E. Jean Carroll’s $5 million victory against Donald Trump shows the staying power of #MeToo

E. Jean Carroll outside the Southern District of New York Court the morning of her victory against Donald Trump.
Luiz C. Ribeiro—N.Y. Daily News via Getty Images

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Janet Yellen is warning CEOs about the dangers of defaulting on the debt ceiling, the Victoria’s Secret fashion show is coming back, and E. Jean Carroll’s victory against Donald Trump shows the staying power of #MeToo. Happy Wednesday!

– Justice for E. Jean. In a piece for New York magazine earlier this week, journalist Rebecca Traister pushed back against the narrative that the #MeToo movement is over or dead. Traister wrote about the potential outcome of writer E. Jean Carroll’s battery and defamation lawsuits against former President Donald Trump—Carroll says Trump raped her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in the mid-1990s—and argued that if Carroll lost, the result would not mark a failure of a political movement. “Fights for progress unwind over lifetimes, not seasons,” she wrote. “Progress is marked by regressions and switchbacks, crushing defeats and galvanizing reactions to those defeats.”

But instead of confronting defeat, Carroll and her allies notched a seismic victory yesterday that bolstered the argument that the #MeToo movement lives on. A jury found Trump liable for sexually abusing Carroll (it did not find him liable for rape) and for defamation; he had called Carroll’s claim a “hoax” and implied she was too old and unattractive for him to assault. The jury awarded Carroll $5 million in damages. (Trump called the verdict a “disgrace” and vowed to appeal.)

Of all the legal claims pending against Trump—from the Stormy Daniels hush money case to Trump Organization fraud allegations—this one stands out: A former president found liable for sexual battery. Interestingly, the big verdict was possible because of a small piece of legislation. Carroll was able to bring her claim under New York’s Adult Survivors Act, which allows survivors to pursue dated claims that had otherwise expired under statutes of limitations. The law is one of many, relatively minor #MeToo-inspired changes whose effects—as Traister suggests—take time to unwind. Sometimes, like yesterday, they seem to unspool all at once.

E. Jean Carroll outside the Southern District of New York Court the morning of her victory against Donald Trump.
Luiz C. Ribeiro—N.Y. Daily News via Getty Images

By the way, two other pieces of news yesterday also show #MeToo’s staying power: Tory Lanez was denied a new trial after his conviction in the shooting of Megan Thee Stallion, and a judge tossed out Marilyn Manson’s defamation claim against Evan Rachel Wood, who had accused him of abuse.

“Being able to get my day in court finally is everything to me, so I’m happy,” Carroll said during the trial when asked if she regretted bringing forward the allegation. “I’m in court. This is my moment.”

Emma Hinchliffe

The Broadsheet is Fortune’s newsletter for and about the world’s most powerful women. Today’s edition was curated by Kinsey Crowley. Subscribe here.


- Early detection. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force updated its guidance to advise that women begin biannual mammograms starting at 40 years old, not 50. Doctors say that earlier screening can save 20% more lives from breast cancer. Washington Post

- Strut the set. The Victoria’s Secret fashion show is returning as a feature-length film four years after the flagship event stopped airing over criticism of its lack of diversity and problematic portrayal of women. Despite attempting to improve its image, the lingerie company's market value has fallen 60% since breaking from parent company L Brands in 2021. Bloomberg

- No workarounds. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the EU should prepare to impose sanctions against countries helping Russia work around sanctions. Officials have long been concerned about the flow of goods through China and Iran. The EU has hit Russia with 10 rounds of sanctions, but measures that could hurt member countries' own economies would be more difficult to pass. Associated Press

- Phone calls. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has reportedly had direct conversations with CEOs to warn them about the impending disaster if the U.S. defaults on its debt. The Biden administration has been urging businesses to pressure Republican lawmakers to raise the debt ceiling without spending cuts. Reuters

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Foot Locker is bringing on former Nike exec Blanca Gonzalez as senior vice president and general manager of its WSS banner. Hootsuite appointed Jessica Hartigan as chief revenue officer and Ellen Terchila as chief customer officer.


- 'I cancel you.' The lead actress in Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Adèle Haenel, says she's retiring early due to the French film industry's ongoing tolerance of sexism and abuse. She said that the women who spoke out during the #MeToo movement were ostracized, so she was taking herself out too. "You have the money, the strength, and all the glory (but) you won’t have me as a spectator. I cancel you from my world," she said. The Hollywood Reporter

- First cohort. Yasuko Gotoh was one of the first women to work in Japan's government bureaucracy after equal opportunities employment legislation passed in the mid-1980s. She endured discrimination, but her leadership through a North Korean spy boat crisis in 2003 helped her prove to herself and others that she was a competent leader. Now, she sits on the board of beauty corporation Shiseido and car parts conglomerate Denso. Japan Times

- Tie-breaker. For the first time, two novels are sharing the Pulitzer Prize for best fiction book. Trust by Hernan Diaz and Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver both won, and Diaz is excited to share the prize with Kingsolver, whom he called a "brilliant, amazing novelist." Washington Post


When a ‘queer’ party is overrun by straight people Vice

Hannah Gadsby feels good Vulture

Dianna Agron rejects your timeline Bustle

Aurora James has never claimed to be perfect Harper's Bazaar


“I couldn’t even walk through a restaurant without somebody saying, ‘Good for you. Stand up for yourself.’ I could see that it had a bigger impact. I got support from strangers that have no skin in the game at all.”

—Actress Scarlett Johansson on her lawsuit against Disney for breaching her contract by making the Avengers spinoff Black Widow available on streaming during its theatrical release

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