Trump deposed in writer’s defamation suit over rape claim

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By Luc Cohen

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Donald Trump was deposed on Wednesday in a defamation lawsuit brought in New York by writer E. Jean Carroll after the former U.S. president denied having raped her, a spokesperson for Carroll said in a statement.

“We’re pleased that on behalf of our client, E. Jean Carroll, we were able to take Donald Trump’s deposition today,” the spokesperson said, declining to provide further details.

Carroll, a former Elle magazine columnist, sued Trump in Manhattan federal court in November 2019, five months after he denied raping her in the mid-1990s. In denying the allegations, Trump said at the time that Carroll was “not my type.”

Trump has accused Carroll of making up the original accusation and said the courts should have thrown out the lawsuit. Alina Habba, a lawyer for Trump, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday. Habba has previously called the case “entirely without merit.”

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan last week denied Trump’s bid to delay the case, stating that subjecting Trump to a deposition in the case would not impose an “undue burden” on him.

Trump had argued that the case should be put on hold while an appeals court decides whether he was acting in his official capacity as president when he called Carroll a liar. His lawyers have argued that Trump was shielded from Carroll’s lawsuit by a federal law providing immunity to government employees from defamation claims.

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Carroll has said she also plans to sue Trump on Nov. 24 for battery and inflicting emotional distress.

On that date, a recently enacted New York state law gives victims a one-year window to sue over alleged sexual misconduct even if the statute of limitations has expired.

Carroll has accused Trump of raping her in late 1995 or early 1996 in a dressing room at the Bergdorf Goodman department store in Manhattan. Trump has accused her of concocting the rape claim to sell her book.

(Reporting by Luc Cohen; Editing by Noeleen Walder, Will Dunham and Bill Berkrot)