By David B. Caruso and Jennifer Peltz | Associated press
NEW YORK — Former President Donald Trump answered questions under oath on Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by E. Jean Carroll, a magazine columnist who claims he raped her in the mid-1990s in the locker room. ‘a big store.
The deposition gave Carroll’s attorneys a chance to question Trump about the assault allegations, as well as statements he made in 2019 when she first told her story publicly.
Details on the conduct of the deposition were not immediately released.
“We are pleased that on behalf of our client, E. Jean Carroll, we were able to take the deposition of Donald Trump today. We are unable to comment further,” the law firm representing her, Kaplan Hecker & Fink, said in a statement.
Trump said Carroll’s rape allegation was “a hoax and a lie.”
His legal team worked for years to delay his testimony in the lawsuit, which was filed while the Republican was still president. Last week, a federal judge denied Trump’s request for a further delay, saying he could not “run time on the plaintiff’s attempt to obtain relief for what would have been a serious wrong.”
Trump’s attorneys did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the deposition on Wednesday.
Carroll was scheduled to be questioned by Trump’s lawyers last Friday. Neither his lawyers nor those of Trump answered questions about the course of this deposition.
The lawyers also did not disclose whether Trump’s deposition was given in person or remotely, via video. Trump was in Florida on Wednesday. The trial is ongoing in a New York court.
Everything Trump said during his deposition could potentially be used as evidence in an upcoming civil trial. He has not faced any criminal charges related to Carroll’s allegations, and any prosecution is unlikely. The deadline for criminal charges for the alleged sexual assaults that occurred in the 1990s has long expired.
Similar legal time limits also applied to civil suits alleging sexual assault. As a result, Carroll chose to sue Trump for defamation over comments he made in 2019 when he denied wrongdoing. She maintains that her reputation has been tarnished by her denials and attacks on her credibility and character.
However, New York lawmakers recently gave people a one-year window to bring old sexual assault complaints to civil court. Carroll’s attorney told the court she intends to file such a lawsuit against Trump after that window opens in late November.
According to Carroll’s account, she bumped into Trump while they were shopping at the Bergdorf Goodman store across Fifth Avenue from Trump Tower. At the time, Carroll was on television as the host of an advice show, “Ask E. Jean.”
She said the two engaged in friendly banter as she tried to help him choose a present. But while they were briefly alone in a dressing room, she said he pulled down her pantyhose and raped her.
In a recent statement, Trump called the story “a complete scam.”
“I don’t know this woman, I have no idea who she is, other than it looks like she took a picture of me many years ago, with her husband, shaking my hand on a receiving line at a celebrity charity event,” Trump said. .
Associated Press writers Jill Colvin and Michael R. Sisak contributed.