Judge Denies Trump’s Attempt To Block ‘Access Hollywood’ Tape From Defamation Trial

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The judge in writer E. Jean Carroll’s defamation and battery case against Donald Trump denied the former president’s request to omit certain evidence from trial, according to court documents released Friday.

Carroll is seeking to present jurors with a notorious 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape, as well as testimony from two other women alleging misconduct, at April’s trial in New York City. Carroll has accused Trump of raping her in a dressing room at a high-end Manhattan department store in the 1990s, and she alleges that Trump defamed her by claiming she was lying about the incident.

Trump’s attorneys previously argued that a hot-mic recording from TV’s “Access Hollywood,” which came to light weeks before his victory in the 2016 presidential election, was “irrelevant and highly prejudicial.” They also claimed that testimony from the two other accusers “will offer no relevant or meaningful insight into the central question” of the case.

But Carroll’s attorneys maintained that their testimony would be vital to illustrating the former president’s “modus operandi of forcing himself on nonconsenting women.”

U.S. District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled Friday that the “Access Hollywood” recording and the testimony could be presented at trial.

Testimony from Jessica Leeds and Natasha Stoynoff would aim to “show that Mr. Trump has a propensity for such behavior,” Kaplan wrote in the court documents.

Kaplan added that the former president, who launched a new bid for the White House last year, still has a right to deny the accusations from the women, as he has done previously.

In 2016, Leeds accused Trump of grabbing her breasts and other inappropriate touching on an airplane decades prior. Around the same time, Stoynoff alleged that he had kissed her without her consent during an interview in December 2005.

Amid filming for an “Access Hollywood” appearance in 2005, Trump raved about being able to do anything he wanted to women he found attractive.

“You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything,” he said in the recording.

“Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything,” added Trump, who was then best known as a real estate mogul and the host of NBC’s “The Apprentice.”

Following her accusations, Trump has said that Carroll is not his “type,” but he’s also mistaken her for an ex-wife.

“We maintain the utmost confidence that our client will be vindicated at the upcoming trial,” attorney Alina Habba, who represents Trump, told HuffPost in a statement Friday. An attorney for Carroll declined to comment.

Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.