E. Jean Carroll Defamation Trial Approaches Trump’s Testimony: Accusers and ‘Access Hollywood’ Tape Excluded

NEW YORK – A lawyer representing advice columnist E. Jean Carroll, who has accused Donald Trump of sexual abuse, has announced that the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape and testimony from two other women will not be presented to a New York jury considering defamation damages. Attorney Roberta Kaplan stated that this development could potentially pave the way for Trump to testify in court as early as Monday, just one day prior to the New Hampshire primary.

The jury is currently deliberating whether Trump should pay more in damages to Carroll than the $5 million that was awarded to her by a previous jury last spring, which concluded that Trump had sexually abused Carroll in a luxury Manhattan department store dressing room in 1996 and subsequently defamed her in 2022.

Notably, Trump has attended the trial for most of its duration, with the exception of Thursday when he attended his mother-in-law’s funeral in Florida. Kaplan also informed the judge that she would not be showing the jury the 2005 tape in which Trump made disparaging remarks about women, in order to maintain a focused trial. Additionally, two other accusers of Trump, Natasha Stoynoff and Jessica Leeds, will not be called as witnesses by Carroll’s legal team.

Kaplan justified this decision by noting that Trump’s lawyers had argued that he would only testify about the “Access Hollywood” tape and the allegations brought forward by Stoynoff and Leeds if they were introduced by Carroll’s attorneys. The judge in the case has instructed the jury to accept the findings made by the previous jury, thus leading the evidence presented in court to primarily revolve around the harm caused to Carroll by Trump’s continuous denial of the accusations.

Throughout campaign stops, social media, and a recent news conference, Trump has vehemently denied Carroll’s claims and asserted that she fabricated them for political and financial gain. The judge has considerably limited the scope of Trump’s potential testimony, likely to prevent him from discussing other false claims made against him. However, Kaplan confirmed her intention to present statements Trump has made since Caroll’s testimony concluded on Thursday.

These recent statements, Kaplan argued, are relevant to the issue of punitive damages as they demonstrate Trump’s persistent defamatory campaign against Carroll despite the ongoing legal proceedings. At the time of writing, there has been no response from Trump’s legal team regarding Kaplan’s letter.

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