© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: E. Jean Carroll, former U.S. President Donald Trump rape accuser, arrives at Manhattan Federal Court, in New York City, U.S., April 26, 2023. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

By Jack Queen and Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) -E. Jean Carroll, a writer accusing Donald Trump of raping her in the mid-1990s, pushed back during a cross-examination on Thursday, saying “I’m telling you: he raped me whether I screamed or not.”

Asked why she did not scream during Trump’s alleged attack, Carroll said she was panicked and “not a screamer” by nature.

“People always ask, ‘Why didn’t you scream?’ It keeps women silent,” Carroll said. She forcefully denied the lawyer’s accusation that she waited more than two decades to come forward to sell more copies of her 2019 memoir.

Under cross-examination in Manhattan federal court, Carroll said she went public about her encounter with Trump in a luxury department store after rape allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein surfaced in 2017.

Carroll, a former Elle magazine columnist, said the Weinstein disclosures prompted many other women to come forward with their accounts of sexual abuse.

“It caused me to realize that staying silent does not work,” Carroll, 79, said under questioning from Trump’s lawyer, Joe Tacopina, on the third day of a trial in her civil case against the former president.

“Woman after woman stood up,” Carroll said before her six-man, three-woman jury. “I thought, well, this may be a way to change the culture of sexual violence.”

After dozens of questions from Tacopina about her failure to scream, Carroll lost patience and raised her voice. “I’m telling you: he raped me whether I screamed or not,” she said.


Trump’s legal team sought to undermine Carroll’s credibility after she testified in graphic detail on Wednesday that Trump raped her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in late 1995 or early 1996.

Tacopina suggested it was only when she “wanted to make money” from her memoir, “What Do We Need Men For?” that she spoke up.

“For two decades, Ms. Carroll, you never told the police and never revealed the story in your hundreds of columns,” Tacopina said to Carroll.

He pressed her on her inability to recall exactly when her encounter with Trump happened, prompting her to say “I wish to heaven” she had an exact date.

Carroll objected when Tacopina said she had “supposedly” being raped. She said the rape occurred.

“Those are the facts,” Carroll said.

Carroll had testified on Wednesday that Trump, who had been shopping at Bergdorf for lingerie for another woman, coaxed her into a dressing room, slammed her into a wall and raped her.

Trump has consistently denied Carroll’s allegations and said she made them up to sell her memoir and hurt him politically, a theme Tacopina touched on.

The 76-year-old Trump leads the Republican field in the 2024 presidential campaign.

He has not attended the trial and is not required to be there. Trump had a scheduled New Hampshire campaign event on Thursday.


Carroll, a registered Democrat, is seeking unspecified damages from Trump, saying his denials ruined her career and invited a flood of online harassment that persists.

She is suing Trump for battery under the Adult Survivors Act, a 2022 New York state law letting adults who claim they were sexually abused sue their alleged attackers even if statutes of limitations have run out.

Carroll is also suing for defamation over an October 2022 post by Trump on his Truth Social platform where he called the rape a hoax and scam, said Carroll was “not my type!” and accused Carroll of concocting a tale to sell her memoir.

On Thursday, prior to cross-examination, Carroll finished being questioned by her lawyer Michael Ferrara.

She maintained that suing Trump was a means of “getting my name back” and denied she did it for publicity or revenge.

Carroll said she had been subjected to a “wave of slime” from “almost an endless stream of people” who repeated Trump’s social media post.

“I like attention,” she said. “I don’t particularly like getting attention for suing Donald Trump. Getting attention for being raped is hard.”

The trial is expected to run one to two weeks.

On Wednesday, Trump scorned the case in posts on Truth Social, saying Carroll was promoting a “fraudulent & false story.” His son Eric attacked Carroll in a Twitter post.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, who oversees the trial, cautioned against allowing such posts because jurors might read them.

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