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20 Oct, 2022 03:45

Trump testifies in lawsuit brought by rape accuser

The ex-president was recently denied a request to delay the case
Trump testifies in lawsuit brought by rape accuser

Former US President Donald Trump has given testimony under oath as part of a civil defamation suit filed by a New York advice columnist E. Jean Carroll, who accused him of raping her in a 2019 book. 

After losing a bid to put off the deposition last week, Trump was called in to answer questions from Carroll’s lawyers on Wednesday, according to the writer's legal team. The exact location and timing of the testimony were not immediately clear.

“We’re pleased that on behalf of our client, E. Jean Carroll, we were able to take Donald Trump’s deposition today. We are not able to comment further,” law firm Kaplan Hecker & Fink said in a statement.

An attorney for Trump, Alina Habba, said the ex-commander in chief was “pleased to set the record straight today,” adding that Carroll’s suit “is nothing more than a political ploy like many others in the long list of witch hunts against Donald Trump.”

Carroll first accused Trump of sexual assault while he was still president in 2019, publishing a book in which she said he raped her in a New York department store in the 1990s. Trump quickly rejected the allegation as “a hoax and a lie,” claiming he had never met the woman and that her claims were merely an attempt to “get publicity” and “sell a book.” Carroll brought the defamation suit soon after.

Trump previously requested that the US government replace him as defendant in the case, pointing to the fact that the alleged defamation occurred while he was still in office, but was denied by Judge Lewis Kaplan last week. The same judge shot down a delay for Trump’s deposition, saying he could not “run the clock out on plaintiff’s attempt to gain a remedy for what allegedly was a serious wrong.”

Carroll was already deposed by Trump’s attorneys last Friday, though neither legal team has divulged any details about the testimony. Both parties in the suit have been permitted to keep their depositions confidential during the pretrial discovery phase if they choose, leaving it unclear when more might be known.

Regardless of the outcome of the defamation case, Carroll has vowed to sue the former president in a New York court next month under a recently passed state law which lifted the statute of limitations for rape and sexual assault allegations. Her lawyers can use the deposition provided by Trump on Wednesday as part of that separate suit.