Judge Allows “Access Hollywood” Tape in Trump Trial

March 10, 2023

A federal judge has rejected an effort by former President Trump’s attorneys to exclude the “Access Hollywood” tape, in which he brags that as a celebrity he can get away with sexually assaulting women, from his upcoming civil rape trial.

Attorneys Alina Habba and Michael Madaio filed papers in Manhattan federal court on February 16 seeking to block both the tape and any references to the 2005 taped encounter, calling its content “irrelevant and highly prejudicial.” 

Writer E. Jean Carroll filed suit against former President Trump for battery under New York State’s Adult Suvivor’s Act on the same day the legislation went into effect—Thanksgiving day.

Carroll, a former advice columnist for Elle magazine, says Trump raped her in a department store dressing room in the mid-1990s. Trump denies the allegation, saying Carroll made it up to sell a book. 

Carroll already has a pending lawsuit against Trump for defamation, saying his public denials and disparaging comments have damaged her reputation. She is seeking unspecified damages in her battery lawsuit, asserting that Trump caused her lasting psychological harm.

In an October deposition for the upcoming trial, Trump was dismissive of Carroll’s claims, saying, “Physically she’s not my type.” In that same deposition he misidentified a photograph of Carroll as his ex-wife, Marla Maples.

In the “Access Hollywood” tape, which was made public a few weeks before the 2016 Presidential election, Trump says, “When you’re a star [women] let you do it. You can do anything, grab them by the p—y.”

Afterward, Trump issued a rare apology, saying the comments had been “locker room banter” caught on a hot mic.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan—who is overseeing both of Carroll’s lawsuits—said Friday that while propensity evidence is ordinarily not admissible, a reasonable jury could find that Trump admitted in the tape “that he in fact has had contact with women’s genitalia in the past without their consent, or that he has attempted to do so.”

Kaplan also rejected Trump’s bid to exclude testimony from two other women who claimed he sexually assaulted them, as well as evidence that Carroll suffered emotional harm.

PHOTO source: Bin im Garten, Wikipedia

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