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Donald Trump found guilty of sexual abuse, defamation in E. Jean Carroll case, ordered to pay $5M in damages



Writer E. Jean Carroll was awarded $5 million Tuesday by a Manhattan jury that found former President Donald Trump liable for sexually abusing and defaming her — while clearing him of her rape claim.

Carroll, 79, held her head down as the verdict was read in Manhattan federal court — and nodded when she heard the jury finding in favor of her defamation claim for Trump, 76, branding her a liar when she came forward with her allegations that he raped her in a Bergdorf Goodman fitting room in 1996.

The verdict could dog an embattled Trump in his 2024 presidential bid and is just one of many legal issues he faces — including a pending criminal case related to “hush money” payments.

The nine-person jury — three women and six men — decided the case after three hours of deliberations that began just before noon Tuesday.

Neither Carroll nor her attorney, Roberta Kaplan, spoke to the mass of reporters outside the Lower Manhattan courthouse as they left hand in hand, with the former “Ask E. Jean” columnist breezing through the crowd and into a waiting car.


Speaking outside court, his attorney, Joe Tacopina, vowed to appeal the verdict.

“He’s firm in his belief, as many people are, that he can’t get a fair trial in New York City based on the jury pool,” Tacopina said of Trump. “I think one could argue that’s an accurate assessment based on what happened today.”

As a reporter asked if it would derail Trump’s run for the Republican nomination in the 2024 presidential election, Tacopina quickly interjected: “nope.”

A Manhattan jury found Donald Trump liable in the E. Jean Carroll rape case.A Manhattan jury found Donald Trump liable in the E. Jean Carroll rape case.AP Photo/John Minchillo


In a statement through her attorney later Thursday, Carroll said she filed suit against Trump “to clear my name and to get my life back.”

“Today, the world finally knows the truth,” she said. “This victory is not just for me but for every woman who has suffered because she was not believed.”

While jurors rejected Carroll’s claim in her 2022 suit that Trump had raped her, they found him liable for sexual abuse. Carroll had accused Trump of attacking her in a fitting room at the Fifth Avenue department store, most likely in 1996. He has denied her allegations.

Watchers in the court gallery cried tears of joy when the verdict finding Trump liable for sexual abuse was read out.

Donald TrumpTrump has denied that the encounter ever happened. Getty Images

Jurors also found in favor of Carroll on her claim that the ex-president defamed her in a lengthy Oct. 12, 2022, Truth Social post claiming her accusations were a “hoax.”

The decision comes after eight days of trial spread over three weeks, where the jury heard from 11 witnesses including Carroll, two other Trump accusers and two pals whom Carroll confided in about the alleged attack.

Trump did not attend the trial but the jury saw clips of his video deposition. He also didn’t call any witnesses or present any evidence.

Carroll exiting Manhattan Federal Court after the verdict on May 9, 2023.Carroll exiting Manhattan Federal Court after the verdict on May 9, 2023.REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Trump wrote on Truth Social that the whole trial was a "witch hunt" against him.Trump wrote on Truth Social that the whole trial was a “witch hunt” against him.Donald Trump/TruthSocial

Carroll took the witness stand for three days, recounting how she ran into the real estate mogul at the high-end store, across from Trump Tower, most likely in the spring of 1996.

Carroll — who had a successful column in Elle magazine at the time — agreed to help Trump find a gift for a woman and the pair walked through the store flirting and exchanging banter, she said.

Trump led her to a desolate sixth-floor lingerie department where he tossed a see-through negligee at Carroll, asking her to try it on, she claimed. But Carroll jokingly threw the lacy one-piece back at Trump, telling him to try it on, she claimed.

Then Trump led her into an open fitting room, where he pinned her against the wall and bumped her head twice, during what she called a “fight,” Carroll testified.

Trump then penetrated her with his fingers and later with his penis, she claimed, saying she could “still feel the pain” of his fingers inside her.

Friend Lisa Birnbach told jurors that a “hyperventilating” Carroll called her just minutes after the alleged attack. Birnbach said she advised Carroll to go to the police, even offering to accompany her. But Carroll was insistent that she didn’t want to report the incident and swore Birnbach to secrecy, the pal said.

Two other Trump accusers, Natasha Stoynoff and Jessica Leeds, were also called by Carroll to tell jurors about incidents in which they alleged Trump sexually assaulted them.

Leeds, 81, claimed that Trump groped and tried to kiss her on a plane in the late 1970s and then when she saw him years later, he said, “You’re that c–t woman from the airplane.”

Stoynoff, a journalist, told jurors that Trump came on to her in 2005 while she was at Mar-a-Lago working on a piece for Trump and third wife Melania’s first anniversary.

Melania — who was pregnant at the time — was off changing while Trump forcibly kissed Stoynoff, who was freed from his grasp when a butler interrupted, Stoynoff testified through tears.

Carroll’s lawyer, Kaplan, told jurors during closing arguments Monday that Leeds and Stoynoff’s claims showed that what happened to Carroll wasn’t a one-off incident.

Kaplan claimed that Trump is a habitual liar and blasted the fact that he “didn’t even bother” to show up at trial.

Carroll’s side repeatedly brought up the infamous 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape in which Trump was unwittingly recorded saying that he grabbed women “by the p—y” and that they let him because he’s a star.

Kaplan claimed that this was Trump saying how he treated women. But Trump claimed in his deposition that this video was simply “locker room talk.”

Trump lawyer Joe Tacopina told the jury during his closings that Carroll’s claims were a “work of fiction.”

The fact that Carroll never went to the police and the fact that she couldn’t recall the exact date of the alleged assault were just a few of the indications that she made up the thing.

Trump has claimed that Carroll, Birnbach and a third friend — whom Carroll told about the alleged assault — were all political operatives who cooked up the allegations to hurt Trump’s presidency. He’s also claimed that Carroll made up the story to push the sales of her book.

Carroll went public in June 2019 when New York Magazine published an excerpt of her book. She filed a first lawsuit against Trump for defamation in November 2019 and later for the rape claim in November 2022. The 2019 suit is still pending.

Trump denied knowing Carroll and said she wasn’t his “type” in public statements after.

But at trial, jurors saw a photo of Carroll, Trump and their then-respective spouses taken years prior to the alleged rape. She also claims he would have known who she was because she had a television show on his pal Roger Ailes’ network at the time.

In a post on Truth Social earlier Tuesday, Trump said he planned to appeal “no matter what the outcome!”

He said in the post that he wasn’t allowed to speak or defend himself in the case — despite being given every opportunity to show up in court and testify if he chose to.

The embattled real estate tycoon also faces criminal charges in connection to alleged hush-money payments to ex-porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal. He has denied the charges.

New York Attorney General Letitia James also brought a civil fraud case against Trump and his company. The president has denied wrongdoing in that case.

There is a pending probe into whether Trump mishandled classified information that was found by the feds in a raid of Mar-a-Lago last summer. And investigations are also looming into the former president’s involvement in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and on whether he interfered in the 2020 Georgia election after losing to then-presidential candidate Joe Biden.

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Pope Francis to undergo intestinal surgery and will be hospitalized for several days




Pope Francis went to the hospital on Wednesday for surgery on his intestine, two years after he had 33 centimeters (13 inches) of his colon removed because of an inflammation and narrowing of the large intestine.

The Vatican said Francis, 86, would be put under general anesthesia and would be hospitalized for several days.

Pope Francis appeared at his weekly general audience on Wednesday, a day after he went to the hospital for a checkup.

The Vatican provided no details about the medical tests Francis underwent on Tuesday at Rome’s Gemelli hospital. Francis, 86, appeared in good form, though, at his audience in St. Peter’s Square, zipping around the square in his popemobile greeting the faithful. He also had two meetings Wednesday morning beforehand, the Vatican said.

Francis spent three days at the Gemelli hospital in late March. Initially, the Vatican said he had gone in for scheduled tests, but the pontiff later revealed he had felt pain in his chest and was rushed to the hospital where bronchitis was diagnosed. He was put on intravenous antibiotics and was released April 1, quipping that he was “still alive.”

The Argentine pope had part of one lung removed when he was a young man. He also suffers from sciatica nerve pain and has been using a wheelchair and walker for more than a year because of strained ligaments in his knee.

Francis has had a packed schedule of late, with multiple audiences each day. The Vatican has recently confirmed a travel-filled August, when the Holy See and Italy are usually on vacation, with a four-day visit to Portugal the first week of August and a similarly long trip to Mongolia starting Aug. 31.

In a sign that the trips were very much on, the Vatican on Tuesday released the planned itinerary for Francis’ visit to Portugal for World Youth Day events from Aug. 2-6. The itinerary confirms a typically busy schedule that includes all the protocol meetings of an official state visit plus multiple events with young people and a day trip to the Marian shrine at Fatima.

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My son was born with bulging eyes and totally blind – but baffled doctors don’t know why




A mother is appealing for answers over the mysterious condition which left her son with bulging eyes.

Kobi-Jai Morgan, who is registered blind, was born last March with bruising around his eyes and was unable to open them.

He spent six weeks in hospital, where doctors discovered the structure of his eyes had not fully developed but could not figure out why.

Despite appointments with specialists, medics have been left scratching their heads over what is causing his condition.

His mother, Morgan Nottingham, from Ystalyfera in South Wales, is now desperately searching for answers.

The 24-year-old’s labour was induced in last spring at a hospital in Bridgend, where she had a difficult delivery.

Kobi-Jai was then transferred to a neonatal intensive care unit at Singleton Hospital in Swansea and put on ventilation and a feeding tube.

As well as bruising around the eyes, he had a large hole in his heart and a floppy larynx — the tube that helps carry air to the lungs and contains vocal cords.

His unknown condition means his eyes are light-sensitive and he spends a lot of time in discomfort.

As a result, he sometimes scratches his eye and pushes his eyelids towards his eyebrows when they are irritated.

His mother administers four different types of eye drops to Kobi’s eyes every day and he wears specialist transparent glasses made by Cardiff University.

The 15-month-old has been to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London and visited private specialists — but still does not have a diagnosis.

However, tests show that he can see some light and shadows.

Ms Nottingham said: ‘We’ve come to terms with the fact that he might not have his vision for life. But we get looks as it is.

‘He has bulgy eyes and the bottom of his eyes scrape across his cheek. He doesn’t realise while he’s little but it’s really sad, bless him.’

Kobi-Jai can now tell his mother when his eyes are bothering him.

She added: ‘He cannot carry on with his eyes like that. There has to be someone out there that knows something.

‘This is completely new to us. When he starts going to school — you know what kids are like. He has children coming up to him already and saying: “Oh mammy he looks scary”. I want answers.’

Ms Nottingham called for more research and resources that could help Kobi-Jai.

She said: ‘At the moment we have found no blind support centres, schools or sensory classes locally. The closest specialist school is in Birmingham.

‘We want to bring more awareness and help and support other parents going through the same thing. We’re all learning.’

A fundraiser set up to support Kobi’s medical care has raised over £12,500.

Family friends have organised a 12-hour charity walk, five-a-side football tournament and bike ride in a bid to raise more funds to help with his care.

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US actor Danny Masterson found guilty on two rape counts




Los Angeles Times via Getty Images Masterson arrives at the Los Angeles court to learn his fate with his wife, Bijou Phillips

A jury in Los Angeles has found US actor Danny Masterson guilty on two out of three counts of rape.

The star of That ’70s Show, a TV series, faces up to 30 years in prison. He was led from court in handcuffs.

Three women, all former members of the Church of Scientology, accused the actor of sexual assault at his Hollywood home from 2001-03.

Prosecutors argued Masterson had relied on his status as a prominent Scientologist to avoid accountability.

The jury of seven women and five men was unable to reach a verdict on a third count after a week of deliberations, ending up deadlocked at 8-4.

One of his victims, who was raped in 2003, said in a statement quoted by the Associated Press: “I am experiencing a complex array of emotions – relief, exhaustion, strength, sadness – knowing that my abuser, Danny Masterson, will face accountability for his criminal behavior.”

Masterson’s wife, actress and model Bijou Phillips, wept as he was led away, CBS News reports. Other family and friends sat stone-faced.

Another jury in an earlier trial was unable to reach a verdict in December 2022.

Prosecutors chose to retry Masterson and this time the judge allowed attorneys to present new evidence that had been barred from the first trial.

Though the actor was not charged with drugging his victims, the jury heard testimony that the women had been dosed before he raped them.

Masterson was first accused of rape in 2017 during the height of the #MeToo movement. He responded by saying that he had not been charged or convicted of a crime, and that in the climate at the time “it seems as if you are presumed guilty the moment you are accused”.

Charges came after a three-year investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department. Prosecutors did not file charges in two other cases because of insufficient evidence and the statute of limitations expiring.

Throughout the trial, prosecutors argued that the Church of Scientology had helped cover up the assaults – an allegation the organisation has categorically denied.

At the time of the assaults, Masterson and all three of his accusers were Scientologists. Several of the women said it took them years to come forward because Church of Scientology officials discouraged them from reporting the rape to police.

Instead, they were forced to rely on the Church’s “internal justice system”, prosecutors said.

Scientology officials told one survivor she would be kicked out of the Church unless she signed a non-disclosure agreement and accepted a payment of $400,000 (£320,000), according to prosecutors.

Judge Charlaine Olmedo allowed both sides to discuss the dogma and practices of Scientology.

But Deputy District Attorney Ariel Anson told jurors during the trial: “The Church taught his victims, ‘Rape isn’t rape, you caused this, and above all, you are never allowed to go to law enforcement.'”

Throughout the trial, the defence tried to undermine the credibility of the “Jane Does” by focusing on inconsistencies in their testimony and their supposed drive to get “revenge” against their former Church.

During closing arguments, Masterson’s defence lawyer said of the survivors: “If you are looking for motives why people are not being truthful… there are motives all over the place.”

Although the Church of Scientology was not a defendant in the case, before closing arguments began, a lawyer with ties to the Church emailed the district attorney’s office to complain about the way the Church was portrayed during the retrial.

The defence also argued that the prosecution had relied heavily on testimony about drugging because there was an absence of evidence of any force or violence.

Masterson’s lawyers tried, unsuccessfully, to have a mistrial declared.

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