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'happiest day of my life'

E. Jean Carroll feels 'fantastic' after Trump verdict: 'The happiest day of my life'

E. Jean Carroll, the writer who accused Donald Trump of raping her in a department store dressing room in the 1990s, said she feels "fantastic" after a jury voted to hold the former president liable for sexual assault and defamation in her lawsuit against him.

"Yesterday was probably the happiest day of my life," Carroll told Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos in a Wednesday interview. On Tuesday, a New York City jury ruled that while Trump did not rape Carroll, he sexually abused and also defamed her when he denied her claims. She was awarded $5 million in damages.

Originally, Carroll told Stephanopoulos she had planned to simply come forward with her story and "thought that was enough." But then Trump "said terrible things about me. Dragged me through the mud. Ground my face in the dirt. It was horrible." So she talked to a lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, and together, the two brought a lawsuit against him. "It was this 5-foot-3, wily, female attorney and this elderly, 79-year-old advice columnist who are finally holding Donald Trump liable," she continued. 

Carroll added that she was "shaken" throughout the trial, during which Trump declined to testify, "but I felt strong because I knew I was telling the truth and I just stuck to it."

Shortly after it was announced, the former president decried the ruling in a post on Truth Social: "I have absolutely no idea who this woman is. This verdict is a disgrace — a continuation of the greatest witch hunt of all time!" The jury's decision marks "the first time a former president has been found civilly liable for sexual misconduct," per NBC News.