- Trump’s lawyers had fought to keep jurors from seeing parts of his E. Jean Carroll trial deposition.
- A judge Tuesday ruled Trump’s cringey explanation for his Access Hollywood remarks is admissible.
- In the disputed cut, Trump says ‘stars’ have ‘historically’ been allowed to grab women’s genitals.
In a blow to the defense, a judge ruled Tuesday that the E. Jean Carroll rape-and-defamation jury can hear what is arguably the cringiest part of Donald Trump’s trial deposition — the part where he says that “stars” have “historically” been able to grab women’s genitals.
US District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan ruled Tuesday that the disputed deposition cut, in which Trump attempts to defend his remarks in the so-called “Access Hollywood” tape, is admissible, despite earlier pushback from Trump’s lawyers.
The jury can also hear the part of Trump’s deposition where he dismisses his Access Hollywood remarks as “locker room talk,” saying hadn’t really meant them, an explanation that Carroll’s lawyer had fought to edit out.
Trump’s attorneys previously tried, without success, to bar jurors from hearing any mention of the Access Hollywood tape.
“Well, historically, that’s true with stars,” Trump says in the disputed cut, after Carroll’s lawyers reminded him during the deposition that he had been recorded saying, “And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the p—-.”
“If you look over the last million years, I guess that’s been largely true,” Trump says in the deposition, which was videotaped. “Not always, but largely true. Unfortunately or fortunately.”
Trump is asked, “And you consider yourself to be a star?”
“I think you can say that, yeah,” he answers.
In the cut, which will be viewed as early as this week by the jury, Trump also appears to waffle over whether he was married to Melania Trump when the Access Hollywood tape was recorded in January 2005 — something Carroll’s lawyers could try to spin as the former-president acting evasive in the face of sex-assault accusations.
“Am I correct that you married your current wife in January 2005?” Trump is asked by Carroll’s lawyers.
“I don’t know relative to that tape, no,” he answers.
In the Access Hollywood tape, Trump, who is talking at the time to former NBC Today show host Billy Bush, says that he had “moved heavily” on a woman acquaintance, and had even taken her furniture shopping in hopes of wooing her.
“Is that the only occasion when you took a woman shopping?” Trump was asked by Carroll’s lawyers in the deposition.
“I think so,” he answered. That question and answer can now also be played to jurors, the judge ruled.
Carroll says in her lawsuit that Trump raped her in the Bergdorf Goodman department store in Manhattan in the mid-1990s after the two struck up a conversation there and Carroll jokingly agreed to help Trump shop for lingerie for a friend.
In some good news for Trump, Kaplan’s ruling bars jurors from seeing a section of Trump’s deposition where he insists he has never kissed or touched a woman against her will.
Trump attorney Joe Tacopina had argued that the line of questioning was irrelevant to the lawsuit.
Trump has repeatedly denied any sexual encounter with Carroll and has countered that it’s absurd to think that such an assault could have happened in a public space without anyone having heard something.
The trial began Tuesday with jury selection, and a warning to the parties against making any statements that could “incite violence.”