E. Jean Carroll said Wednesday she was "overwhelmed with joy" for women across America after former President Donald Trump was found liable for sexually abusing and defaming her.
Carroll, 79, said in an interview with NBC News' Savannah Guthrie on the "TODAY" show Wednesday morning that the court win was not about the millions she was awarded in damages but securing a victory for all women.
"I am overwhelmed, 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.
A nine-person New York jury awarded the writer $5 million in damages for claims of battery and defamation, but said Trump wasn’t liable for the alleged rape of Carroll at a Manhattan department store in the 1990s.
Trump, who is campaigning for the 2024 presidency, 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."
Asked what she would say to Trump if she could, Carroll said she approached his attorney, 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.
Jury finds Trump liable in E. Jean Carroll sex abuse caseMay 10, 202302:15
Carroll was alongside her lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, who said she was confident that her client will collect the damages from 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.
Kaplan said there was "no question" the jury was sending a message by awarding multimillion-dollar damages and reaching a verdict in a matter of hours.
She also said that Trump's decision not to testify had helped. "He didn't even bother to show up," she added.
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, 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? 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,” Trump responded.
Kaplan said in her interview on “TODAY” that this was an important moment. “Fortunately? Who uses the word fortunately to talk about sexual assault?” she asked.
Carroll also spoke of the toll the case has taken on her during 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.”
As for Trump's repeated claim that he has no idea who she is, a delighted Carroll noted that among the many legal issues the former president may face: "What happened yesterday is one ... little blond, wily, female attorney and one 79-year-old advice columnist beat Donald Trump in court."
Several Republican senators have warned that Tuesday's verdict could hurt Trump's chances of re-election. The verdict marks the first time a former president has been found liable for sexual misconduct in a civil case.
The outcome of the civil case has no criminal implications. The standard of evidence needed to prove liability — on the preponderance of evidence — was lower than that of a criminal trial, in which a case must be proven beyond all reasonable doubt.
Carroll sued in Manhattan federal court last year, alleging Trump raped her in the dressing room of a Bergdorf Goodman department store near his Fifth Avenue home in 1995 or 1996. She first went public with the claim in 2019 in her book “What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal.”
Trump, first as president and then as a private citizen, called Carroll’s account a fiction that she concocted to boost book sales, and he has said she is “not my type.” He didn’t testify at the trial, but parts of his video deposition from October were played for the jury.
The verdict was required to be unanimous. It was issued Tuesday after the jury deliberated for only about three hours.
Asked on its verdict sheet whether Carroll had proven “by a preponderance of the evidence” that “Mr. Trump raped Ms. Carroll,” the jury of six men and three women checked the box that said “no.”
Asked whether Carroll had proven “by a preponderance of the evidence” that “Mr. Trump sexually abused Ms. Carroll,” the jury checked the box that said “yes.” Both allegations were elements of Carroll’s battery claim.
The jury also found that Trump had defamed Carroll by calling her claims a “hoax” and a “con job.” Carroll was awarded just more than $2 million on the battery claim and just under $3 million on the defamation claims.