Sometimes vehement, sometimes hesitant: this is how Donald Trump appears in the video of his testimony released Thursday, May 4 to the jurors of the civil trial in New York, where the former American president is accused of rape. Made public on Friday, the video was broadcast by many American media.
For forty-eight minutes, we see Donald Trump, blue tie and white shirt under a dark jacket, defending himself and answering questions from the plaintiff's lawyer, the former Elle magazine columnist, E. Jean Carroll.
The ex-journalist, now 79, accused Donald Trump in a 2019 book of raping her in a fitting room in the lingerie department of a New York luxury department store, Bergdorf Goodman , in the mid-1990s. She then filed a complaint against him for defamation, then last November for rape in a civil action.
"It's very blurry"
The Republican billionaire did not show up for the trial which began last week. In his absence, extracts from the video, recorded in the proceedings in October 2022, were broadcast during the proceedings.
“This is the most ridiculous, disgusting story. It's a fabrication from scratch," he says of the charges, calling E. Jean Caroll a "liar" and a "sick person."
In his deposition, Donald Trump reiterates that he does not know the journalist and insistently reaffirms that she is "not [his] type". But, once the lawyer shows him a photo where he is in front of E. Jean Carroll at a party, years before their alleged meeting in 1996, he confuses the complainant with his ex-wife Marla. His lawyer then intervenes: “This is [E. Jean] Carroll,” she corrects him. First taken aback, the ex-president then assures: "It's very vague. »
The former president is also invited to react to his remarks in a video, which has become famous, where we hear him in 2005 bragging about kissing and touching the women he likes as he pleases, and adding: "When you are a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Catch them by the pussy. »
"It's historically true for stars (…) if you look at the last few million years, I think it's largely true, not always, but largely, whether we lament it or not," he explains. "And do you consider yourself a star?" “, asks him the lawyer of E. Jean Carroll, Roberta Kaplan. "I think you can say that, yes," he replies.
Several journalists following the trial had asked the presiding judge on Thursday to make the video public, but the latter decided that it was up to the parties to do so.