Who is E. Jean Carroll, the woman who testified Trump raped her?
E. Jean Carroll, a former journalist is currently in the news after she testified against Donald Trump earlier this week, saying the former US president raped her at a New York City department store.
The 79-year-old is best known for being an advice columnist for Elle magazine for over 26 years. The column mostly revolved around Carroll's view that the fairer sex should not plan their lives around men. Interspersed between that was her compassionate advice to people who came to her seeking solutions to the quandaries in their lives.
Born in Detroit, she grew up as Betty Jean Carroll in the midwestern US state of Indiana. From the beginning, Carroll thought of herself as a writer and sent pitches to magazines when she was as little as 12.
Carroll went to Indiana University where apart from honing her writing abilities, she participated in the Miss Indiana contest and won it as well in 1963.
She first started writing for Esquire and changed her name to Elizabeth Jean and then shortened it to “E. Jean” for the first byline. Her big break came when she wrote a profile on Fran Lebowitz for Outside magazine.
After drawing interest with a 'witty literary quiz' about Ernest Hemingway and F Scott Fitzgerald in the magazine, she was approached by Rolling Stone and Playboy where she became the first female contributing editor.
Apart from being a prolific writer, Carroll also ventured into the television industry. She became a writer on Saturday Night Live (one of the USA's longest-running TV programmes) in the 1980s.
A decade later, riding the success of her advice column, she turned it into a television talk show, Ask E Jean. In the early 2000s, Carroll co-founded a dating website called Greatboyfriends.com with a twist where women could recommend their exes.
In 2019, she published a memoir titled "What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal" where she laid bare her version of how Truno and former CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves mistreated her. The book also described the alleged assault which took place at Bergdorf Goodman, a luxury department store based on Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, New York, in the spring of 1996.
Carroll's testimony in the court
During her testimony, Carroll said Trump's actions shattered her and she had been trying to get her life back.
“I’m here because Donald Trump raped me, and when I wrote about it, he said it didn’t happen. He lied and shattered my reputation and I’m here to try to get my life back,” Carroll testified.
Carroll described how, despite her protests, Trump reportedly pushed her up against the wall and ultimately placed his fingers and then his penis into her. She remembered the ache in her vagina and the back of her head.
“I’m not settling a political score,” Carroll said. “I’m settling a personal score because he called me a liar repeatedly and it really has decimated my reputation. I’m a journalist – the one thing I have to have is the trust of the readers.”