Trump misses final deadline to testify in E. Jean Carroll defamation trial
by Emily Jacobs, Weekend News Editor
Former President Donald Trump has declined the opportunity to testify at his civil trial for a defamation suit brought by author E. Jean Carroll.
Carroll’s case centers around her 2019 claim that Trump raped her in a New York City department store dressing room in 1996 and the former president’s subsequent denial — calling the allegations a “hoax,” which she argues is defamatory. Trump’s attorneys had told U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan that their client did not intend to testify, but Kaplan offered the former president a three day window to reconsider after he said in Ireland last week that he was heading back to the United States to “probably attend” the trial.
DONALD TRUMP SAYS HE WILL PROBABLY ATTEND E. JEAN CARROLL DEFAMATION TRIAL
“I have to go back for a woman that made a false accusation about me, and I have a judge who is extremely hostile,” Trump told reporters from the golf course at his namesake Ireland property earlier this month. “And I’m going to go back, and I’m going to confront this. This woman is a disgrace, and it shouldn’t be allowed to happen in our country.”
“If he has second thoughts, I’ll at least consider it,” Kaplan said while ordering the three day extension.
Trump’s legal team had until 5 p.m. EST on Sunday to inform the court of a decision. As expected, nothing was filed.
The trial now moves to the closing arguments phase, which will begin on Monday. The columnist is seeking unspecified damages, meaning Trump could be on the hook for millions in damages if the court rules in Carroll’s favor.
Carroll testified that she and Trump met by chance at Bergdorf Goodman in the spring of 1996, while he was still married to his second wife Marla Maples. She said that the encounter began as fun and flirtatious as he convinced her to help him shop for a gift for another woman.
Carroll testified that the two ended up in the store’s lingerie section, where they teased each other to try on a risque bodysuit, before moving to a dressing room. She alleges that Trump then violently slammed her up against a wall and raped her until she kneed him and fled the store.
Trump adamantly denied the allegations in a filmed deposition, saying, “It didn’t take place. She is a sick person, in my opinion. Really sick. There is something wrong with her.”
“It’s the most ridiculous, disgusting story,” he said at a later point. “It was just made up.”
Source Washington Examiner.