A newly unsealed portion of a court filing from the legal representation for writer E. Jean Carroll in litigation against Donald Trump over a sexual assault she says he perpetrated against her in the 1990s uses a substantial mistake from the ex-president in a deposition to make some pointed observations.
In short, Trump repeatedly misidentified a years-old photo showing him with Carroll, but it’s not just that he was somewhat mistaken. He said Carroll, as shown in the image, was actually his ex-wife Marla Maples, and when asked for clarification, he insisted for an overall second time on his claim. Alina Habba, a lawyer for Trump, cut in and pointed out to Trump that the individual was actually Carroll. In the newly available filings, as pointed out by Law&Crime, Carroll’s lawyers use Trump’s glaring error to undercut his repeated insistence that the writer wasn’t his “type,” a claim to which he has repeatedly returned — including publicly and in the deposition — in an attempted defense against the foundational accusations. The portrait they are depicting is that many of Trump’s antagonistic statements towards and about Carroll were made without regard for the basic facts.
Carroll’s legal claims concern both the defamation and the assault itself. “When confronted with the photo of Carroll and himself from a party before the rape, Trump twice misidentified Carroll as his ex-wife Marla Maples, insisting it was Maples smiling at him in the photo, when in fact the woman he was pointing to was Carroll herself,” the filing said. Also at issue have been Trump’s claims about Carroll’s supposedly political agenda. The ex-president claimed in his deposition that some other figure — who he did not name — told him of supposedly Democratic political allegiances on Carroll’s part. “Somebody told me early on that she was somehow aligned with Hillary Clinton,” Trump claimed to Kaplan. “She was either aligned with her or — I thought aligned with her.” Kaplan’s line of questioning pointed out the discrepancy between Trump’s claims of knowledge of Carroll’s intentions and his claims he didn’t have meaningful familiarity with the writer.
In his deposition, Trump also repeatedly restated his commitment to his past claims that were antagonistic in nature about Carroll. Trump is heading to trial on sexual assault — and what seem to be additional defamation — claims from Carroll at the end of April, a date set this week by a federal judge that was reportedly sooner than what Trump’s team, including the new addition, lawyer Joe Tacopina, wanted. The judge, Lewis Kaplan, also set a series of deadlines related to an apparently psychological examination looking into claims from Carroll of emotional damages. Roberta Kaplan, Carroll’s lawyer, indicated openness to the idea — and remaining questions about what the contours of that proposed examination would actually mean.