Presidential Candidate to Testify in Defamation Case Involving Sexual Abuse Allegations

MANHATTAN, New York – In a high-profile defamation case, a lawyer for a writer accusing former President Donald Trump of sexual abuse has revealed that the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape and testimony from two other women will not be presented to the jury. Attorney Roberta Kaplan made the announcement on Saturday, stating that the evidence will not be included in the trial to keep the focus on the central issues. The development means that Trump may testify in Manhattan federal court as early as Monday, just a day before the New Hampshire primary.

The trial revolves around whether Trump owes the writer, E. Jean Carroll, more than the $5 million that another jury awarded her last spring. The previous jury concluded that Trump sexually abused Carroll in a luxury Manhattan department store in 1996 but did not rape her, and then defamed her in 2019. Trump had attended the trial for the first few days, except for one day when he attended his mother-in-law’s funeral in Florida.

Kaplan, Carroll’s attorney, explained in a letter to the judge that the decision to exclude the “Access Hollywood” tape and the testimonies of Natasha Stoynoff and Jessica Leeds was to maintain focus on the primary elements of the case. Both Stoynoff and Leeds had testified in a previous trial. Leeds, a former stockbroker, claimed that Trump groped her without consent on an airline flight in the 1970s, while Stoynoff, a writer, alleged that Trump forcibly kissed her against her will during a 2005 interview.

The judge has instructed the jury to accept the findings from the previous trial, with the focus primarily on the harm caused to Carroll by Trump’s repeated denial of the allegations. Since the trial began, Trump, now 77, has denied the claims publicly on multiple occasions, including during campaign stops and on social media. He has continued to assert that Carroll, who is 80, fabricated the allegations for political reasons.

However, while Trump will be limited in what he can testify about, Kaplan intends to present recent statements made by Trump after Carroll finished testifying in the case. She argues that these statements are relevant to the issue of punitive damages, as they demonstrate Trump’s ongoing defamation campaign against Carroll, even in the face of settled liability.

No comment has been issued by Trump’s attorney regarding Kaplan’s letter. The case continues to draw attention as it progresses, with the potential for Trump to take the stand in the coming days.