(NEW YORK) — E. Jean Carroll “was exactly” Donald Trump’s type and he sexually assaulted her the very way he described treating women on the infamous Access Hollywood tape, an attorney for Carroll told jurors Monday during closing statements in Trump’s civil defamation and battery trial.
Carroll, who brought the lawsuit in November, alleges that Trump defamed her in his Truth Social post by calling her allegations “a Hoax and a lie” and saying “This woman is not my type!” when he denied her claim that Trump raped her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in the 1990s.
The former Elle magazine columnist added a charge of battery under a recently adopted New York law that allows adult survivors of sexual abuse to sue their alleged attacker regardless of the statute of limitations. Trump has denied all allegations that he raped Carroll or defamed her.
In Monday’s closing arguments, Carroll’s attorney, Roberta Kaplan, once again played for the jury the excerpt of Trump’s October 2022 deposition in which he momentarily mistakes Carroll for his second wife.
“What did Mr. Trump do after I showed him that photograph?” Kaplan told the jury. “He looked at it for a moment and then, completely unprompted by me, he said, ‘It’s Marla.’ She was exactly his type!”
Kaplan asserted that Trump only corrected himself when his own lawyer jumped in after realizing how potentially damaging the statement was.
“He said the photo was blurry. But that’s the photo, ladies and gentleman,” Kaplan said, putting the 1980s-era photograph of Carroll, her then-husband John Johnson, Trump and his then-wife Ivanna Trump on the screen in the courtroom. “The truth is that E. Jean Carroll, a former cheerleader and Ms. Indiana, was exactly Donald Trump’s type.”
Kaplan juxtaposed Trump’s mistaken identification with his remarks on the “Access Hollywood” tape, on which he is heard saying about women that “I just start kissing them … I don’t even wait” and that when you’re a star you can “grab them by the p—-.”
“What is Donald Trump doing here?” Kaplan said. “He’s telling you in his own words how he treats women. It’s his modus operandi.”
The attorney also repeated what Trump said during his deposition about how stars get away with the conduct. “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,” Trump is heard saying.
“Fortunately or unfortunately?” Kaplan told the jury. “Who would say fortunately to describe the act of sexual assault? I know who. He thinks stars like him can get away with it. He thinks he can get away with it here.”
Kaplan implored the jury that “You must hold him to account for what he’s done.”
The nine-member jury of six men and three women is weighing Carroll’s defamation and battery claims and deciding potential monetary damages.
Monday’s closing arguments began a day after a Sunday afternoon deadline passed without Trump filing a motion to reopen the case.
The two sides each rested their case on Thursday after Trump declined to testify in his own defense, but Judge Lewis Kaplan gave Trump until Sunday to reconsider, setting an afternoon deadline for Trump to file a motion to reopen the case for the sole purpose of testifying, in light of remarks Trump made while golfing in Europe suggesting he would return to New York to confront his accuser. However Trump’s team filed no motion with the court.
This month’s trial is taking place as Trump seeks the White House for a third time, while facing numerous legal challenges related to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, his handling of classified material after leaving the White House, and possible attempts to interfere in Georgia’s 2020 vote.
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