Donald Trump has denied knowing E Jean Carroll, the writer accusing the former United States president of rape, as a New York City jury heard a second day of video testimony from Trump in the civil case.
Trump’s video deposition was played for jurors on Thursday at the civil trial in which Carroll, a former Elle magazine columnist, has accused him of rape.
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Carroll, 79, has testified that the former president, 76, raped her in a Bergdorf Goodman department store dressing room in the mid-1990s, and then tarred her reputation and career by lying about it online.
In a video excerpt played on Thursday, Trump was asked about a statement he made in 2019 about never having met Carroll.
He said that was true at the time but he was later shown a photograph of him shaking either her hand or her husband’s hand at a receiving line at a celebrity event. “I shake a lot of hands with people but I had no idea who she was,” Trump said.
Trump, who is currently the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican nomination for president, has yet to attend the trial, which began last week in Manhattan federal court.
His legal team told US District Judge Lewis Kaplan that Trump would not be testifying in person and they would not be calling any witnesses.
But during a visit to a resort he owns in southwest Ireland, Trump told reporters he “will probably attend”.
“I think it’s a disgrace that it’s allowed to happen, false accusations against a rich guy, or in my case against a famous, rich and political person,” Trump told reporters while he played golf at the Doonbeg resort.
“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 added.
The trial is expected to extend into next week. Trump’s lawyer, Joe Tacopina, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Reuters news agency.
Lawyers for Carroll played about 30 minutes of excerpts from the former president’s deposition on Wednesday, including his emphatic denial of the rape accusation.
“If it did happen, it would have been reported within minutes,” Trump said, contending that shoppers and employees at the “very busy store” would have heard a commotion and alerted authorities.
“It’s the most ridiculous, disgusting story. It’s just made up,” Trump said in the video deposition taken in October.
Carroll said during three days of testimony and cross-examination that Trump slammed her against the wall in either 1995 or 1996, put his fingers into her vagina and then inserted his penis.