Former President Donald Trump likely will never appear in person before a jury in E. Jean Carroll’s lawsuit accusing him of raping her and lying about it, but the panel has seen portions from some 48 minutes of his deposition preceding trial.
On Friday, Trump’s questioning was released among a flood of exhibits submitted by Carroll’s legal team. Law&Crime shares every portion of the video that has been publicly released and highlights the most significant passages.
In 2019, Carroll first stepped forward with her allegations that Trump raped her in an excerpt of her book “What Do We Need Men For,” published in New York Magazine. She claims that Trump stopped her when she was leaving a Bergdorf Goodman department store and recognized her as an advice columnist. She said that she couldn’t resist a New York anecdote when Trump asked her to help him find a gift for a woman.
Inside the store, she claims, Trump picked up lingerie and led her to the dressing room. She said that she thought it was an elaborate joke and followed him inside to continue the bit, when Trump allegedly shut the door and sexually assaulted her. Trump vehemently denied the allegations, telling reporters: “She’s not my type,” a remark that sparked her original defamation lawsuit.
A key portion of Trump’s video deposition veers sharply off-script with that denial.
In the clip, Trump mistakes an old photograph of Carroll with a picture of his ex-wife Marla Maples.
“That’s Marla, yeah,” Trump said. “That’s my wife.”
“Which woman are you pointing to?” asked Carroll’s attorney Roberta Kaplan.
At that point, Trump’s attorney Alina Habba interjected: “No, that’s Carroll.”
Trump then claimed that the photograph was “blurry.” It’s a seemingly clear black-and-white image of Trump, Carroll, and their then-spouses Ivana Trump, and John Johnson, respectively.
Carroll’s legal team has told jurors the mistaken identity shows that Carroll was exactly Trump’s type. He spelled out the subtext of his insult against Carroll in another clip, explicitly claiming he didn’t find her physically attractive.
Asked whether his three ex-wives were his type, Trump responded: “Yeah.”
‘Unfortunately or fortunately’
During his deposition, Trump was also shown the “Access Hollywood” tape that nearly derailed his 2016 presidential campaign. He played off the footage as just “locker room talk” at the time, when asked at a debate about his most infamous line.
“I’m automatically attracted to beautiful… I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait,” Trump boasted to NBC’s Billy Bush in the footage. “And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything. […] Grab them by the p—-. You can do anything.”
No longer shying away from that line, Trump doubled down and defended what he seemed to believe were fair points.
“Historically, that’s true, with stars,” Trump testified.
“True that they can grab women by the p—-?” Kaplan asked.
“Well that’s what — if you look over the last million years, I guess that’s been largely true. Not always, but largely true, unfortunately or fortunately,” Trump replied.
Senior U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan allowed Trump’s hot mic moment into evidence because of the alleged similarities between Trump’s boast and his alleged sexual assaults of Carroll and other women. At least 26 women have publicly accused the former president of sexual misconduct, and three of them have testified to the jury. Businesswoman Jessica Leeds told a jury that Trump groped her on a plane in 2019. People magazine journalist Natasha Stoynoff said that Trump pushed her against a wall and kissed her when she went to Mar-a-Lago to interview him for a profile.
‘You wouldn’t be a choice of mine, either’
After Carroll, Leeds, and Stoynoff went public, Trump either implied or outright stated his opinion that each of the women wasn’t attractive. Trump’s remark that Carroll isn’t his “type” has been a pivot point of the defamation claims.
At a political rally, Trump jeered at Stoynoff to a roaring crowd by saying: “Look at her. Look at her words. You tell me. What do you think? I don’t think so.”
During his deposition, Trump also was shown footage of him at a rally dissing Leeds: “She would not be my first choice.”
After seeing that tape, Trump used the occasion to take a swipe at Carroll’s attorney, who was questioning him about it.
“You wouldn’t be a choice of mine, either, to be honest,” Trump told Kaplan. “I hope you’re not insulted.”
Kaplan is a prominent and openly gay attorney who helped win the landmark victory for marriage equality through the Supreme Court case of her client Edie Windsor.
“I wouldn’t under any circumstances have any interest in you,” Trump added. “I’m honest when I say it.”
Trump’s deposition was not admitted in full, and the portions shown to the jury were selected by Carroll’s legal team as the ones illustrating their arguments. One of those arguments is that Trump routinely insults the appearance of women who accuse him, a pattern that they say goes to the heart of the defamation claims.
Carroll’s case will go to closing arguments on Monday, when her legal team will urge them to hold Trump liable for sexual battery under New York’s Adult Survivors Act. She has also sued for defamation.
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