Judge allows Access Hollywood tape as evidence in Trump rape defamation case
Former President Trump speaks to reporters before his speech at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference on March 4, 2023 in National Harbor, Maryland. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images
A federal judge ruled Friday that the Access Hollywood tape — in which former President Trump is heard boasting about groping women — can be introduced as evidence in the civil trial for writer E. Jean Carroll's defamation lawsuit against him.
Driving the news: Carroll has accused Trump of raping her in a Manhattan department store in the mid-1990s, and sued him after he denied the claim and painted her as a liar. Trump had asked to exclude the tape from evidence at the trial, as well as testimony from two other women who alleged he sexually assaulted them.
- In the 2005 tape, which made national news when it became public in the lead-up to the 2016 election, Trump is heard saying, "I’m automatically attracted to beautiful women — I just start kissing them, it’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait."
- "And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the p—-."
- Trump has since claimed that the conversation does not reflect his actual behavior with women.
A representative for Trump did not immediately respond to an Axios' request for comment.
What they're saying: Judge Lewis Kaplan wrote in the order that "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."
Worth noting: Carroll brought a separate sexual assault lawsuit against Trump after New York enacted the Adult Survivors Act last year. The new law allows adult survivors of sexual violence to sue over attacks that occurred decades ago.
Go deeper: Judge rejects Trump's bid to dismiss E. Jean Carroll's sexual assault lawsuit
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