From L-R: former President Donald Trump, E. Jean Carroll, John Johnson and Ivana Trump at an NBC party, late 1980s.
Source: U.S. District Court in Manhattan
Jurors at the sex assault defamation trial of Donald Trump in New York on Thursday were shown a deposition of the former president and a video of him last week telling reporters the case was a “rigged deal” and “made up.”
The deposition features Trump confusing a photo of the plaintiff in the civil case, the writer E. Jean Carroll, with his ex-wife Marla Maples, despite having claimed elsewhere that Carroll was “not my type” and that he had never met her.
The photo shows Carroll and her then-husband talking to Trump and his first wife, Ivana Trump.
Trump, who was expected to testify later Thursday, watched as his deposition was shown in Manhattan federal court.
“I have had a lot of hoaxes played on me. This is one of them,” Trump said in the October 2022 deposition, which Carroll’s attorney took three years after the write alleged that the former president had raped her in a New York department store in the mid-1990s.
It is “a fake story, a false story, a made-up story,” Trump said. “The Russia Russia Russia hoax. It’s been proven to be a hoax. Ukraine Ukraine Ukraine hoax. The Mueller situation for two-and-a-half years hoax ended in no collusion. It was a whole big hoax. The lying to the FISA court hoax, the lying to Congress many times hoax by all these people, the scum that we have in our country, lying to Congress hoax, the spying on my campaign hoax.”
Former U.S. President Donald Trump attends jury selection in the second civil trial after Carroll accused Trump of raping her decades ago, at Manhattan Federal Court in New York City, U.S., January 16, 2024 in this courtroom sketch.
Jane Rosenberg | Reuters
“That was another hoax, and I could get a whole list of them. And this is a hoax too … this ridiculous situation that we’re doing right now. It’s a big, fat hoax.”
“She is a liar and a sick person in my opinion.Really sick. Something wrong with her,” Trump said of Carroll.
The videos were shown after Carroll’s lawyers questioned their last witness, former Elle magazine editor-in-chief Roberta Myers. Carroll previously wrote an advice column for Elle.
Trump was initially set to take the witness stand Monday but the trial was postponed after a juror called in sick.
Judge Lewis Kaplan gave Trump’s attorney Alina Habba the chance to continue the case that day with eight jurors instead of nine, but Habba declined, telling Kaplan that she was also feeling ill.
Habba attended Trump’s victory party in New Hampshire on Tuesday night after he defeated Nikki Haley in that state’s primary.
Jurors on Thursday were kept socially distanced as a health precaution. Five of the nine jurors were wearing masks.
Trump has tied his ongoing presidential campaign to his legal battles against Carroll, the New York attorney general, and three different prosecutors.
E. Jean Carroll walks outside Manhattan Federal Court, for the second civil trial after she accused former U.S. President Donald Trump of raping her decades ago, in New York City, U.S., January 25, 2024.
Brendan Mcdermid | Reuters
The former president in recent weeks has attended trials in New York, despite not being required to do so, drawing heavy media attention and new fundraising opportunities for his campaign.
Trump claims all of his legal battles are witch hunts being orchestrated by President Joe Biden and other Democrats to harm his presidential bid.
A jury in a related civil case filed by Carroll found Trump liable last year for sexually abusing the writel in a New York department store in the 1990s and then defaming her in statements he made while denying her allegation in late 2022.
That jury ordered Trump to pay $5 million to Carroll. Trump is appealing the verdict.
The ongoing trial is being held solely to determine how much Trump must pay Carroll in damages for defaming her in statements he made in 2019, while serving as president, denying her account.
Kaplan earlier ruled that Trump was liable for defaming her because of jury verdict in the prior trial, which related to similar statements.
Carroll’s lawyers are seeking at least $10 million in damages from Trump in this case.
This is developing news. Please check back for updates.