January 17, 2023
Former President Donald Trump used a sworn deposition in a case brought by his sexual assault accuser E. Jean Carroll to continue calling her a liar and to claim she is mentally ill—denying that he sexually assaulted her even as he falsely claimed Carroll said in a CNN interview that she enjoyed being raped.
In rambling and combative testimony during an October 2022 session at Mar-a-Lago, Trump reiterated past claims he didn’t know Carroll, except as an adversary in what he termed “hoax” litigation, and said she was a “nut job” who was fabricating the story altogether, reports The Washington Post.
“I know nothing about her,” he said in response to questions from Carroll’s attorney Roberta Kaplan, according to court documents unsealed Friday. “I think she’s sick. Mentally sick.”
The former president twisted Carroll’s comments from a June 2019 interview with CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, in which she said she shied away from calling her alleged encounter with Trump a “rape” because the word “has so many sexual connotations” and is a “fantasy” for many.
“I think most people think of rape as being sexy,” she told Cooper, according to a transcript of the interview, explaining that she instead thinks of her alleged attack as a “fight.”
Trump cited the interview in telling Kaplan that Carroll “loved” sexual assault.
“She actually indicated that she loved it. Okay?” Trump said in the deposition. “In fact, I think she said it was sexy, didn’t she? She said it was very sexy to be raped.”
Kaplan then asked: “So, sir, I just want to confirm: It’s your testimony that E. Jean Carroll said that she loved being sexually assaulted by you?”
And Trump answered: “Well, based on her interview with Anderson Cooper, I believe that’s what took place.”
Carroll, an author and advice columnist, publicly accused Trump in 2019 of raping her in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman in the mid-1990s. She has a pair of pending lawsuits against him in federal court in Manhattan—the first for alleged defamation over comments by Trump in 2019 trashing her and her account, and the latter over the alleged sexual assault itself.
Trump has denied knowing Carroll at all, even though he was photographed with her and her then-husband at an event decades ago.
On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Lewis A. Kaplan rejected a bid by Trump’s attorneys to dismiss Carroll’s sexual assault lawsuit, which was filed under a New York law that lets sexual assault victims sue years later.
Trump lawyer Alina Habba said she will appeal the judge’s decision not to toss out the newer case. A spokesman for Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign declined further comment.
The D.C. Court of Appeals is considering whether the Justice Department can represent Trump as a federal employee, a long-running legal dispute that has been heard by various courts and could effectively put an end to the defamation claims. Kaplan has scheduled an April trial date for both lawsuits.
Research contact: @washingtonpost