Trump's Deposition Reveals an Oddly Confused Moment

Former president mixes up accuser Carroll, ex-wife Maples in photo, undermining a defense claim
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2023 7:45 AM CST
Trump Mixed Up Rape Accuser, Ex-Wife in Picture: Deposition
Then-President Donald Trump walks to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on Jan. 12, 2021, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

Among the long-held claims former President Trump has wielded to deny he raped writer E. Jean Carroll in a department store in the 1990s is that he didn't know her and she's "not my type," suggesting he wouldn't have sexually assaulted someone he wasn't attracted to. That's why eyebrows are now raised over a second set of newly unsealed excerpts from his October deposition in the case, during which he was apparently confused over a photo put before him. Per the AP, at the sit-down a few months back at Mar-a-Lago, Carroll's attorney, Roberta Kaplan, showed the former president a black-and-white picture taken at a 1987 event, showing him with first wife Ivana Trump greeting Carroll and her then-husband.

"I guess that's her husband, John Johnson," Trump told Kaplan, per a deposition excerpt unsealed Wednesday in US District Court in Manhattan, adding, "Nice guy, I thought." Then, looking at Carroll standing next to Johnson, Trump noted, "I don't even know the woman," before changing his mind and declaring, "It's Marla"—referring to his second ex-wife, Marla Maples, the mother of his daughter Tiffany. Kaplan followed up: "You're saying Marla is in this photo?" Trump replied, "That's Marla, yeah. That's my wife."

Per the deposition, Trump's own lawyer, Alina Habba, then jumped in and corrected him, telling him that the woman he was referring to was Carroll. "Oh, I see," he replied. Per HuffPost, Trump and Maples didn't marry until 1993, nearly six years after the photo was taken. The Washington Post notes that Trump's mix-up could potentially undermine his defense of Carroll not being his type, even though it's not clear how that reasoning would play out anyway as a sexual assault defense. He's set to stand trial in April in New York on both Carroll's sexual assault claim, as well as her claim of defamation. (Read more E. Jean Carroll stories.)

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