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‘Access Hollywood’ tape of Trump eExcluded from defamation trial, opening door for potential testimony

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Attorney Roberta Kaplan, representing advice columnist E. Jean Carroll, disclosed on Saturday that the infamous 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape and two women who accused Donald Trump of abuse will not be presented to the New York jury currently deliberating defamation damages.

This revelation sets the stage for Trump’s potential testimony in Manhattan federal court, scheduled as early as Monday, just a day before the New Hampshire primary.

The trial, focused on determining if Trump owes more than the $5 million awarded to Carroll in spring 2022, centers on her allegations of sexual abuse in the 1990s and subsequent defamation during his presidency in 2019. Trump, who attended most of the trial, could be called to testify regarding the allegations.

Kaplan, in a letter to the judge, affirmed the decision not to introduce the “Access Hollywood” tape and to refrain from calling two other accusers, Natasha Stoynoff and Jessica Leeds. The move aims to keep the trial’s focus sharp, concentrating on the harm caused to Carroll by Trump’s persistent denial and defamatory claims.

Despite Trump’s consistent denial during recent campaign stops and on social media, the judge has limited the scope of his potential testimony. Carroll’s legal team, anticipating potential diversions, opted to avoid introducing additional evidence, aiming to maintain focus on Trump’s continuous defamation campaign against their client.

Kaplan plans to present statements made by Trump after Carroll finished testifying, indicating his intent to repeat denials. These statements, she argues, are relevant to the punitive damages issue, highlighting Trump’s persistent defamation campaign against Carroll even after judicial proceedings affirmed his liability.

As the trial unfolds, Trump’s legal team has yet to respond to Kaplan’s recent disclosure, leaving room for anticipation regarding the former president’s potential testimony and its impact on the ongoing proceedings.

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