E Jean Carroll’s lawyer ridicules Trump’s ‘too ugly’ rape defence: ‘Exactly his type’

Author’s lawyers deny it’s a ‘he said, she said’ story as they present photographic evidence

Stuti Mishra
Wednesday 26 April 2023 17:02 BST
Jurors for Donald Trump’s civil rape trial will remain anonymous

E Jean Carroll’s lawyers have hit back at Donald Trump’s defence that she was “too ugly” to be assaulted, saying that a photograph of the two together proved the author was “exactly his type”.

As the landmark rape proceedings against the former president began in New York on Tuesday, the author’s attorneys started by dismissing the notion that this was a “he said, she said” story, and said they have enough evidence to support their claims.

The trial centres on allegations made by Ms Carroll in a 2019 book excerpt that Mr Trump sexually assaulted her in the mid-1990s inside the dressing room of a New York department store.

Mr Trump, who has denied the allegations, previously responded to the accusations by saying: “She’s not my type.”

In her opening statement, Ms Carroll’s lawyer Shawn Crowley described to jurors the graphic details of the assault, stating that Mr Trump “jammed his hand up her dress, pulled down her tights and forced his penis inside her”.

“‘Not my type.’ We all know what that means: He was saying she was too ugly to assault,” Ms Crowley said.

She presented a photograph of the two together at a party, which was embedded in her complaint.

“This will show you that Ms Carroll was exactly his type,” Ms Crowley told jurors.

The attorney also hit back at questions over why the author stayed silent for years.

She said two of Ms Carroll’s friends, author Lisa Birnbach and TV anchor Carol Martin, knew of the alleged assault at the time, with the former reportedly warning her that Mr Trump was too powerful to confront.

Two other women, journalist Natasha Stoynoff and businesswoman Jessica Leeds, will also testify that Mr Trump assaulted them.

“In her view, Mr Trump was way too powerful,” Ms Crowley said, adding that Ms Martin believed Mr Trump had “hundreds of lawyers” who would “bury” Ms Carroll if she came forward.

Ms Carroll’s lawyers intend to call her sister, Cande Carroll, who will testify that it was not unusual for the siblings, who grew up in the shadow of the Second World War, to stay silent about sexual assault.

Mr Trump’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, criticised Ms Carroll for the delay in coming forward with the allegations and said it was her responsibility to prove her case.

Mr Trump’s defence has only two witnesses listed, with Mr Tacopina hinting that his “video deposition” would be submitted as evidence.

He also said he was unsure whether Mr Trump would testify in person.

Senior US district judge Lewis Kaplan pressed Mr Tacopina to clarify whether the former president will testify, with testimony from witnesses expected to begin on Wednesday.

During jury selection, none of the potential candidates said they believed Mr Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen, and none of them said they used his platform Truth Social.

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