Trump says in Carroll rape case deposition that stars have 'historically' grabbed women

Key Points
  • The deposition of former President Donald Trump by a lawyer for E. Jean Carroll, the writer who accuses him in a civil lawsuit of raping and defaming her, was released in a court filing.
  • The deposition was filed a day after Carroll's lawyers rested their case at the trial for the suit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.
  • In one section, Trump mistakes Carroll for his ex-wife Marla Maples, despite having said his accuser is "not my type."
Watch: Video of Trump deposition in rape defamation case
Watch: Video of Trump deposition in rape defamation case

Video and a transcript of former President Donald Trump's deposition in the defamation case brought by writer E. Jean Carroll were released in court records Friday.

Carroll has accused Trump in a civil lawsuit of raping and defaming her.

The deposition, taken in October at Trump's Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, was made public a day after Carroll's lawyers rested their case at the trial for the suit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. Trump's lawyers presented no witnesses of their own.

In the deposition, Trump says "that over the last million years ... unfortunately or fortunately," people who are considered "stars" could grab women sexually without their consent.

Trump told Carroll's lawyer that he considered himself to be a star.

Portions of the transcript have previously been released in separate court filings, and jurors on Thursday were shown portions of a video of the deposition.

Watch the Trump deposition video here.

In one such section, Trump, who has repeatedly said that Carroll was "not my type," mistook her for his former wife Marla Maples in a photo from the 1980s showing him, Carroll, her then-husband, and Trump's then-wife Ivana Trump together.

"That's Marla, yeah. That's my wife," Trump said before his lawyer Alina Habba stepped in during the deposition to tell him, "No, that's Carroll," Habba said.

Trump then said the photo was "very blurry."

From L-R: former President Donald Trump, E. Jean Carroll, John Johnson and Ivana Trump at an NBC party, late 1980s.
Source: U.S. District Court in Manhattan

Carroll, 79, alleges that Trump raped her in the dressing room of the Bergdorf Goodman department store in Manhattan in the mid-1990s after they had a chance encounter in the public area of that Manhattan store.

She also alleges in her suit that Trump, 76, defamed her in comments last fall accusing her of making up the claim.

Trump, who is seeking the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, denies raping Carroll.

"It didn't take place," he said during the deposition.

"She is a sick person, in my opinion. Really sick. There is something wrong with her," Trump said.

Two friends of Carroll testified at the trial that she told them Trump raped her shortly after it allegedly happened.

And two other women testified about separate incidents when Trump allegedly groped or kissed them against their will.

Trump lawyer Joseph Tacopina told Judge Lewis Kaplan this week that the former president would not testify in person at the trial.

Kaplan gave Tacopina until late Sunday afternoon to change his mind about calling Trump to the witness stand on Monday. If Trump does not do so, closing arguments are set for Monday.

The deposition released Friday includes Carroll's lawyer Roberta Kaplan asking Trump about comments he made on the "Access Hollywood" tape, when a hot mic caught him boasting to that show's host in 2005 about groping and kissing women without their permission.

"I'm automatically attracted to beautiful women — I just start kissing them, it's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait," Trump had said on that tape. "And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything," he said, including "grab 'em by the p----."

In his deposition, Trump called those comments "locker room talk," the same term he used to dismiss them when the tape became public shortly before the 2016 presidential election, which he won.

But Trump also told Kaplan, who is not related to the judge, that, "Well, historically, that's true with stars."

Kaplan then said, "True with stars that they can grab women?"

Trump replied, "Well, that's what — if you look over the last million years, I guess that's been largely true. Not always, but largely true. Unfortunately or fortunately."

Kaplan then said: "And you consider yourself to be a star?"

Trump answered, "I think you can say that, yeah."