E. Jean Carroll says looking at Donald Trump during his defamation trial last week was “like looking at nothing” or “an emperor without clothes.”
The author and journalist who sued the former reality star and U.S. president after he claimed that she fabricated a sexual assault allegation against him to sell a book — an allegation a Manhattan federal jury found Trump liable for last year — spoke to CNN This Morning‘s Poppy Harlow and Phil Mattingly Monday.
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With the duo, Carroll discussed being terrified in the days leading up to the trial and how she felt after while hearing the multimillion dollar judgement in her favor last Friday. “He was nothing,” she said while discussing seeing Trump in-person. “He was just — no power. He was zero.”
“He’s an emperor without clothes,” she added. “It’s like looking at nothing.”
Carroll, who sued Trump for sexually abusing her in the dressing room of a Manhattan department store back in 1996, was awarded over $83 million by jurors last week after publishing her experience in a 2019 memoir ignited years of insults by Trump online. A separate jury in May 2023 awarded Carroll $5 million in her sexual abuse case.
The former advice columnist and TV host said that in her opinion, for Trump, “the courtroom was not a courtroom to him, it was a campaign stop. That was clear.”
“He’s using me to win voters,” she continued. “A man found liable for sexual assault is using the woman he sexually assaulted to get votes.”
As for what Carroll plans to do with the judgement, she told CNN, “We’re inspired to not waste a penny of this, and we have some good ideas that we’re working on.”
That includes a possible effort to “restore women their rights,” she said, “seeing as how he’s very instrumental in taking away women’s rights over their bodies across the United States.”
Carroll is also expected to appear on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show on Monday night alongside her attorneys Robbie Kaplan and Shawn Crowley. Billed last week as her first interview since the jury ordered Trump to pay her $83 million in damages, Carroll will discuss the case and Trump’s appeal, which he vowed to pursue on Truth Social last Friday.
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