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Donald Trump reiterates denial of sexually abusing E. Jean Carroll at defamation trial

Donald Trump's testimony in the writer E. Jean Carroll's defamation case ended almost immediately after it began, as the former U.S. president stood by his earlier testimony that Carroll's claim that he raped her was a hoax.

Former president testified for 4 minutes; closing arguments expected Friday

Former U.S. president Donald Trump is seen leaving his apartment building in New York.

Donald Trump's testimony in the writer E. Jean Carroll's defamation case ended almost immediately after it began, as the former U.S. president stood by his earlier testimony that Carroll's claim that he raped her was a hoax.

"100 per cent yes," Trump told his lawyer, Alina Habba, in federal court in Manhattan on Thursday, when asked if his comments in an October 2022 deposition in Carroll's case were accurate.

Earlier on Thursday, Carroll's lawyers played videotaped excerpts from the deposition, in which Trump called Carroll "mentally sick" and a "whack job," and threatened to sue her.

"It's a false accusation, never happened, never would happen," Trump said in the deposition.

Carroll, 80, a former Elle magazine advice columnist, is seeking at least $10 million US over Trump's June 2019 denials that he had raped her in the mid-1990s in a Bergdorf Goodman department store dressing room in Manhattan.

Last May, another jury ordered Trump to pay Carroll $5 million after he denied her rape claim in October 2022.

Trump, 77, spent only four minutes on the witness stand after U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, who has overseen both trials, said he would not allow "do-overs by disappointed litigants" and let Trump revisit the first jury's findings.

Carroll's case and the trial have become part of Trump's campaign to retake the White House in the November election.

The Republican front-runner has been shuttling between the courtroom and campaign stops while criticizing Carroll, the judge and the judicial process online and at press conferences.

Judge struck some comments

Kaplan struck much of what Trump said on the witness stand from the record, meaning that the jury cannot consider it during deliberations.

Trump testified "yes I did" when his lawyer, Habba, asked if he had publicly denied Carroll's rape claim to defend himself, and "no" when Habba asked if he had intended to harm Carroll.

He then said he had "wanted to defend myself, my family and frankly the presidency," but Kaplan told jurors to disregard this comment.

Writer E. Jean Carroll arrives at a U.S. federal court in Manhattan, New York City, on Jan. 25, 2024.

The judge, who is known for maintaining tight control in his courtroom, limited Trump's testimony after overhearing Trump discuss Carroll outside the jury's presence.

The trial has lasted four days, and closing arguments are expected on Friday.

Jurors will consider only how much money Trump should pay Carroll, if any, for damaging her reputation, and whether he owes additional sums as punishment and to keep him from defaming her again.

A damages expert testified on Carroll's behalf last week that the reputational damage from Trump's 2019 comments could be as high as $12.1 million. Trump's legal team has said damages should be nominal or zero.

WATCH | Trump's legal problems are not hurting his re-election bid:

Trump delivers brief, fiery testimony during 2nd defamation trial

6 hours ago

Duration 2:01

Donald Trump gave his first ever court testimony relating to E. Jean Carroll’s sexual assault claim against him in a New York courtroom, Thursday, the former U.S. president again denied Carroll's claims before the judge quickly cut him off. Carroll accuses Trump of raping her in a New York department store in the mid-1990’s.

Trump's legal team has said Carroll's damages should be nominal or zero, and that Carroll sought out and has enjoyed the adulation from coming forward.

They have also said it was the publication of excerpts from Carroll's book in New York magazine, not Trump's comments, that led people to brand Carroll a liar.

Earlier on Thursday, Carroll's lawyers finished presenting their case, with former Elle editor-in-chief Robbie Myers testifying that she had viewed Carroll as a "truth-teller" whose empathy and sense of humour made her "so important" to the Elle brand.

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Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca

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