Trump legal team fails to stop jury from hearing separate sexual assault allegation

‘I turned around, and within seconds he was pushing me against the wall and forcing his tongue down my throat,’ Natasha Stoynoff wrote about alleged 2005 incident

Gustaf Kilander
New York
,Bevan Hurley
Tuesday 25 April 2023 18:49 BST
Related video: Donald Trump reacts to Joe Biden’s 2024 re-election campaign announcement

The Trump legal team has failed to stop the inclusion of a separate sexual assault allegation in the civil rape trial between Donald Trump and writer E Jean Carroll.

Ms Carroll claims that Mr Trump raped her in a Manhattan department store dressing room in 1995 or 1996 and that he later defamed her in 2019 as president when he rejected her allegation.

The judge in charge of the trial that began on Tuesday 25 April ruled that Mr Trump’s attorneys had acted too late. Jurors are now set to hear about another incident which may give the appearance that the former president has a history of sexual assault.

Ms Carroll expanded her defamation lawsuit to include battery last year after the state of New York passed a law allowing victims a one-year period to sue their alleged attackers after the expiration of the statute of limitations.

Years after the alleged rape of Ms Carroll, a People magazine journalist was at Mar-a-Lago to interview Mr Trump and Melania Trump, whom he had recently married at the time.

Mr Trump’s lawyer claimed that the incident was different to such a degree that the jury shouldn’t hear about it, but Judge Lewis Kaplan sided with the Carroll legal team and will allow correspondent Natasha Stoynoff to testify, according to The Daily Beast.

The Trump team argued that the jury shouldn’t hear about the incident because Mr Trump is only alleged to have “touched her shoulders and kissed her, and never touched or attempted to touch her genitals”.

Trump attorney Joe Tacopina asked in a letter on Saturday that Judge Kaplan reconsider his ruling to allow Ms Stoynoff to appear and speak about the December 2005 incident – about a decade after the events detailed by Ms Carroll.

Ms Stoynoff was doing a story about the one-year wedding anniversary of the Trumps. When Melania Trump, who was pregnant at the time, left to change her outfit, Mr Trump allegedly took the reporter for a tour of the mansion, only to suddenly close a door behind them in one of the rooms.

In 2016, Ms Stoynoff wrote in a column for the magazine: “We walked into that room alone, and Trump shut the door behind us. I turned around, and within seconds he was pushing me against the wall and forcing his tongue down my throat.

“Now, I’m a tall, strapping girl who grew up wrestling two giant brothers. I even once sparred with Mike Tyson. It takes a lot to push me. But Trump is much bigger — a looming figure — and he was fast, taking me by surprise and throwing me off balance. I was stunned. And I was grateful when Trump’s longtime butler burst into the room a minute later, as I tried to unpin myself.

“The butler informed us that Melania would be down momentarily, and it was time to resume the interview.”

Mr Trump then asked, “You know we’re going to have an affair, don’t you?” according to the reporter, adding that the following morning, she went to the spa at the private club, where the receptionist told her Mr Trump had been waiting for her, but that he had left to attend a meeting.

Ms Stoynoff later told her editors to not have her cover Mr Trump again.

Mr Trump has called her a “liar” and on 12 December 2017, he tweeted: “Despite thousands of hours wasted and many millions of dollars spent, the Democrats have been unable to show any collusion with Russia - so now they are moving on to the false accusations and fabricated stories of women who I don’t know and/or have never met. FAKE NEWS!”

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