Donald Trump attorney Alina Habba said in her opening statement that E. Jean Carroll’s career has prospered since she went forward with her sexual assault allegations, arguing that Carroll was trying to seek “a windfall” over “mean tweets.”
“The other side will attempt to paint Ms. Carroll as someone who lost everything because President Trump stood up and defended himself when he was publicly accused of assault,” Habba said. But in reality, Trump’s lawyer argued, “Her career has prospered, and she has been thrust back into the limelight like she always has wanted.”
Carroll turned around in her chair to look at Habba when she made the statement. Habba told the jury to remember, “This case is not about assault. We had that case. This case is about the defamation.” Carroll waited for the opportune time to maximize coverage, Trump’s lawyer claimed.
“If you make explosive allegations about a sitting president —no matter who the president — people are going to react both good and bad,” Habba said.
“Now she wants President Trump to pay for the risks she took for the way she did this,” Habba said of Carroll. “She wants President Trump to pay for the mean tweets.”
Habba also made a point to stress that this case is about only two statements made by Trump in 2019 — not all the other statements he continues to make more recently that Crowley referenced in her opening.
“Here she is looking for you to give her a windfall because some people on social media said mean things about her,” Habba added. “But in today’s day and age, the internet always has something to say, and it’s not always going to be nice. Imagine if every time a public person got a mean tweet, they could get money.”
Carroll doesn’t want to change her reputation, Habba argued, “She likes her new brand.” “Her alleged emotional harm did not stop her from going on TV again and again and again.”