Donald Trump has denied raping writer E. Jean Carroll in a deposition video that has been played for a jury in a civil trial where the former US president is seeking to defend himself without testifying in person.
Mr Trump, the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, said in the October 2022 deposition that the alleged rape in the dressing room of the Bergdorf Goodman department store in New York City decades ago did not happen.
“It’s the most ridiculous, disgusting story,” Mr Trump says in the video, hunched over a conference table as Ms Carroll’s lawyers present documents to him.
“It’s just made up.”
Although the deposition footage was not released, portions of the transcript have been filed publicly.
Mr Trump will not be testifying in person. ABC quotes his legal team as telling US District Judge, Lewis Kaplan on Wednesday that it would not call any witnesses.
The trial is in its sixth day and is expected to extend into next week, the ABC report says.
Ms Carroll’s civil lawsuit for battery and defamation alleges Mr Trump raped her in the mid-1990s and then tarred her reputation by claiming in an October 2022 post on his Truth Social platform that the former Elle magazine advice columnist’s case was a “hoax and a lie”.
Ms Carroll said during three days of testimony and cross-examination that Mr Trump slammed her against the wall in either 1995 or 1996, put his fingers into her vagina and then inserted his penis. Denying the allegations, Mr Trump accused Ms Carroll of making up the story to drive sales of a 2019 memoir in which she made her claims public.
Mr Trump has not attended the trial.
“I hear we’re doing very well in New York,” Mr Trump said on Wednesday when asked why he was not in court. He spoke to reporters in Scotland where he was playing golf.