In a recent development in the ongoing defamation lawsuit against former President Donald Trump, E. Jean Carroll resumed her testimony on Thursday. Carroll, who has accused Trump of sexual assault in the mid-1990s, is pursuing a defamation case following Trump's denial and disparaging comments about her allegations.
Notably, Trump was absent from the courtroom, as he attended the funeral of his mother-in-law, Amalija Knavs, in Florida. The trial, which has captured national attention, saw Trump's attorney, Alina Habba, continue her cross-examination of Carroll.
Habba probed into the timeline of events and the financial aspects of Carroll's career, particularly focusing on her earnings from her Substack blog, which reportedly exceed $100,000. This line of questioning appeared to aim at influencing the jury's decision on the damages to be awarded to Carroll, if any.
Carroll's Backlash and Trump's Remarks
Carroll, a former magazine writer, has gained notoriety since her public accusation against Trump. While acknowledging increased fame, she also mentioned the surge in hostility towards her, including hatred and threats.
Carroll's attorney, Roberta Kaplan, highlighted this by asking about the nature of the backlash Carroll faced, particularly emphasizing the absence of accusations of her being a paid operative or receiving threats before Trump's public denouncement.
In a striking move, Kaplan presented a video of Trump's remarks made after the court session on Wednesday. Trump's comments, which included calling the trial "rigged" and dismissing Carroll's story as "fabricated," were partially played to the jury.
This prompted Habba to request the full video be shown, a request that was ultimately denied by the judge. The portions not shown to the jury included Trump accusing Carroll of destroying evidence and disparaging the judge overseeing the case.
This lawsuit is the second Carroll has brought against Trump. In a previous trial last year, a jury found Trump liable for sexual abuse and defamation, awarding Carroll $5 million – a verdict Trump is currently appealing.
The current trial focuses on Trump's comments made in 2019, when he was still president, as well as recent statements.
Trump's Trial Attendance Controversy
Trump's presence at the trial has been a point of contention. He attended the first two days but was absent for Thursday's proceedings due to his mother-in-law's funeral.
Trump's legal team had requested a delay for the trial, which was denied by U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, citing the trial's scheduling set months in advance and the importance of proceeding without further delay. The case continues to draw significant media attention, reflecting the ongoing legal challenges and public interest surrounding the former president.
Trump, who has maintained his innocence, has indicated his intention to testify in his own defense. The trial's outcome remains keenly anticipated, with implications for both Carroll's accusations and Trump's reputation.