Judge in Trump rape defamation case allows ‘Access Hollywood’ tape

Former US President Donald Trump reacts during an event held to address the recent derailment of a train carrying hazardous waste, in East Palestine, Ohio, US, February 22, 2023.

Alan Freed | Reuters

A federal judge on Friday ruled that the “Access Hollywood” tape revealing former President Donald Trump bragging about groping women without their prior consent could be used as evidence in a civil trial where he is accused of defaming the writer E. Jean Carroll after she claimed her rapid in the mid-1990s.

Judge Lewis Kaplan also ruled that testimony from two other women who say that Trump sexually assaulted them years ago in separate incidents can be presented into evidence at the trial in US District Court in Manhattan.

Kaplan in his decision wrote, “Most of the evidence that Mr. Trump seeks to keep from the trial jury is to the effect that Mr. Trump has allegedly abused or attempted to abuse women other than Ms. Carroll in ways that are comparable to what he allegedly did to Ms. Carroll.”

Trump has denied raping Carroll, who says he attacked her in a dressing room at the Bergdorf Goodman’s department store after a chance encounter there.

Carroll’s suit alleges that Trump defamed her in 2019 after she went public with her claim by saying she was lying, and motivated by politics and money to make up the account.

“In other words,” the judge wrote, “Ms. Carroll offers the evidence to show that Mr. Trump has a propensity for such behavior.”

The “Access Hollywood” tape, was recorded in 2005, but only became public just before the 2016 election, when Trump was first seeking the presidency.

“I’m automatically attracted to beautiful women — I just start kissing them, it’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait,” Trump says on that tape.

“And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. “Grab ’em by the p—-.”

Trump has repeatedly claimed that his remarks on the tape are “locker room talk,” and do not reflect his actual conduct.

But Kaplan in his ruling wrote that, “In this case, a jury reasonably could find, even from the Access Hollywood tape long, that Mr. Trump admitted in the Access Hollywood tape that he in fact had contact with women’s genitalia in the past without their consent, or that he had attempted to do so.

Because of that, and other evidence, the tape satisfies a rule that allows evidence of another sexual assault to be presented in a civil case involving an alleged sexual assault, Kaplan wrote.

Trump’s attorney Joseph Tacopina declined to comment on the ruling by Kaplan.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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Andrew Naughtie

News reporter and author at @websalespromo