Trump answers questions under oath in writer’s defamation lawsuit
Former President Donald Trump answered questions under oath on Wednesday in a defamation lawsuit brought by a writer who claims he raped her in the mid-1990s.
Roberta Kaplan, lawyer for E. Jean Carroll, longtime columnist for Elle magazine, confirmed NBC News that Trump was deposed on Wednesday. When asked how long the deposition lasted, Kaplan said the information was considered confidential.
Carroll sued Trump for defamation in 2019 after the then-president denied his allegation that he raped her in the dressing room of an upscale Manhattan department store. The lawsuit claims Trump ruined Carroll’s reputation when he denied his accusation.
A judge ruled last week that the former president should sit for a deposition in the case, denying a request by Trump’s lawyers to delay testimony. Trump’s lawyers had tried to quash the lawsuit arguing he was acting in his capacity as president when he denied the rape allegations – an argument that was intended to make the US government the defendant and reduce the chances of success of Carroll’s consideration of protections for federal employees who are prosecuted for acts on the job.
U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan wrote the trial should proceed after being in legal limbo for three years, citing the ‘advanced age’ of Carroll, 77, and Trump, 76, and witnesses potentials.
“Defendant should not be allowed to run time against Plaintiff’s attempt to obtain redress for what would have been a grievous wrong,” Kaplan wrote.
Kaplan noted with disapproval a series of attempts by Trump to delay the collection of evidence in the defamation suit.
“Given his conduct thus far in this matter, Mr. Trump’s position regarding the burden of discovery is inexcusable,” he wrote. “As this Court has already observed, Mr. Trump has argued this case since it began in 2019 with the effect and probably the purpose of delaying it.”
Trump earlier took aim at Carroll in a post on his social media platform after the judge denied his request to delay the deposition.
“This ‘Ms. Bergdorf Goodman case is a complete scam,’” Trump wrote.
NBC News reached out to a spokesperson for Trump to comment on Wednesday’s deposition.
Trump has repeatedly denied meeting Carroll, saying she was “totally” lying when she accused him of sexual assault.
“I will say this with great respect: first of all, she is not my type. Number two, it never happened. It never happened, okay? Trump told The Hill in 2019.
In a filing last month, Carroll’s attorneys said she plans to sue Trump in November under a new New York law that allows victims of sexual assault to sue years after an alleged incident.
Adam Reiss and Zoe Richards contributed.