E. Jean Carroll and Trump Lawyer Spar in Rape Case

From a Wall Street Journal story by Corinne Ramey and James Fanelli headlined “E. Jean Carroll, Trump Lawyer Spar in Civil Rape Case”:

Donald Trump’s lawyer for a second day sought to discredit columnist E. Jean Carroll’s allegations that she was raped by the former president in a Manhattan department store, after a federal judge rejected Mr. Trump’s request for a mistrial in the civil case.

Joe Tacopina, Mr. Trump’s lead attorney, suggested Ms. Carroll in the years since the alleged attack had acted in ways that were inconsistent with being a victim of sexual assault.

Mr. Tacopina played for the jury a 2019 interview of Ms. Carroll by CNN’s Anderson Cooper, in which she recounted the alleged assault from the 1990s. “You used the word fight, not rape,” Mr. Tacopina said.

“I just liked the word fight,” Ms. Carroll said. “It gave me action, I took action. It wasn’t something done to me.”

Mr. Tacopina also said Ms. Carroll once made a Facebook joke about having sex with Mr. Trump and was a fan of “The Apprentice,” the reality television show in which Mr. Trump previously served as the host.

“I was very impressed by it,” Ms. Carroll said.

She acknowledged making the 2012 Facebook post that Mr. Tacopina showed the jury, which asked, “Would you have sex with Donald Trump for $17,000,” before offering the caveats of donating the money to charity and closing one’s eyes.

Monday was Ms. Carroll’s third day on the witness stand in the federal trial of her 2022 civil lawsuit, in which she is seeking damages against Mr. Trump for alleged battery and defamation. Ms. Carroll, 79 years old, testified last week that Mr. Trump raped her in a lingerie-department dressing room of Bergdorf Goodman, likely in 1996, an attack she said had scarred her for decades. She first made the allegation in 2019.

In a letter filed before court began Monday, Mr. Tacopina asked U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan for a mistrial, based on what he called “pervasive unfair and prejudicial rulings by the Court.” The judge denied the motion without explanation.

Mr. Tacopina began cross-examining Ms. Carroll late last week. Among their other exchanges Monday, the lawyer questioned why she didn’t go to the police after the alleged encounter with Mr. Trump. He noted she had gone to the police on another occasion.

Ms. Carroll told the jury that she called the police after a group of children one Halloween hit the mailbox of an upstate New York farmhouse belonging to the actress Helen Hayes, where she was staying.

“You call the police if a mailbox is attacked, but not if you’re personally attacked?” Mr. Tacopina asked.

“That’s the one and only time in my life I have called the police,” she said.

Later in the day she testified that she thought at the time that Mr. Trump was too powerful to call the police on him. “I didn’t think the police would take me seriously,” she said.

Mr. Tacopina also noted that after New York magazine published her account of the alleged rape, she was alerted to its similarities to a “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” episode in which a character describes a rape fantasy in the lingerie section of Bergdorf Goodman.

Mr. Tacopina asked if she found it to be an “amazing coincidence.”

“Yes, it’s astonishing,” she said, adding that she never saw the episode.

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