Former President Donald Trump’s lawyers asked a judge to bar jurors at his upcoming civil trial from hearing testimony that he sexually assaulted two other women besides E. Jean Carroll, the writer suing him for defaming her after she alleged in 2019 that he raped her in the 1990s.
His lawyers also want Manhattan federal court Judge Lewis Kaplan to prohibit evidence of Trump’s infamous “Access Hollywood” tape, where he boasted about kissing and groping women without their consent, new legal filings reveal.
That tape, recorded in 2005, was made public shortly before the 2016 election. At the time, it was seen as potentially fatal to Trump’s first White House bid.
“I’m automatically attracted to beautiful women — I just start kissing them, it’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait,” Trump said on that tape. “And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. “Grab ’em by the p—-.”
Trump’s lawyers also asked Kaplan to prevent attorneys for Carroll, 79, from showing jurors evidence of Trump’s speeches and statements when he campaigned for president.
Carroll’s lawyers, on the other hand, are asking Kaplan in their own filings to admit the testimony by the two other women, Jessica Leeds and Natasha Stoynoff. They say Trump began groping them without permission in separate incidents.
Trump, who is seeking the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, has denied raping Carroll or sexually assaulting anyone else.
Leeds has said the now-76-year-old Trump sexually assaulted her on an airplane around 1979 after a stewardess invited her to sit next to him in first class.
Stoynoff has said that Trump sexually assaulted her at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, in 2005 “when she was writing a story for People Magazine about Trump’s upcoming one-year wedding anniversary” to Melania Trump, Carroll’s court filing noted.
“Their testimony is admissible because a sexual assault is a ‘factual premise’ of Carroll’s claim, and because their testimony evidences Trump’s modus operandi of forcing himself on nonconsenting women,” Carroll’s lawyers wrote.
“Stoynoff’s and Leeds’ accusations against Trump, and his responses denying those accusations, are relevant evidence that he committed additional sexual assaults,” the filing says.
Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba, in turn, said that testimony should be barred under the Federal Rules of Evidence.
Habba wrote that even if it were otherwise allowed under an exception to those rules, it still should not be given to jurors because “the probative value of the testimony … does not outweigh the significant prejudice that would result to [Trump] by allowing their inclusion.”
Kaplan has yet to rule on the dueling requests, which could affect the outcome of the trial due to begin in April.
Carroll is suing Trump for allegedly defaming her. He claimed she lied, and was motivated by money, when she wrote in a 2019 New York magazine article and a book that Trump raped her in a dressing room at the Bergdorf Goodman department store in Manhattan in 1995 or 1996 after a chance encounter.
At the time of the alleged incident, Trump was married to his second wife, Marla Maples.
Carroll, in making her claims, joined at least two dozen or so women who have alleged sexual misconduct by Trump over five decades. Among them was his first wife Ivana Trump, who during their divorce in the late 1980s said he had raped her. Ivana later retracted that allegation.
In her deposition for the case in October, Leeds testified about Trump’s actions on an airplane.
“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.
“Part of my brain was wondering why the people … in the seat behind me weren’t noticing that the seat was jiggling around and why wasn’t the guy that was sitting across the aisle saying something or where the hell was the stewardess,” she said.
“It was when he started putting his hand up my skirt that I realized that nobody was going to save me but me, and I was on the aisle, I managed to wheel my way out of the chair, and grabbed my purse and I went back to my seat in the back,” Leeds testified.
A lawyer asked her: “And did Donald Trump say anything while this was happening?”
Leeds responded: “Not a word.”
“There was never any sound that I can recall,” she said.
According to a court filing by Carroll’s lawyers, “A few years later, when Trump saw [Leeds] at a charity event, he stated, ‘you’re the c— from the airplane.'”
“And after Leeds came foward with her allegations [in public decades later], Trump denied them and implied that she too ‘was not his type,'” the filing noted.
Trump likewise has said of Carroll that she was “not my type.”
During his own recent deposition by Carroll’s lawyers, Trump repeated his claim that Carroll is not his type.
“She is not a woman I ever would be attracted to,” he testified.
But at another point in his deposition, when shown a photo from 1987 in which he and his then-wife Ivana Trump are talking to Carroll and her then-husband, Trump identified Carroll as Maples, whom he married after divorcing Ivana.
Stoynoff, in her own deposition in October, recounted her allegations that Trump assaulted her. She testified that when she visited Mar-a-Lago to interview Trump, “I walked into the room first and I’m looking around the room wondering what does he want to show me. Nice room, what does he want to show me.”
“Then I hear the door close behind me and I turn around and he’s right here … and he grabs my shoulders and pushes me against this wall and starts kissing me,” Stoynoff said.
Asked by a lawyer if Trump had said anything when he began kissing her, Stoynoff replied, “No.”
Stoynoff testified that she was “in complete shock” from Trump’s advances, “because it was very fast and I was taken … by surprise.”
The lawyer than asked: “And when you pushed him back the first time do you recall how Donald Trump reacted?”
Stoynoff said, “Yes. He just came toward me again.”