(New York) Donald Trump has not finished being judged for the video in which he boasted of being able to kiss women and grab their sex without their consent.
In November 2016, he certainly survived the verdict of the American electorate, which elected him to the presidency of the United States despite his misogynistic and incriminating remarks. However, in May 2023, he must face another jury, made up of nine New Yorkers, who may be less tolerant than the first vis-à-vis the same video and the same man, who is again presidential candidate for 2024.
At least that’s the hope of lead counsel for author E. Jean Carroll, who accuses Donald Trump of raping her in 1996 and defaming her in 2022. Roberta Kaplan returned to her closing argument on Monday. on the Access Hollywood video and the reaction it produced in the former president during a deposition last October.
Roberta Kaplan recalled that Donald Trump had not taken advantage of his testimony to retract his remarks heard in the video dating back to September 2005 and broadcast for the first time in October 2016.
On the contrary, she pointed out, the ex-president said under oath that “stars” had behaved like this with women since time immemorial, “unfortunately or fortunately”.
“He really said fortunately!” Roberta Kaplan exclaimed in disbelief, addressing the six men and three women on the jury who will begin their deliberations on Tuesday morning after receiving instructions from the judge.
Alluding to the alleged rape of E. Jean Carroll in a dressing room at the Bergdorf Goodman store, the lawyer added, describing some of the charges against Donald Trump: “He grabbed her by the pussy – or the vagina, excuse my language – and pressed his fingers inside her. »
The lawyer recalled that E. Jean Carroll was not the only woman to accuse Donald Trump of sexual assault or misconduct. In her closing argument, she alluded to the two women who testified about it during the trial: Jessica Leeds, a retired businesswoman, and Natasha Stoynoff, a former People magazine reporter.
Roberta Kaplan claimed that Donald Trump used the same strategy with these women that he mentioned in the Access Hollywood video.
“He tells you in his own words how he treats women,” she told the jury, whose members remained impassive throughout closing arguments.
Joseph Tacopina, Donald Trump’s attorney, did not seek to defend his client’s comments about how “stars” behave around women, calling them “rude.” But the Access Hollywood video is a distraction, he argued.
“You may think that Donald Trump is a rude and rude person and that [the story of E. Jean Carroll] makes no sense. Both of these things may be true. »
In the end, Donald Trump will not have taken the stand, even though Judge Lewis Kaplan had given him until 5 p.m. Sunday to reconsider his decision not to testify. So, apart from his lawyers, no one showed up before the jury to defend the former president, a fact that Joe Tacopina attributed to the confusion of E. Jean Carroll as to the date of the alleged rape.
Counsel devoted much of his closing argument to discrediting the evidence of E. Jean Carroll and her two friends – Carol Martin and Lisa Birnbach – whom the former Elle magazine columnist confided in immediately after the alleged rape.
“This whole story is obviously an implausible work of fiction,” said the attorney, who accused the plaintiff of wanting to get rich off Donald Trump and harm his political career.
E. Jean Carroll, ex-Miss Indiana and pioneer New York journalist, accused Donald Trump of raping her in a book published in 2019. In October 2022, the 45th President called Carroll a “liar” and called her accusation of “hoax” and “total scam” on Truth Social. He also reiterated that she was “not his type”.
The jury must determine whether Donald Trump raped and defamed E. Jean Carroll and, if so, what damages the former president should pay the author.
“For E. Jean Carroll, this lawsuit has nothing to do with money,” Roberta Kaplan told jurors during her closing argument. “I’m not going to stand here and tell you how much you should award E. Jean Carroll in damages. What is the price to pay for decades of living alone, without companionship? Someone to cook dinner with, someone to walk the dog with, someone to watch TV with. And the feeling, for decades, of being dirty and unworthy. I’m not going to put a number on that. »
E. Jean Carroll publishes an excerpt from her memoir, What Do We Need Men For?, in New York magazine, where she accuses Donald Trump of raping her in the mid-1990s.
Carroll is suing Trump for defamation (the civil assault suit related to the alleged rape will follow in September 2022).
Trump repeats his denials on Truth Social, calling Carroll a “liar” and her accusation a “hoax”. He also repeats that she is “not his type”.
Jury selection begins and the trial begins before Judge Lewis Kaplan in New York federal court.