'Donald Trump raped me': E. Jean Carroll’s civil trial against embattled ex-president begins

'Donald Trump raped me': E. Jean Carroll’s civil trial against embattled ex-president begins
Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead.

Ex-Elle columnist E. Jean Carroll's civil defamation and rape trial against former President Donald Trump commenced on Wednesday where dramatic testimony unfolded inside the Manhattan courtroom.

"I'm here because Donald Trump raped me. And when I wrote about it he said it didn't happen. He lied and shattered my reputation. And I'm here to try and get my life back," Carroll said in an opening statement, according to ABC 7 News.

Carroll's attorney, Shawn Crowley, explained to jurors that Trump's alleged attack on his client "lasted just a few minutes," adding that there were "three women" and "one clear pattern."

READ MORE: Trump skips rape trial and will not attend GOP debates

ABC 7 noted that "two other women are expected to testify later in the trial that Trump also sexually assaulted them, meant to show a pattern of behavior that Trump denies."

Trump's lawyer, Joe Tacopina, had run interference for Trump to Judge Lewis Kaplan of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York because Trump spent the morning ranting about Carroll and the proceedings on his Truth Social platform.

Trump maintains that Carroll is "financed by a big political donor that they said didn't exist, only to get caught lying about that." Trump also wrote that "there was a dress, using the ol' Monica Lewinsky 'stuff,' then she didn't want to produce it."

Tacopina claimed that "these are out-of-court comments obviously." But Kaplan responded that "what you're trying to do is to get away from a statement by your client, a public statement, that on the face of it seems entirely inappropriate."

READ MORE: Judge in rape defamation trial issues warning after Trump makes 'inappropriate' comments about lawsuit

ABC News' full report continues at this link.

This is a breaking news and developing story.

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