Trump has finished being grilled at Mar-a-Lago in E. Jean Carroll rape defamation case

Trump has finished being grilled at Mar-a-Lago in E. Jean Carroll rape defamation case
  • Donald Trump was questioned under oath Wednesday in writer E. Jean Carroll's 2019 defamation case.

  • The deposition was given at the former president's Mar-a-Lago resort and residence.

  • Trump may have pleaded the Fifth when asked about Carroll's claim that he'd raped her 30 years ago.

Donald Trump was deposed under oath on Wednesday in magazine writer E. Jean Carroll's 2019 rape defamation case, a spokesman for Carroll's lawyer said afterward.

Whether Trump cooperated or pleaded the Fifth as he was questioned at his Palm Beach, Florida resort and residence remained a mystery early Wednesday night. But he may well have, as the stakes in the case are about to rise.

As of now, Carroll is seeking damages for defamation only. She alleges in her lawsuit that when she accused Trump in her 2019 memoir of raping her in the mid-'90s, he called her a liar and implied she was too unattractive for him to have bothered with.

But Trump may well have asserted his right not to incriminate himself during Wednesday's deposition, given Carroll's promise — made through her lawyer, Roberta Kaplan,  last month — to additionally sue him for rape as soon as a New York law temporarily suspending the statute of limitations for sex assault lawsuits takes effect November 24.

Carroll has said Trump raped her in the fitting room of Bergdorf Goodman, a Manhattan department store in the mid-'90s, when she had a daily TV advice show and was a recurring guest on NBC's "Today" show.

She alleged Trump had chatted her up after recognizing her in the store, asked her for advice on shopping for lingerie, and then maneuvered her into a fitting room, where he overpowered her. She has said in court papers that she kept the dress she wore that day, and has sought Trump's DNA for confirmation.

Trump has denied Carroll's allegations, variously claiming over the last three years to have never met her — she has a photo of them together at a party — and that he would never have attacked her because she is "not my type."

"We're pleased that on behalf of our client, E. Jean Carroll, we were able to take Donald Trump's deposition today," said the spokesman, Zak Sawyer, in a statement on behalf of Carroll's attorneys at the Manhattan firm of Kaplan Hecker & Fink.

"We are not able to comment further."

Trump had reportedly been upbeat at his resort on Tuesday night, when instead of cramming for the deposition he hosted a lavish, $1,00o-a-plate fundraiser and teased guests that he could soon announce his 2024 run for the presidency.

Court papers have not revealed if Trump was ever forced to give up a DNA sample in the case. The lawsuit is scheduled to go to trial in federal court in Manhattan on February 6, 2023.

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