Cross-examination of Carroll resumes in Trump trial, despite defense asking for mistrial
Cross-examination of accuser E. Jean Carroll at the battery and defamation trial of former President Donald Trump resumed Monday with questions about her shopping habits.
“You’ve made many purchases at Bergdorf’s since 1995-96?” asked defense attorney Joe Tacopina, referring to the Fifth Avenue department store where Carroll said the rape occurred. “I’ve not made many but I’ve made several,” Carroll said.
Tacopina showed an itemized list of 23 purchases from 2001-2018 totaling more than $13,000 and said the purchases made clear Carroll was not afraid to enter the store where she was allegedly assaulted.
“Bergdorf’s is not a place that I’m afraid to enter,” Carroll said.
Tacopina asked Carroll about a time she was in the store with Lisa Birnbach, one of two women Carroll has said she told about the alleged rape by Trump.
“That day where you were discussing your niece’s wedding dresses, having champagne with Lisa, did the alleged attack ever enter your head?” Tacopina asked.
“I don’t remember,” Carroll answered. “This was a very happy occasion. I wasn’t there to remember the time in the dressing room in 1996.”
In several of her advice columns for Elle magazine E. Jean Carroll suggested her readers call police in the event of a sexual assault or threat.
The columns were introduced Monday at the defamation and battery trial of former President Trump, who Carroll said raped her in a department store dressing room in the mid-1990s.
Defense attorney Joe Tacopina pointed out “there were numerous times where you’ve advised your readers to call the police” despite Carroll never reporting her own alleged rape to police.
“In most cases I advised my readers to go to the police,” Carroll said.
“I was born in 1943. I am a member of the silent generation. Women like me were taught to keep our chins up and not complain. The fact that I never went to the police is not surprising for someone my age. I would rather have done anything than call the police,” Carroll said.
The answer was stricken from the record as nonresponsive to the question posed but the exchange continued a theme of Carroll’s cross-examination in which the defense questions her actions after the alleged attack occurred, suggesting her behavior – not going to the police, not seeking security camera footage, continuing to shop at Bergdorf’s – is at odds with how other sex assault victims might behave.
The defense also suggested collusion among Carroll and the two women she said she told of the alleged attack at the time, Lisa Birnbach and Carol Martin.
“You met with Lisa Birnbach and Carroll Martin with your attorney?” Tacopina asked.
“It wasn’t an official meeting. It was a dinner,” Carroll answered.
Before the testimony resumed, Judge Lewis Kaplan denied the defense’s request for a mistrial. The judge offered no reason.
In a letter filed Monday morning, the defense argued “the Court has mischaracterized the facts of this case” and issued certain rulings that together represent “unfair treatment” of Trump.