NEW YORK: Former US President Donald Trump called a writer’s allegations that he raped her in a Manhattan convenience store “the most disgusting and cynical story,” in his testimony to court on Wednesday that the allegations were “made-up” and that the assault was “fabricated.” It never happened.
Attorneys for defendant E. Jean Carroll played about 30 minutes of excerpts from the former president’s statements, including his categorical denial of the columnist’s longstanding accusation that he attacked her in the mid-1990s in Bergdorf Goodman’s dressing room.
“If this happens, it will be reported within minutes,” he said. trump he said, claiming that shoppers and employees at the “very busy store” had heard a commotion and alerted authorities.
“It’s the most ridiculous and disgusting story,” Trump said in a video taken in October. “It was just made up.”
Several jurors leaned forward, watching expressionlessly as the video played on individual screens in front of their seats.
In other developments on Wednesday, Trump’s lawyers said they would not call any witnesses, and the judge said closing arguments would likely take place on Monday before the jury begins deliberations on Tuesday.
Trump did not attend the trial and will not testify, giving his testimony more weight. Asked about the issue while traveling in Ireland on Wednesday, Trump told reporters: “I hear we’re doing very well in New York.”
Jurors in Manhattan federal court are expected to hear more of Trump’s statements Thursday, followed by three more witnesses being called to the stand by Carroll’s attorney.
Carroll is seeking unspecified monetary damages and a retraction of Trump’s statements which she alleges are defamatory.
Trump denied knowing Carroll, once saying she was “not my type” and arguing her allegations were politically motivated attempts to discredit him and deny him the White House.
His denial of testimony punctuated an emotional day in court that saw more allegations of inappropriate behavior with women and the playing of the infamous “Access Hollywood” video in which Trump bragged about ripping off women’s genitals without asking permission.
Former People magazine writer Natasha Stoynoff testified through tears that Trump forcibly kissed her against her will while showing her around his Mar-a-Lago home just after Christmas in 2005 for an article about his one-year wedding anniversary with his third wife, Melania.
Before the trial, Trump’s lawyers unsuccessfully tried to stop the jurors from watching the Access Hollywood video and hearing from Stoinoff, who said she told only a handful of people about the alleged incident at the time, but decided to go public after watching the video. The tape and Trump’s subsequent denial in the 2016 debate.
“The horrible part for me was that I was worried, because I didn’t say something at the time, other women were hurt because of it, so I had to regret it,” Stoinoff said.
Stoinoff started crying when asked about her trip to meet the Trump family in Palm Beach, Florida, fetching tissues and pausing between questions to pat her eyes. Stoinoff testified that Trump pulled her away from the staff and camera crew with the ploy of wanting to show her a “really nice room” on the estate, before he cornered and kissed her.
Stoynoff, a Canadian who adopted an old last name for her writing career, recalled that the door was closing behind her and Trump quickly “put his hands on my shoulder, pushed me up against the wall and started kissing me.” Stoynoff, whose real name is Nancy Stevens, said the confrontation lasted several minutes.
“I tried to push him away,” Stoinoff said, explaining how Trump came to her again and how she again tried to push him away. She said she was “so shocked and confused” that she could neither speak nor scream.
“No words came out of me,” Stoinoff told the jury.
Stoinoff said Trump showed no signs of stopping, but pulled away abruptly when a butler came into the room to report that Melania was ready for the next stage of the interview.
As they walked to the patio area, Trump told her “You know we’re going to have an affair,” said Stoinoff, reminding her that his second wife, Marla Maples, once bragged to a tabloid that sex with Trump was the best she’d ever had.
Trump has denied that he ever tried to kiss Stoinoff. Trump’s attorney, Joseph Tacopina, indicated that she had nothing to do with Carroll’s case and ended his questioning after he asked her one question: Was she involved in any lawsuits against Trump? She is not.
Stoinoff’s testimony came the day after another woman, the former stockbroker, did so Jessica Leedstestified that Trump grabbed her breasts and tried to pull his hand up her skirt when they were seated next to each other on a late 1970s airline flight.
Carroll kept her allegations against Trump secret for 17 years, and only told two close friends before making the allegations public in her 2019 memoir. In the book, she described how an sometimes chance encounter with Trump at the store in the spring of 1996 ended in violence when Trump cornered her in a dressing room after Challenge each other to try on a piece of underwear.
Trump’s lawyers have attacked Carroll’s credibility with exhaustive questioning, questioning why she never screamed for help during the alleged attack and why she never went to the police.
Testifying on Carroll’s behalf Wednesday, a psychiatrist said it was common for rape victims to remain silent and blame themselves.


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