Donald Trump’s testimony in the writer E. Jean Carroll’s defamation case ended almost immediately after it began, as the former U.S. president stood by his earlier testimony that Carroll’s claim that he raped her was a hoax.

“100% yes,” Trump told his lawyer Alina Habba in federal court in Manhattan, when asked if his comments in an October 2022 deposition in Carroll’s case were accurate.

Earlier on Thursday, Carroll’s lawyers played videotaped excerpts from the deposition, in which Trump called the former Elle magazine advice columnist “mentally sick” and a “whack job,” and threatened to sue her.

“It’s a false accusation, never happened, never would happen,” Trump said in the deposition.

Carroll, 80, is seeking at least $10 million over Trump’s June 2019 denials that he had raped her in the mid-1990s in a Bergdorf Goodman department store dressing room in Manhattan.

Last May, another jury ordered Trump to pay Carroll $5 million after he denied her rape claim in October 2022.

Trump, 77, spent only four minutes on the witness stand after U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, who has overseen both trials, said he would not allow “do-overs by disappointed litigants” and let Trump revisit the first jury’s findings.

That jury ruled that Trump defamed Carroll, and sexually abused her by inserting his fingers in her vagina, and the judge said those findings were binding in the second trial.

Kaplan struck much of what Trump said on the witness stand from the record, meaning that the seven-man, two-woman jury cannot consider it during deliberations.

Trump testified “yes I did” when his attorney Habba asked if he had publicly denied Carroll’s rape claim to defend himself, and “no” when Habba asked if he had intended to harm Carroll.

He then said he had “wanted to defend myself, my family, and frankly the presidency,” but Kaplan told jurors to disregard this comment.


The judge, who is known for maintaining tight control in his courtroom, limited Trump’s testimony after overhearing Trump discuss Carroll, outside the jury’s presence.

“I wasn’t at the trial,” Trump said. “I don’t know who this woman is. I never met this woman.”

Kaplan cut him off. “I’m sorry, Mr. Trump, you are interrupting these proceedings by talking loudly,” the judge said.

The trial has lasted four days, and closing arguments are expected on Friday.

Jurors will consider only how much money Trump should pay Carroll, if any, for damaging her reputation, and whether he owes additional sums as punishment and to keep him from defaming her again.

A damages expert testified on Carroll’s behalf last week that the reputational damage from Trump’s 2019 comments could be as high as $12.1 million. Trump’s legal team has said damages should be nominal or zero.

Carroll’s case and the trial have become part of Trump’s campaign to retake the White House in the November election.

The Republican frontrunner has been shuttling between the courtroom and campaign stops while criticizing Carroll, the judge and the judicial process online and at press conferences.


Trump has accused Carroll of making up the rape to boost sales of her memoir.

His lawyers, meanwhile, have tried to show jurors that Carroll sought out and has enjoyed the fame and adulation from coming forward.

They have also said it was the publication of book excerpts in New York magazine, and not Trump’s subsequent comments, that caused people to brand Carroll a liar.

Carol Martin, a former New York TV news anchor and a close friend of Carroll, was the only other defense witness, with Trump’s lawyer Habba trying to show jurors that Carroll enjoyed her newfound fame.

Martin acknowledged having sent texts, after Carroll first accused Trump of rape, that described Carroll as being like “Santa at a Christmas parade” and “like a drug addict and the drug is herself,” but said she regretted using hyperbole.

“She is adapting to the change in her life,” Martin said. “‘Enjoying’ is a multifaceted word.”

Martin had testified on Carroll’s behalf at last year’s trial. Under questioning from one of her lawyers, Martin said she had no qualms about Carroll’s motives in coming forward.

“What she always wanted was to have her day in court,” Martin said.

Earlier on Thursday, Carroll’s lawyers wrapped up their case, with former Elle Editor-in-Chief Robbie Myers testifying that she had viewed Carroll as a “truth-teller” whose empathy and sense of humor made her “so important” to the Elle brand.