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Trump denied E. Jean Carroll rape claim in testimony

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a rally to support Republican candidates ahead of midterm elections, in Dayton, Ohio, November 7, 2022.

Gaelen Morse | Reuters

Editor’s note: This story includes a description of sexual assault.

A federal judge in New York on Friday rejected an effort by lawyers for former President Donald Trump to keep sealed a portion of the transcript of his deposition in a lawsuit by a writer who accuses him of raping her in the mid-1990s.

Trump’s arguments for keeping sealed the nearly three dozen pages of his Oct. 19 deposition “are entirely baseless,” Judge Lewis Kaplan wrote in his order in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

That deposition showed Trump making repeated insulting comments about the writer who is suing him, E. Jean Carroll, her lawyer, and President Joe Biden, as well as grousing about what he called a series of “hoaxes” involving allegedly false claims made about him.

Trump, who denies raping Carroll or ever having sex with her at all falsely said that Carroll, in an interview about her claim of being raped by him, had indicated that “she loved it.”

“She said it was very sexy to be raped,” Trump testified, misstating what Carroll had actually said.

Trump has been accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct — he denies each claim — and bragged in a 2005 recording of the show “Access Hollywood” about grabbing women’s genitals and kissing them without their consent.

During questioning by Carroll’s lawyers, Trump denied ever kissing a woman without her consent.

“I can’t think of any complaints. But no, I mean, I don’t think so,” he said.

Asked whether he had ever touched a woman on her breast, buttocks or any other sexual part without her consent, Trump answered, “Well, I will tell you not, but you may have some people like your client that lie.”

The deposition was conducted at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, in connection with the first defamation lawsuit that Carroll filed against him in 2019.

Trump’s testimony under oath, was given a week after he issued a social media post that was cited in a second defamation lawsuit Carroll filed against him in November.

Earlier Friday, Kaplan denied Trump’s bid to toss out the most recent of two lawsuits filed by Carroll, who says Trump raped her in a dressing room in the Bergdorf Goodman department store in Manhattan more than two decades ago.

In his unsealing order, Kaplan said that Trump had no right to confidentiality for his testimony when he gave it. The judge noted that there is a presumptive right held by the public to court documents.

The judge added that contrary to Trump’s argument, the portion of his transcript that was redacted in the public filing by Carroll’s lawyers “was directly relevant” to a disagreement between the parties over whether additional discovery should be conducted for her second lawsuit.

Discovery is the legal process in which parties in a lawsuit exchange evidence and take testimony from witnesses in preparation…

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