Judge unseals section of Trump deposition in rape-defamation lawsuit by writer E. Jean Carroll
The writer E. Jean Carroll is suing Donald Trump for defaming her by saying she lied in claiming he raped her in the mid-1990s in New York City.
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 the nearly three dozen pages of his deposition sealed “are entirely baseless,” Judge Lewis Kaplan wrote in his order in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.
That deposition showed Trump making 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.
The deposition which was conducted on Oct. 19 by lawyers for Carroll at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida.
Earlier Friday, Kaplan denied Trump’s bid to toss out one of the two lawsuits filed against him 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 those attorneys and his over whether additional discovery should be conducted for her second lawsuit.
Kaplan first ordered the transcript unsealed on Monday. But he then reversed his order after Trump’s lawyers asked him for three days to file arguments opposing the unsealing.
Trump, while serving as president, publicly accused Carroll of making up the rape allegation, saying she was motivated by politics and a desire to sell a book containing her claims.
Carroll then sued him for defamation.
She sued him again in November when he made what she says were other defamatory statements about her in a social media post that Trump wrote in October. Her second lawsuit also alleges battery, a claim that was allowed under a new New York state law that allows adults a one-year grace period to file lawsuits alleging sexual abuse that occurred outside of the time frame allowed by the statute of limitations.
Trial in the cases has been set for April.
“It’s a false accusation,” Trump said in his deposition, according to the newly disclosed transcript. “Never happened, never would happen.”
“I will sue her after this is over, and that’s the thing I really look forward to doing,” Trump told Carroll’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, who is not related to the judge.
“And I’ll sue you too.”
Trump during the deposition was asked about the Oct. 12 post he made on his social media site, which refers to the “Ms. Bergdorf Goodman case,” calling it “a complete con job.”
The post referenced a June 2019 interview Carroll gave CNN’s Anderson Cooper that described her account of the alleged sexual assault. She said it occurred after a chance meeting with Trump while she was shopping, and he allegedly asked her for help buying a present “for a girl.”
“She completely made up a story that I met her at the doors of this crowded New York City department store and within minutes ‘swooned’ her,” Trump had written, Kaplan noted in her questioning.
Trump in his deposition confirmed Kaplan had read that, and the rest of the post accurately, saying, “Great statement, yeah. True. True.”
“I wrote it all myself,” he added.
Asked if he had talked to anyone about what to say in his post, Trump replied, “No, I didn’t need to. I’m not Joe Biden.”