Trump Accuser Who Testified Hopes Other Survivors Will Come Forward

A jury on Tuesday discovered Donald Trump chargeable for sexual abuse and defamation in opposition to E. Jean Carroll, the author who accused him of raping her in a division retailer dressing room within the Nineteen Nineties. We converse with one of many individuals who testified at trial: Jessica Leeds, a retired businesswoman who says Trump sexually assaulted her on an airplane within the Nineteen Seventies — certainly one of dozens of girls who has accused him of sexual misconduct through the years. Leeds tells Democracy Now! she is “actually happy” with the decision and that she hopes it should encourage different survivors of sexual abuse to come back ahead, though she just isn’t personally curious about bringing a case in opposition to Trump. “This was a superb consequence, and I’m very grateful,” says Leeds.


This can be a rush transcript. Copy is probably not in its last type.

AMY GOODMAN: I need to convey into this dialogue Jessica Leeds, who testified through the trial. She instructed jurors about how Trump groped her throughout a flight on a airplane within the Nineteen Seventies. In 2018, Jessica Leeds got here to our Democracy Now! studio right here in New York and described what occurred when she sat subsequent to Trump in firstclass on the flight.

JESSICA LEEDS: Dinner was served, and it was after dinner when, actually, rapidly, and not using a phrase, and not using a “by your go away” or about any form of social dialog, he began groping me.

AMY GOODMAN: What does that imply? What did he do?

JESSICA LEEDS: His fingers have been — he was making an attempt to kiss me. His fingers have been on my breasts. He was — we have been form of wrestling. However I didn’t say something. He didn’t say something. So it was like this type of kabuki theater within the silence. I bear in mind considering, “Why doesn’t the man throughout the aisle say one thing? Why doesn’t the stewardess come again?” And it appeared to go on ceaselessly, however, in fact, it didn’t.

AMY GOODMAN: He put his hand up your skirt?

JESSICA LEEDS: Sure, he began placing his hand up my skirt. And that’s once I, with effort, managed to wiggle my approach out, grabbed my purse, and I went to the again of the airplane. And I sat there till the airplane landed and was fully clear, earlier than — as a result of I didn’t need to run into him.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Jessica Leeds talking on Democracy Now! in 2018. Once more, she testified in E. Jean Carroll — the defamation and battery trial. She is becoming a member of us now from Asheville, North Carolina.

Jessica Leeds, thanks a lot for rejoining us on Democracy Now! Can I first get your response to President Trump being discovered responsible of sexual assault in opposition to E. Jean Carroll?

JESSICA LEEDS: I’m actually happy. I’m happy for E. Jean. I’m happy for what it says. I’m sorry that the jury couldn’t give you a rape cost, however that’s form of comprehensible. Child steps right here. Child steps.

AMY GOODMAN: , I used to be curious. She was in a position to file this go well with due to this regulation that had opened up in New York, that also has six months the place individuals can sue somebody who assaulted them years in the past. Are you weighing suing Donald Trump, as effectively?

JESSICA LEEDS: No, I’ve youngsters and grandkids and great-grandkids. I’d not need to put them by means of that.

AMY GOODMAN: However what do — which is kind of a testimonial to E. Jean Carroll, Jessica. What do you make of what E. Jean Carroll did, going by means of this once more many years later? And discuss what made you determine to testify. There are dozens of girls who’ve accused Donald Trump of sexual assault. You have been certainly one of two ladies who testified in E. Jean Carroll’s trial.

JESSICA LEEDS: Properly, I feel they needed to make use of individuals who may present a sample of conduct, particularly through the years. That is what I obtained from speaking to the legal professionals. E. Jean is a really robust, artistic girl. And when she lastly acknowledged the harm that had been carried out to her, it had taken some time. And for her to step up and do that takes an excessive amount of braveness. However I feel she obtained some good help. I feel she had rattling good legal professionals, and I feel it paid off. I feel I discussed one time in an interview that I assumed that each one of those ladies had mainly the identical story, so for him to completely reject us is simply form of ridiculous.

AMY GOODMAN: , it’s fascinating what Donald Trump mentioned. He frequently mentioned now, on social media, on this video that he launched — he mentioned he doesn’t know this girl. Now, curiously, when E. Jean Carroll’s lawyer within the deposition confirmed him an image — he stored saying, “She’s not my kind. She’s not my kind.” — confirmed him an image and mentioned, “Are you able to determine who that is?” he recognized the lady the lawyer was pointing to in {a photograph} standing subsequent to him as his second spouse, Marla Maples, however, in reality, it was E. Jean Carroll. However when he says, “I didn’t know her, I don’t know her,” in reality, so many of those ladies, together with you, Jessica Leeds, he didn’t know when he attacked you. Is that appropriate?

JESSICA LEEDS: That’s appropriate. And never solely that, at this level in his life, he has selective reminiscence. And most of those conditions, most of this exercise, it’s identical to second nature to him. It doesn’t imply something. It doesn’t register in any respect, which is horrifying, as a result of the psychological harm it does on people who find themselves sexually abused is great. However for him, ah, he likes ladies — he thinks he likes ladies. He likes dominating ladies. And he likes — however the actual gist of it proper now could be, he can’t see previous the growing old course of, so he seems at E. Jean, and he or she’s a late-seventies woman, and he can’t see what she appeared like or see the wonder in her face proper now. It’s silly, however that’s a part of our society’s issues, too.

AMY GOODMAN: And in addition this frequently saying, “She’s not my kind.” “She’s not my kind” to sexually abuse?

JESSICA LEEDS: That’s proper.

AMY GOODMAN: I imply, as everyone knows, rape and sexual abuse has all the pieces to do with energy —


AMY GOODMAN: — and to not do with attraction.


AMY GOODMAN: Jessica Leeds, once we interviewed you, I all the time remembered you speaking in regards to the impact afterwards. I imply, you weren’t even sitting in firstclass. The flight attendant got here to you, sitting — proper? — within the again and mentioned, “You’ll be able to sit up right here,” and that’s the way you ended up sitting subsequent to this man, Donald Trump.

JESSICA LEEDS: That’s appropriate. Sure, that’s appropriate.

AMY GOODMAN: You mentioned you by no means wore a skirt once more on a flight?

JESSICA LEEDS: That’s proper. That’s proper. Properly, and I’d must say — what was it? Two — every week in the past? There was a report of a person placing his hand up the stewardess’s skirt. This point in time? I imply, this continues.

AMY GOODMAN: Jessica Leeds, do you hope that it will encourage different individuals to come back ahead, not solely accusing Donald Trump, however particularly, for instance, this regulation in New York, although it doesn’t must be simply this regulation, however the Grownup Survivors Act, that goes by means of the one-year lookback the place a sexual assault survivor can file a case, this one time, time frame? Do you hope individuals who have been victims of sexual assault and rape will come ahead now?

JESSICA LEEDS: The wheels of the justice system transfer so slowly. That’s a troublesome name. I actually don’t know the way helpful that’s to encourage individuals who have been sexually abused to take that route. I’d simply want that in our society we may handle this concern, discuss it, perform a little research, and assist the survivors. You would possibly even look upon this as a type of — we ship males off to conflict and are available again, they usually’ve obtained PTSD. Properly, how about ladies who’ve suffered sexual abuse getting some counseling and assist and whatnot for that? That’s what I feel.

AMY GOODMAN: Jessica, I needed to play for you Trump’s legal professional, Joseph Tacopina, standing on the steps of the courthouse yesterday after the decision got here down.

JOSEPH TACOPINA: , we’re — we’re, in a single sense, gratified. And I do know some individuals on this camp are very joyful that, , the rape declare was rejected. However, , I’m not, and — I’m joyful about that, actually, however I’m not joyful that he was discovered chargeable for something by any means.

AMY GOODMAN: He wasn’t totally committal on this, saying, effectively, at the very least Donald Trump wasn’t discovered responsible of rape. So, there have been three decisions in battery. One was rape. One was sexual assault. And the third was undesirable sexual touching. Your response to that time? Although, curiously, Donald Trump hasn’t made it very a lot. Clearly, he understands the importance of this choice by a civil court docket coming down — unanimous — six males, three ladies discovering him responsible of sexual assault as he runs for president once more. However your response to that?

JESSICA LEEDS: Properly, the lawyer, who was very aggressive and may very well be described as a bulldog, is doing his greatest to signify Trump. I hope he will get paid. And the way a lot that is going to have an effect on Trump’s core, who’re, sadly, cult-like of their devotion, I don’t know the way a lot it will assist. But when it helps E. Jean and it brings the subject out for dialogue and protection, OK, I’m glad.

AMY GOODMAN: And last query: the difficulty of this being a civil trial, so, in reality, the distinction between being discovered responsible and being discovered liable?

JESSICA LEEDS: Yeah, that’s what I imply about going to the justice system. There are people who find themselves going to equate the truth that he wasn’t convicted, they usually obtained confused over fees and whether or not — who was who, and who was defending, and who was prosecuting. It obtained fairly complicated. So, we have to return to civics class. However I feel this was a superb consequence, and I’m very grateful.

AMY GOODMAN: And I’ll simply ask a final query. You got here out earlier than President Trump gained election in 2016, as did effectively over a dozen ladies. Was it 20, greater than 20 ladies?


AMY GOODMAN: He was elected president. Now he has been discovered chargeable for sexually assaulting a lady in a division retailer dressing room. He’s working for president once more. Your ideas?

JESSICA LEEDS: Once more, he has a core of people that will vote for him. The truest factor he ever mentioned was he may stand on the nook of Fifth Avenue and shoot anyone, and he wouldn’t lose any votes. That’s so true. I simply hope that the remainder of the world can see by means of and know that we want anyone a lot, a lot better than this to handle the nation.

AMY GOODMAN: Jessica Leeds, I need to thanks for being with us. She is certainly one of two witnesses who testified in E. Jean Carroll’s case about their very own expertise of Donald Trump sexually assaulting them. She instructed jurors about how she sat down on a airplane subsequent to him in a flight within the Nineteen Seventies and the way he groped her. Moira Donegan, I additionally need to thanks, opinion columnist for The Guardian, a writer-in-residence on the Clayman Institute for Gender Analysis at Stanford College. We’ll hyperlink to your pieces on this case.

Arising, we converse to the Salvadoran poet and author Javier Zamora, writer of the best-selling memoir, Solito, about his 4,000-mile journey, with out his household, from Salvador by means of Guatemala, Mexico, to the Sonoran Desert of Arizona as a 9-year-old. Stick with us.

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