Donald Trump’s lawyer confirmed on Tuesday that the former president would not testify in the rape case brought forward by advice columnist E. Jean Carroll, multiple news outlets reported.
Carroll sued Trump for battery and defamation, alleging that he had raped her in the mid-1990s at Bergdorf Goodman, a luxury department store in Manhattan. She first came forward with these allegations in 2019.
According to Politico, US District Judge Lewis Kaplan asked Trump’s lawyer Joe Tacopina several times whether the former president would testify. On Tuesday, Tacopina confirmed that Trump had decided not to.
But the jurors will still hear from him at the trial, as the court is expected to hear a 45-minute videotaped deposition of Trump responding to Carroll’s allegations. According to NBC NewsKaplan said there was no need for Trump to testify live and that Carroll “has a right to play Donald Trump’s deposition at trial.”
The possibility of Trump taking the stand was unlikely, as the former president has been absent so far, including during Carroll’s emotional testimony last week.
Carroll told the court that Trump had asked her to help him buy a lingerie gift while they were in the lingerie section of the store. She said he asked her to try on a lace bodysuit, but she declined. Trump then allegedly pushed her against the dressing room wall and sexually assaulted her.
“I was pushing him back … I was almost too frightened to think,” Carroll said during her testimony, according to The New York Timesadding that she was in pain and that Trump had obscured her vision while assaulting her.
Several other witnesses joined Carroll to share testimony, including Jessica Leeds, a woman who accused Trump of sexually assaulting her on a plane in the 1970s.
Trump has denied Carroll’s rape allegation. While she gave her testimony, Trump, who wasn’t in attendance, posted about it on his social media platform, Truth Social.
“Does anybody believe I would take a then almost 60 year old woman that I didn’t know, from the front door of a very crowded department store, (with me being very well known, to put it mildly!), into a tiny dressing room, and….her,” Trump wrote, adding “SCAM!”
As of 2020, at least 26 women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct since the 1970s, Business Insider reported. The former president is currently involved in several other high-profile court cases, some of which he will not testify for.
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.