Trump calls rape claim ‘ridiculous’ in taped testimony

Donald Trump has denied raping writer E. Jean Carroll in a deposition video played for a Manhattan federal jury as the former US president seeks to defend himself in a civil trial without testifying in person.

Mr Trump, the front-runner for the 2024 Republican US presidential nomination, said in the October 2022 deposition the alleged rape in the dressing room of the Bergdorf Goodman department store in New York City decades ago didn’t happen.

“It’s the most ridiculous, disgusting story,” Mr Trump said in the video, hunched over a conference table as Carroll’s lawyers presented documents to him.

“It’s just made up.”

Mr Trump will not testify in person, and his legal team told US District Judge Lewis Kaplan on Tuesday (local time) they will not call any witnesses.

The trial is in its sixth day and is expected to extend into next week.

Carroll’s civil lawsuit for battery and defamation alleges Mr Trump raped her in the mid-1990s and then tarred her reputation by claiming in an October 2022 post on his Truth Social platform that the former Elle magazine advice columnist’s case was a “hoax and a lie”.

Carroll said during three days of testimony and pointed cross-examination that Mr Trump slammed her against the wall in either 1995 or 1996, put his fingers into her vagina and then inserted his penis.

Denying the allegations, Mr Trump accused Carroll of making up the story to drive sales of a 2019 memoir in which she made her claims public.

Mr Trump has not attended the trial.

“I hear we’re doing very well in New York,” Mr Trump said on Wednesday when asked why he was not in court.

He spoke to reporters in Scotland where he was playing golf.

The trial has also featured testimony from two women who say Trump sexually assaulted them decades ago.

Former People magazine reporter Natasha Stoynoff told jurors on Wednesday that Mr Trump cornered her at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida in 2005 and forcibly kissed her for a “few minutes” until a butler interrupted the alleged assault.

“It really had a profound effect on me,” Ms Stoynoff said through tears, describing the intense shame and self-doubt she said she felt after the encounter.

Another woman, Jessica Leeds, testified on Tuesday that Mr Trump kissed her, groped her and put his hand up her skirt on a flight in 1979.


Topics: Donald Trump
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