Donald Trump found guilty of sexually abusing writer E Jean Carroll.

Content warning: This story mentions sexual abuse and may be distressing to some readers.

Donald Trump has been found guilty of sexually abusing writer E Jean Carroll, with the jury awarding her $US5 million ($A7.4 million) in damages.

The verdict was announced in a federal courtroom in New York City on the first day of jury deliberations, where a nine-member jury weighed up Carroll's defamation and battery claims. 

Although the finding of sexual abuse was enough to establish his liability for battery, the jury did not find that Trump raped her.

Carroll, a former Elle magazine advice columnist, had claimed the former US president raped her in a New York department store fitting room in the 1990s, then harmed her reputation by writing in an October 2022 post on his Truth Social platform that her claims were a "complete con job," "a hoax" and "a lie". 

"I'm here because Donald Trump raped me, and when I wrote about it, he lied and said it didn't happen," she told the court last month.  

"He lied and shattered my reputation, and I'm here to try and get my life back."

However, Trump, who did not attend the trial, has insisted he never sexually assaulted Carroll or even knew her.

In a post on social media, the 76-year-old, who is campaigning to retake the White House in 2024, called the verdict a "disgrace".

"I have absolutely no idea who this woman is," Trump wrote in all capital letters on Truth Social.

"This verdict is a disgrace — a continuation of the greatest witch hunt of all time!"

Trump's spokesman, Steven Cheung, said he will appeal.


Because this was a civil case, Trump faces no criminal consequences and, as such, there was never a threat of prison. Trump will also not have to pay so long as the case is on appeal.

Trump's lawyer, Joe Tacopina, told the jury in closing arguments on Monday that Carroll's story is too far fetched to be believed. He said she made it up to fuel sales of a 2019 memoir where she first publicly revealed her claims and to disparage Trump for political reasons.

Carroll's lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, cited excerpts from Trump's October deposition and his notorious comments on a 2005 "Access Hollywood" video in which he said celebrities can grab women between the legs without asking.

She urged jurors to believe her client.

"He didn't even bother to show up here in person," Kaplan said, referring to Trump's absence from court during the two weeks of trial. She said much of what he said in his deposition and in public statements "actually supports our side of the case".

"In a very real sense, Donald Trump is a witness against himself," she said.

"He knows what he did. He knows that he sexually assaulted E. Jean Carroll."

Read more: 

'I'm here to try and get my life back.' Why Trump's rape accusation has resurfaced.

If this has raised any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service.

- With AAP. 

Feautre Image: Getty.