Former President Donald Trump’s lawyers moved late Thursday to block testimony from previous accusers in the sexual battery lawsuit filed against him by writer E. Jean Carroll.
The attorneys are also asking Judge Lewis Kaplan, of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, to ban the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape that was publicly released in 2016 shortly before Trump won the presidential election.
He boasted on the 2005 tape that he liked to “grab” women by the “pussy.” Trump, who hosted the “Apprentice” TV reality show, bragged he could get away with it because he was “a star.”
His attorneys argued in a filing that the tape was “irrelevant and highly prejudicial.” They claimed the previous accusations against Trump also weren’t relevant to Carroll’s allegation that Trump raped her in a dressing room at the Bergdorf Goodman store in Manhattan in the 1990s.
Among those who also accused Trump are former business executive Jessica Leeds, who said that he groped her in 1979 when he sat next to her on a plane.
“He was with his hands grabbing me, trying to kiss me, grabbing my breasts, pulling me towards him, pulling himself on to me,” Leeds testified in her deposition for the case last October.
Another accuser, Natasha Stoynoff, said in her deposition that Trump shoved her against a wall and began kissing her at his Mar-a-Lago estate in 2005 when she was researching a story about him for People magazine.
Carroll’s attorneys argued that both women’s stories are relevant because they demonstrate Trump’s “modus operandi of forcing himself on non-consenting women.”
Trump has denied he assaulted the other women or Carroll.
Carroll also sued Trump for defamation in 2019 after he angrily denied her sexual battery allegation in a White House interview. He claimed that Carroll was not his “type” and that she was just out to get publicity.
Late last year, Carroll filed the suit against Trump under the recently passed Adult Survivors Act, which temporarily lifts the statute of limitations for a year on civil claims over alleged sexual offenses.
Trump’s lawyers have denied Carroll’s rape allegation. As for defamation, they have argued that whatever Trump said as president was protected from any legal action. But Trump repeated some of the same attacks against Carroll on his Truth Social platform early this year. He called Carroll’s accusation a “complete con job” and a “hoax and a lie.”
Whatever protections he may have had as president presumably vanished when he repeated the attacks as a private citizen.
Trump’s publicly released deposition on the latest suit was startlingly vicious. “I know nothing about this nut job,” he said of Carroll, and he threatened to sue her, according to the transcript.
As for Carroll not being his “type,” Trump mistakenly identified a photo of the writer as his second ex-wife, Marla Maples, during a deposition.
Kaplan hasn’t yet ruled on the request to block information. The trial is set to begin in April.