “Suddenly nothing was funny.”

Mr Trump, who was “twice her size”, shoved Ms Carroll up against a wall and raped her, the court was told.


“She shoved, kicked, hit him with her purse,” while trying to break free, Ms Crowley said. The encounter lasted about three minutes, before the writer managed to escape.

The allegations closely matched Mr Trump’s “M.O.” of targeting women at random, she added.


Upon leaving the store Ms Carroll immediately called her friend, the journalist Lisa Birnbach, who advised her to go to the police, the court was told.

She confided in another friend, former WCBS television anchor Carol Martin, who advised her to remain silent given Mr Trump’s power and influence in New York at the time. Both friends will be called to testify during the trial.

The case is expected to take five to 10 days.

Source: The Guardian


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