Trump’s Access Hollywood Tape Can Be Used in Defamation Lawsuit

The former president had attempted to block the infamous recording from E. Jean Carroll’s trial.

Alex Brandon/AP

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A federal judge on Friday said that the infamous 2005 Access Hollywood tape recording of Donald Trump bragging that his celebrity allows him to “grab” women by the “pussy” can be used in writer E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit against the former president.

Judge Lewis Kaplan also rejected Trump’s request to block two other women who have accused him of sexual assault from testifying in Carroll’s lawsuit.

Carroll is suing Trump after he accused her of lying when she came forward with an account that he had raped her inside the dressing room of Bergdorf Goodman in the 1990s. She revealed her allegations for the first time in 2019 in New York magazine.

In his opinion, the judge said that the “grab them by the pussy” recording and the two women’s testimonies should both be allowed in the trial because they could offer evidence of sexual misconduct by Trump, which is relevant to proving whether or not Carroll’s retelling is true. 

Trump, in denying Carroll’s claims, has previously said that he couldn’t have raped Carroll because she was not his type. (If that sounds familiar, that’s because Trump has wielded the misogynistic insult to deny other women’s claims that he sexually assaulted them.) But that defense recently came into considerable doubt after an unsealed deposition transcript revealed that Trump, when shown a photo of himself with Ivanka Trump, confused his then-wife, with Carroll.

“Most of the evidence that Mr. Trump seeks to keep from the trial jury is to the effect that Mr. Trump allegedly has abused or attempted to abuse women other than Ms. Carroll in ways that are comparable to what he allegedly did to Ms. Carroll,” Kaplan wrote in his decision

“In this case, a jury reasonably could find, even from the Access Hollywood tape alone, that Mr. Trump admitted in the Access Hollywood tape that he in fact has had contact with women’s genitalia in the past without their consent, or that he had attempted to do so.”

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