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Trump appears for deposition in E. Jean Carroll lawsuit

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Former President Donald Trump appeared for a deposition Wednesday in columnist E. Jean Carroll's defamation lawsuit, after a judge last week rejected his attempt to delay questioning. File photo by Joe Marino/UPI
Former President Donald Trump appeared for a deposition Wednesday in columnist E. Jean Carroll's defamation lawsuit, after a judge last week rejected his attempt to delay questioning. File photo by Joe Marino/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Former President Donald Trump appeared for a deposition Wednesday and answered questions under oath in a defamation lawsuit brought by columnist E. Jean Carroll who claims he raped her decades ago in a department store fitting room.

The deposition was taken at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate. It is not clear what the former president said while under oath.

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"We're pleased that on behalf of our client, E. Jean Carroll, we were able to take Donald Trump's deposition today. We are not able to comment further," a spokesperson for Kaplan Hecker & Fink, the law firm representing Carroll, said in a statement. Trump's lawyers have not commented.

Wednesday's deposition comes one week after a federal judge rejected Trump's attempt to delay questioning on the grounds the alleged defamation occurred while he was still president. Last week, the judge denied additional delays in the lawsuit, saying Trump could no longer "run the clock out on plaintiff's attempt to gain a remedy for what allegedly was a serious wrong."

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In 2021, a federal judge also denied Trump's request to delay the case, and rejected the former president's effort to have the U.S. Justice Department replace him as the defendant in Carroll's lawsuit. Had the judge ruled for Trump it would have ended Carroll's defamation suit because the government cannot be sued for defamation.

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Carroll's rape allegations were first published in New York magazine, in June of 2019 while Trump was president, with an excerpt from her book What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal.

In the article, Carroll said Trump approached her in 1995 or 1996 at Bergdorf Goodman department store in Manhattan where she said the former real estate tycoon followed her into a fitting room and raped her.

RELATED Judge denies Trump bid to delay deposition in E. Jean Carroll defamation case

Carroll claimed she told two friends about the alleged attack, but did not contact police out of fear of retribution from Trump.

The former president denied the allegations and the White House issued a statement saying, "This is a completely false and unrealistic story surfacing 25 years after allegedly taking place and was created simply to make the president look bad." Trump also accused Carroll of making up the story to help sell her book.

Carroll sued Trump months later, saying his denials of her accusations damaged her reputation and inflicted emotional pain and suffering. The Justice Department argued Trump was a federal employee at the time he denied Carroll's rape allegations in response to reporters' questions at the White House.

RELATED New York federal judge blocks Trump from counter-suing E. Jean Carroll

At this point, Carroll is seeking damages for defamation only. "No person in this country should be above the law -- including the president," Carroll said when she filed the lawsuit in 2019.

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Carroll has promised to sue Trump for rape, as early as next month, when New York state temporarily suspends its statute of limitations, allowing victims of sexual assault to sue years after an attack.

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