‘Unfortunately or fortunately,’ jury believed E. Jean Carroll and did not believe Trump

They believed her.

A jury of ordinary New Yorkers, including a janitor, an employee of a high school, a public library and a health care facility, believed that E. Jean Carroll was sexually abused by Donald Trump in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in the spring of 1996.


The panel, which deliberated for less than three hours, did not believe the former president’s defense, which was he has “absolutely no idea“ who Carroll is, and what’s more does not find her attractive enough to rape, though “unfortunately or fortunately,” powerful men have been grabbing women’s genitals at full tilt for a million or so years.

Maybe Trump won’t pay Carroll the $5 million he now owes her in damages, which since he’s rarely paid his bills in the past would surprise no one.

Maybe he’ll prevail on appeal.

Maybe those who love the former president beyond reason will support him even more passionately that he’s now been found liable in a civil sexual misconduct suit brought by one of the more than two dozen women who have similarly accused him.

But whatever happens tomorrow, what happened today is that Donald Trump has finally been held accountable for his behavior with women.

Whatever happens, a jury did not believe that derisively labeling a case as a “he said, she said” contest means that the truth simply cannot be learned. On the contrary, it almost always can.

What happened today is that a man who has said that stars can grab and go at will was held accountable, because jurors saw through the ancient argument that women who are raped typically scream, kick and run straight to the police station. On the contrary, they very rarely do.

What happened today may make defense attorneys rethink the wisdom of defending their clients by arguing that accusers aren’t to be believed unless they behaved in ways almost no victim actually does.

And what happened today is that even though the #MeToo movement didn’t force as much change as we’d hoped, the fact that one of the most powerful men in the world was just found liable for his actions 30 years ago is not nothing, either.

Carroll said in a statement, “This victory is not just for me but for every woman who has suffered because she was not believed.” That is a lot of women.

As Republican presidential candidate Asa Hutchinson, the former governor of Arkansas, said, this verdict shows “another example of the indefensible behavior of Donald Trump.”

His followers will of course see it instead as another example of how uniquely persecuted Donald Trump really is. And they insist on thinking that this suit is all about him though no, this could be anybody.

It’s not really about either him or E. Jean Carroll, who did this for all women.