E Jean Carroll has said she is “overwhelmed with joy” for women across America after former president Donald Trump was found liable for sexually abusing and defaming her.

In an interview with NBC News’ Savannah Guthrie on the Today show, the 79-year-old said the court win was not about the millions she was awarded in damages, but securing a victory for all women.

“I am overwhelmed with joy and happiness and delight for the women in this country,” she said.

“This is not about the money. This is about getting my name back,” Carroll added.

The former US president was also found to have defamed Ms Carroll, but the civil trial rejected her claim she was raped during the encounter.

Trump, who is campaigning for the 2024 presidency, must pay the former Elle magazine advice columnist $5m (£4m) in damages.

He has consistently denied Carroll’s claims.

“I have absolutely no idea who this woman is. This verdict is a disgrace – a continuation of the greatest witch hunt of all time!” he wrote on his social media site, Truth Social, after the verdicts were handed down.

A Trump campaign spokesman said in a statement Tuesday: “This case will be appealed, and we will ultimately win.”

On what she would say to Mr Trump given the opportunity, Ms Carroll said she approached his lawyer, Joe Tacopina, at the conclusion of the case and let him know.

“Tacopina put out his hand and I said, ‘He did it and you know it.’ So I got my chance,” she recalled.

Image:
E Jean Carroll leaving Manhattan Federal Court following the verdict

Ms Carroll was alongside her lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, who said she was confident that her client will collect the damages from Mr Trump and that his team has no grounds for an appeal.

“I’ve rarely felt more confident about an appeal as I do about this one,” she said.

Ms Carroll claimed she bumped into Trump in a department store in Manhattan in 1995 or 1996 and that he ended up raping her in a changing room.

She also said he defamed her by claiming she made up the story.

The nine-person jury deliberated for just under three hours before finding him guilty on Tuesday.

Ms Kaplan said there was “no question” the jury was sending a clear message by awarding multimillion-dollar damages and reaching a verdict in a matter of hours.

In addition, Ms Carroll said that Trump’s refusal to testify had helped. “He didn’t even bother to show up,” she added.

Donald Trump responds to verdict of sexual abuse in civil trial
Image:
Donald Trump has since responded to the verdict

Trump’s deposition, in which he was asked about the “Access Hollywood” tape that surfaced before the 2016 presidential election, also helped secure the victory, Ms Kaplan said.

Asked during the deposition about his remarks in the tape, Trump said, “Well, historically, that’s true with stars.”

“True with stars that they can grab women by their privates?” Ms Kaplan asked.

“Well, that’s what – if you look over the last million years, I guess that’s been largely true. Not always, but largely true. Unfortunately or fortunately,” the former president responded.

Ms Kaplan also said in her Today interview that this was an important moment. “Fortunately? Who uses the word fortunately to talk about sexual assault?” she asked.

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Ms Carroll recalled the toll the case has taken on her for more than 30 years.

“Before yesterday, there was a concept of the perfect victim, who always screams, always reports to the police, always makes notes of when it happened, and their life folds up and they’re never supposed to be happy,” she said.

“Yesterday we demolished that concept, it is gone. It’s not so much about me, it’s about every woman.”

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Reflecting on Trump’s repeated claim that he has no idea who she is, Ms Carroll noted that among the many legal issues the former president may face: “What happened yesterday is one… little blonde, wily, female attorney and one 79-year-old advice columnist beat Donald Trump in court.”

Mr Trump has promised to appeal on his Truth Social site, calling the outcome “a continuation of the greatest witch hunt of all time”.

He claimed the judge was biased and made sure “the result was as negative as it could possibly be, speaking to, and in control of a jury from an anti-Trump area…”

Trump – who did not attend the trial and waived his right to testify or present a defence – has insisted he never sexually assaulted Ms Carroll or ever knew her.

The 76-year-old, who is hoping to retake the White House in 2024, will not have to pay the compensation as long as the case is on appeal.