NEW YORK CITY — During his October deposition as part of the rape and defamation trial brought against him by the writer E. Jean Carroll, former President Donald Trump told prosecution lawyers that “stars” like him had, “unfortunately or fortunately,” historically been permitted to carry out unwanted sexual assault.
That videotaped deposition was played for the jury Thursday at the Daniel Patrick Moynihan U.S. Courthouse in lower Manhattan. In it, Carroll's lawyer Roberta Kaplan read a portion of the now infamous off-the-cuff remarks Trump made to the “Access Hollywood” co-host Billy Bush in 2005.
“I just start kissing them, it’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy,” Kaplan said on the video, repeating Trump’s own words, before asking him to elaborate.
“Historically, that’s true with stars,” Trump responded during the deposition. “If you look over the last million years, that’s what’s been largely true of the stars — unfortunately or fortunately.”
Kaplan followed up by asking Trump, who has denied all allegations of sexual impropriety made against him by multiple women, if he considered himself a star.
“I think I can say that, yeah,” Trump said.
Carroll alleges that Trump raped her in a changing room at Bergdorf Goodman department store in the mid-1990s, and Kaplan also asked Trump, who is not expected to testify in his own defense during the trial, about his quip that Carroll was “not my type.”
Trump responded that he had the “right to be insulting” given the accusation of rape, before telling Kaplan, “You wouldn’t be a choice of mine either, if I’m being honest. I hope you’re not offended.”
Kaplan pressed Trump on his assertion that he had no idea who Carroll was and that he had never met her. She showed Trump a photo taken at a charity event that featured Trump; Ivana, his wife at the time; Carroll; and her then husband.
“I don’t know who the woman is,” Trump initially said of Carroll, before adding, “It’s Marla [Maples, his second wife]. That’s Marla, yeah, that’s my wife.”
Later, Kaplan asked Trump, “I take it the women you’ve married are your 'type'?”
“Yeah,” Trump responded.
Kaplan also questioned Trump about an Oct. 12, 2022, statement in which he claimed that Carroll said he “swooned her.”
“She indicated that she loved it,” Trump said in the deposition.
Throughout the deposition, Trump, whose defense team announced Wednesday that they would not call a single witness in the case, maintained his innocence.
“I’ve had a lot of hoaxes played on me. This is one of them,” Trump said. “This ridiculous situation is a big fat hoax.”