Transcripts from Republican President Donald Trump's deposition after being accused of rape by journalist E. Jean Carroll reveal he mistakenly thought a photo of her from the 1990s was a photo of his ex-wife Marla Maples.
Prior to the release of her book What Do We Need Men For?: A Modest Proposal, Carroll wrote in New York that Trump had sexually assaulted her in the fall of 1995 or the spring of 1996 in the Bergdorf Goodman department store in New York City.
Trump has denied he raped Carroll, saying she wasn't his "type." But during the deposition in October 2022, Trump was shown a 1987 photo that featured him, Carroll and her husband, and his then-wife Ivana Trump and told prosecutors, "It's Marla," referring to Maples, whom he didn't marry until 1993.
When Carroll's attorney Roberta Kaplan asked Trump whether he believed the woman he'd identified was Maples, he replied:
“That’s Marla, yeah. That’s my wife."
When Trump's attorney Alina Habba corrected him, he only said, "Oh, I see" before the deposition continued.
The transcripts also showed that Trump insulted Carroll more than once, referring to her as "a nutjob" and calling her "mentally unwell." He accused her of only accusing him of rape so she could sell her "crummy book."
Many have mocked Trump for potentially undermining his own defense.
Carroll sued Trump for defamation and under the Adult Survivors Act, a a New York state law "that creates a one-time, one-year look back window for adult sexual assault survivors who are outside the statute of limitations," according to Safe Horizon, the largest victim services nonprofit organization in the United States.
According to the transcript, Trump threatened to "sue" Carroll's lawyer Roberta Kaplan and told her will "sue [Carroll] after this is over," which he called "the thing I really look forward to doing."