Former US President Donald Trump was interrogated under oath in a lawsuit filed by a magazine columnist who claims he raped her in a department store locker room.

In a 2019 book, E Jean Carroll accused Mr. Trump of raping her in New York’s Bergdorf Goodman department store.

But the former president angrily denied his claim, said he was “totally lying” and the accusation was “a hoax”.

In her defamation lawsuit, Ms. Carroll, a consulting columnist for Elle magazine and sometimes aunt of television agony, said Trump’s statements have damaged her reputation.

On Wednesday, Mr. Trump released a deposition under oath, which gave Ms. Carroll’s lawyers a chance to question him about the assault allegations.

And Jean Carroll in 2020. Image: Associated Press

His legal team worked for years to delay his deposition in the lawsuit, which was brought while the Republican was still president.

A federal judge last week rejected Trump’s request for another postponement, saying he couldn’t “run the time on plaintiff’s attempt to get a remedy for what allegedly was a grave wrong.”

His lawyers did not comment on the deposition.

In a recent statement, Trump denied knowing the writer.

“I don’t know this woman, I have no idea who she is, other than the fact that she looks like she had a picture of me many years ago, with her husband, shaking my hand on a reception line at a celebrity charity event. “, he said .

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Credibility and character attacks

Everything Trump said during his deposition could potentially be used as evidence in an upcoming civil trial.

He has not faced any criminal charges related to Ms. Carroll’s allegations, and is unlikely to be prosecuted.

The deadline for criminal charges for alleged sexual assaults in the 1990s has long since expired.

Similar legal terms also applied to civil cases claiming sexual assault. Consequently, Ms. Carroll chose to sue Trump for libel for the comments she made in 2019 when he denied any wrongdoing.

He claims his reputation has been damaged by his denials and attacks on his credibility and character.

However, New York lawmakers recently gave people a one-year window to file old sexual assault complaints in civilian courts.

Ms. Carroll’s attorney told the court she intends to take such a lawsuit against Trump after that window opened in late November.

According to Ms. Carroll’s account, he ran into Mr. Trump while the two were shopping at the Bergdorf Goodman store across Fifth Avenue from Trump Tower.

At the time, Ms. Carroll was on television as the host of a consulting program, “Ask And Jean”.

He said the two engaged in friendly banter while trying to help him pick a gift. But when they were briefly alone in a locker room, he claimed he raped her.

Ms. Carroll’s lawsuit comes when the former president faces a Department of Justice criminal investigation for keeping government documents on his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida after leaving office in January 2021.

And last month, so were Mr. Trump and three of his children served with a cause citing “years of banking, tax and insurance fraud”.

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