NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump answered questions under oath Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by E. Jean Carroll, a magazine columnist who says the Republican raped her in the mid-1990s in a department store dressing room.
The deposition gave Carroll’s lawyers an opportunity to question Trump about the assault allegations, as well as statements he made in 2019. when she told her story publicly first time.
Details of how the testimony unfolded were not immediately released.
“We are pleased to be able to take the deposition of Donald Trump today on behalf of our client, E. Jean Carroll. We are unable to comment further,” said a spokesperson for the law firm representing her, Kaplan Hecker & Fink.
Trump said Carroll’s rape claim was a “fraud and a lie.”
His legal team has worked for years to delay his statement in the lawsuit, which was filed while he was still president. A federal judge last week rejected Trump’s request for another delay, saying he could not “run on the plaintiff’s attempt to obtain a remedy for what was alleged to be a serious wrong.”
Trump’s lawyers 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 her nor Trump’s lawyers responded to questions about how the testimony went.
The attorneys did not disclose whether the testimony was conducted in person or remotely, via video. Trump was in Florida on Wednesday. The lawsuit is pending in New York court.
Anything Trump said during his testimony could potentially be used as evidence in an upcoming civil trial. He has not faced any criminal charges related to Carroll’s allegations and is unlikely to face any prosecution. The deadline for filing criminal charges for sexual assaults that occurred in the 1990s has long passed.
Similar statutory time limits applied to civil lawsuits for sexual assault. As a result, Carroll decided to sue Trump for defamation over comments he made in 2019 when he denied any wrongdoing. She continues his denials and attacks on her credibility and character have damaged her reputation.
However, New York lawmakers recently gave sexual assault survivors a year to sue their attackers over old assaults. Carroll’s lawyer told the court that intends to file such a lawsuit against Trump after that window opens in late November.
According to Carroll’s story, she ran into Trump while the two were shopping at the Bergdorf Goodman store across Fifth Avenue from Trump Tower. At the time, Carroll was on television as host of the advice show “Ask E. Jean.”
She said the two had a friendly banter as she tried to help him pick out a gift. But when they were briefly alone in the dressing room, she said he pulled down her tights and raped her.
In a recent statement, Trump called the story “total business.”
“I don’t know this woman, I have no idea who she is, other than it seems like she took a picture of me years ago, with my husband, shaking my hand on the receiving line at a celebrity charity event,” Trump said. .