6 notable moments from Trump's sexual abuse trial
NEW YORK – A New York jury found Donald Trump liable on Tuesday for sexually abusing and defaming an American former magazine columnist and ordered the former president to pay her US$5 million (S$6.6 million) in damages.
The nine jurors rejected E. Jean Carroll’s accusation of rape but unanimously upheld her other complaints in the closely watched civil trial, following less than three hours of deliberations.
Here are six notable moments from the trial which ended on Tuesday:
- United States District Judge Lewis Kaplan took the unusual step of keeping jurors anonymous from both the public and lawyers to shield them from potential harassment by Trump supporters. “If you’re normally a Bill and you’re selected for the jury or even before, you can be John for a couple of days,” Judge Kaplan told prospective jurors.
- On the second day of trial, Judge Kaplan warned Trump’s legal team that his posts about the case on his Truth Social platform the day before could open him to a “a new source of potential liability”. Ms Carroll’s lawyers had flagged two posts where Trump called the case a “made up SCAM”, “financed by a big political donor”.
- Facing repeated questioning from Trump’s lawyer about why she did not scream during the alleged assault, Ms Carroll lost patience and raised her voice. “I’m telling you: He raped me whether I screamed or not,” she said.
- Trump waived his right to testify but jurors saw footage of his Oct 2022 video deposition, where he defended vulgar comments he made in a 2005 video. Trump was asked about the 2005 “Access Hollywood” video, where he said on a hot microphone that “when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything”. “Historically, that’s true, with stars... if you look over the last million years,” Trump, hunched over a conference table, said in the deposition played at trial.
- During closing arguments, Ms Carroll’s lawyer Roberta Kaplan – who is not related to Judge Kaplan – said testimony by two other women who allege Trump sexually assaulted them established a pattern of misconduct. Trump has denied those allegations also. “Three different women, decades apart, but one single pattern of behaviour,” Ms Kaplan said, arguing that Trump’s defence was asking jurors to believe the “ridiculous” claim that the other witnesses conspired to lie.
- Trump’s lawyer Joe Tacopina claimed during his closing argument that Ms Carroll’s lawsuit was a cash grab, publicity stunt and political mission rolled into one. “What E. Jean Carroll has done here is an affront to justice. She has abused this system by bringing a false claim for amongst other things money, status, political reasons,” Mr Tacopina said. - AFP