New York: Ex-president of the USA Donald Trump is supposed to testify Wednesday in a defamation case pitting him against a prominent American columnist who says he raped her in the 1990s. E. Jean Carroll, 78, alleges that Trump sexually assaulted her in a New York department store.
Last week, a New York federal court judge rejected a motion by Trump, who has denied the allegation, to further delay his statement. Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled that Carroll’s and Trump’s statements should be held on October 14 and 19, respectively.
It is not known whether Carroll testified on Friday, and neither of the party’s legal advisors responded to comment requests from AFP. Carroll on Tuesday shared a photo of her lawyer Roberta Kaplan on Twitter captioned “Carroll versus Trump,” and wished Kaplan “GOOD LUCK FOR TOMORROW.” She later deleted the tweet.
Kaplan, who is unrelated to the case’s judge, is a co-founder of the Time’s Up movement that provides legal aid to victims of sexual assault. Carroll, a former columnist for Elle magazine, sued then-president Trump for defamation in a New York civil court in November 2019.
In an extract of her book published by New York Magazine that year, Carroll said she was raped by Trump in the changing room at the luxury Bergdorf Goodman department store on Fifth Avenue in New York in the mid-1990s.
Trump denied the accusation, saying Carroll was “not my type” and that she was “totally lying,” which prompted the defamation suit. The case has been postponed by procedural fights, including whether Trump should be represented by the US government since he was president at the time he made the statements.
As indicated by a few news sources on Tuesday, Trump’s lawyers have always claimed that their client was protected by his executive immunity, particularly for allegedly defamatory slanderous explanations he made during his term.
Last week, Trump made new remarks about the case on his right-wing Truth Social platform, mocking Carroll’s rape allegations. According to legal experts referred to in a Vice News report, Carroll could sue Trump again — this time as a private citizen.
Judge Kaplan said last week that Carroll could guarantee damages from Trump for the supposed assault starting from November 24, after a New York state law allowing overcomers of rape to file a civil suit regardless of the statute of limitations comes into effect.