Donald Trump questioned for libel suit following rape complaint at writer’s department store | American News

Former US President Donald Trump has been questioned under oath in a lawsuit brought by a magazine columnist who claims he raped her in the locker room of a department store.

In a 2019 book, E Jean Carroll accused Mr Trump of raping her at the New York department store Bergdorf Goodman.

But the ex-president angrily denied her claim, said she was “totally” lying and the allegation was “a hoax”.

In her libel suit, Ms Carroll, an advice columnist for Elle magazine and sometimes television agony aunt, said Mr Trump’s statements damaged his reputation.

Wednesday, Mr Trump gave a sworn statement, which gave Ms Carroll’s lawyers a chance to question her about the assault allegations.

E Jean Carroll in 2020. Photo: Associated Press

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 Mr Trump’s request for a further delay, saying he could not ‘run time on the plaintiff’s attempt to obtain redress for what would have been a serious wrong’ .

His lawyers did not comment on the deposition.

In a recent statement, Mr Trump denied even knowing the writer.

“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,” he said. .

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Credibility and character attacks

Everything Mr. 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 Ms 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, Ms Carroll chose to sue Mr Trump for defamation over comments he made in 2019 when he denied any wrongdoing.

She argues that her reputation has been damaged 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.

Ms. Carroll’s attorney told the court she intended to bring such a lawsuit against Mr. Trump after that window opened in late November.

According to Ms Carroll’s account, she ran into Mr Trump while they were shopping at the Bergdorf Goodman store across Fifth Avenue from Trump Tower.

At the time, Ms Carroll was on TV 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 when they were briefly alone in a dressing room, she alleged he had raped her.

Ms Carroll’s trial comes as the ex-president faces a criminal investigation by the Department of Justice for maintaining government records at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida after leaving office in January 2021.

And last month, Mr. Trump and three of his children were also served with a trial alleging “years of bank, tax and insurance fraud”.