E. Jean Carroll pushed back against questions from Donald Trump's lawyer in court Thursday when the attorney questioned why she didn't scream while the then-mogul allegedly raped her in the 1990s.
"I don't need an excuse for not screaming," Carroll said testily.
"Women who come forward — one of the reasons they don't come forward is because they're always asked, 'Why didn't you scream?' Carroll said in another part of her testimony Thursday afternoon in Manhattan federal court. "Some women scream. Some women don't. It keeps women silent."
Carroll's testimony, under cross-examination, comes in the civil trial for her lawsuit against Trump. Carroll accused him of raping her in a Bergdorf Goodman's department store dressing room in the mid-1990s, and defaming her when he called her a liar after she went public with her claims in 2019.
On Wednesday and Thursday, Carroll testified on the stand about the alleged incident. She said Trump recognized her while she was leaving Bergdorf Goodman's one night — she was a celebrated Elle magazine columnist and TV talk show host at the time — and asked for her advice to buy a gift for another woman.
Trump suggested the two go to the lingerie department on the sixth floor, where Carroll jokingly insisted that he try on a lacy bodysuit, Carroll said. As the two went into the dressing room, Trump pushed her against the wall and penetrated her with his finger and then his penis, Carroll testified.
"It was a horrible feeling because he curved his finger," Carroll said. "As I'm sitting here today, I can still feel it."
Carroll said she was laughing at the start of the incident, flirting before the situation became "dark."
As Trump repeatedly banged her head against the wall, Carroll said Thursday she believed she was still laughing as a "weapon" to "throw cold water over anything."
Joe Tacopina, one of Trump's attorneys in the case, asked Carroll why she didn't scream.
"I'm not a screamer," Carroll responded. "I was too much in a panic to scream — I was fighting."
Carroll said she pushed back against Trump, who she estimated weighed 100 more pounds than her, and eventually pushed him back with her knee. Tacopina repeatedly asked about different reasons why she didn't scream to draw attention during the struggle.
"I'm telling you he raped me, whether I screamed or not," Carroll snapped before starting to sob.
Tacopina continued to ask various questions about why she didn't scream — whether it was because of the adrenaline running through her, whether it was because she "didn't want to make a scene," or some other reason.
"You can't beat up on me for not screaming," Carroll said.
"I'm not beating up on you, Ms. Carroll," Tacopina responded.
Carroll said she wished she screamed because "more people would have believed me."
She also said she regrets bringing her lawsuit "about five times a day" because of the "constant stream" of online harassment she receives from Trump's supporters.
"It doesn't feel pleasant to be under threat," she said.