The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Anna Zuccaro |

UltraViolet Applauds Conviction of Donald Trump for Sexual Assault & Defamation Against E. Jean Carroll


Moments ago, a jury in Manhattan federal court found Donald Trump liable for defamation and sexual assault, awarding $5 million in compensatory and punitive damages to writer E. Jean Carroll.

In response to the verdict, Shaunna Thomas, executive director of UltraViolet, a leading national gender advocacy organization and outspoken supporter of Carroll, issued the following statement:

"Finally, a court has confirmed what we have all known for decades. Trump is a sexual abuser. Now, he is a convicted sexual abuser.

“We are grateful to E. Jean Carroll for sharing her truth. We stand with her and survivors of sexual violence.

"In the wake of the #MeToo movement, more people feel comfortable sharing their personal stories of sexual abuse and harassment. With that, coming forward and into the public eye carries a high cost and risk of retaliation. That risk is amplified when the accused is an influential, notoriously dishonest, and petulant public figure like Donald Trump.

"We know that sexual violence and rape culture is all around us, often perpetuated or carried out by those in positions of power. E. Jean Carroll is one of over 20 women who have come forward with stories of sexual assault by Donald Trump — the former President of the United States.

"When media outlets like CNN give Trump a platform, they do a disservice to all their viewers. Contrary to the network’s excuses, hosting a town hall with Trump isn’t about hearing ‘both sides.’ It’s a brazen ploy to seize ratings.

“In our view, CNN’s town hall provides Trump, who was just found guilty of sexual assault by a jury in federal court, more opportunities to spread lies and disinformation with impunity. The network not sharing whether they plan to fact-check Trump on air merely adds insult to injury. We still believe that CNN needs to cancel this event.

"We also urge all media outlets, including CNN, to take rape accusations and convictions more seriously. Giving convicted or alleged perpetrators of sexual abuse a platform plays a significant role in perpetuating intense stigma and shame surrounding these issues. Survivors of sexual violence deserve better than this."

In 2021, members of UltraViolet outwardly criticized Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Department of Justice for shielding Trump from Carroll’s defamation lawsuit. The group also sent a joint letter to President Biden denouncing the decision and has been in full support of E. Jean Carroll since she filed suit against Trump in 2019.

UltraViolet is a powerful and rapidly growing community of people mobilized to fight sexism and create a more inclusive world that accurately represents all women, from politics and government to media and pop culture.