The Dallas Morning News
Judge lets tape into Trump trial
‘Access Hollywood’ remarks can be used to support rape claim
NEW YORK — Former President Donald Trump’s misogynistic remarks about women in an Access Hollywood tape and the testimony of two women who say Trump suddenly attacked them sexually can be heard at a civil trial resulting from a columnist’s claims that he raped her in the 1990s, a federal judge ruled Friday.
Judge Lewis A. Kaplan said lawyers for E. Jean Carroll can use the 2005 taped remarks by Trump to support her claims that she was attacked by Trump in the dressing room of a posh Manhattan department store.
He also ruled that Jessica Leeds can testify that Trump groped her and tried to put his hand up her skirt on a 1979 flight from Texas to New York before she changed seats.
And the judge said he’ll allow testimony by Natasha Stoynoff, who says Trump pinned her against a wall and forcibly kissed her at his Mara-lago mansion in Florida when the former People Magazine staff writer went there in 2005 to interview the billionaire businessman and his thenpregnant wife.
Carroll sued Trump for defamation after he denied the rape ever happened or that he knew the former longtime Elle magazine columnist after she first described in a 2019 book her encounter with Trump in late 1995 or early 1996.
In the tape, the former president boasts graphically about how celebrities can molest women.
A trial is scheduled for next month, but the judge has not yet specified whether it will include her defamation claims or will only pertain to rape accusations she made in November after New York state temporarily changed laws to let adult rape victims sue their abusers, even if attacks occurred decades ago.
The Associated Press typically does not name people who say they have been sexually assaulted unless they come forward publicly, as Carroll, Leeds and Stoynoff have done.
On Thursday, in what could become the first criminal case ever brought against a former president, the Manhattan district attorney invited Trump to testify before a grand jury next week. The move suggests prosecutors were serious about bringing charges in a probe that looked like yesterday’s news just a few months ago.
In the final weeks of the 2016 presidential election, Trump’s lawyer tried to buy the silence of porn actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen Mcdougal, who said they had sexual encounters with the Republican during his days as a reality TV star.
Trump has denied wrongdoing and that he had any extramarital affairs, and he blasted the probe in a Truth Social post as a “political Witchhunt, trying to take down the leading candidate, by far, in the Republican Party.”