Donald Trump turned down one last chance to testify at the trial of E. Jean Carroll

NEW YORK — Former President Donald Trump turned down his last chance Sunday to testify in the civil court where a longtime counsel columnist accused him of raping her in the locker room of a luxury department store in 1996.

Trump, the Republican nominee for president in 2024, was given until 5:00 p.m. Sunday by US District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan to submit a request to testify. Nothing was filed.

That's no surprise. Trump did not appear once during the two weeks of the Manhattan trial where the writer E. Jean Carroll testified for several daysrepeated a claim he first made publicly in a 2019 memoir. He is seeking damages and damages that total in the millions of dollars.

The jury has too watch long quotes from October video recorded deposition in which Trump vehemently denies raping Carroll or ever actually knowing her.

Without Trump's testimony, lawyers are scheduled to make closing arguments on Monday, with talks likely to begin on Tuesday.

After the plaintiffs rested their case Thursday, Trump attorney Joe Tacopina immediately rested the defense's case as well without calling witnesses. He did not ask for additional time for Trump to decide to testify. Tacopina declined in an email to comment after the deadline passed on Sunday.

On Thursday, Kaplan had given Trump extra time to change his mind and ask to testify, though the judge did not promise he would grant the request to reopen the defense case so Trump could take a stand.

At the time, Kaplan noted that he heard about a news report Thursday in which Trump told reporters while visiting his golf course in Doonbeg, Ireland, that he “might be going to attend” the trial. Trump also criticized Kaplan, Bill Clinton's appointee, as “very hostile” and a “rude judge” who “didn't really like me”.

On the witness stand, Carroll, 79, testified that Trump, 76, raped her in the spring of 1996 after they met at the entrance of midtown Manhattan department store Bergdorf Goodman.

She said the meeting started as a fun, flirty outing as Trump persuaded her to help him shop for gifts for other women. She said they ended up in the store's deserted lingerie section, where they teased each other to try on see-through bodysuits.

As Carroll recalls, laughter accompanied them to the locker room where Trump became violent, slamming her against a wall, pulling her tights and raping her before she knelt and fled the store.

In his statement, Trump said Carroll made it up. He called it a “disgusting fake lie” told by a “crazy job” trying to fuel sales of his book.

He also repeated a comment he had made in the statement that he was not “the type”.

“He's just not my type and that's 100% true,” she said.

And he repeated his claim in a 2005 “Access Hollywood” video in which he boasted that celebrity men could grab a woman's genitals without asking.

“Historically that's been true with stars,” he says.

Carroll sued Trump in Novemberminutes after New York state enacted a law allowing adult victims of sexual assault to sue others, even if the attack occurred decades earlier.

Carroll's attorney, Roberta Kaplan, wrote to judges Sunday to complain that Trump has still not removed an April 26 post on his social media network in which he called Carroll's accusations a “fabricated scam”. And he noted that he repeated disparaging comments about the trial three days ago in Ireland.

Following the April 26 posting in Truth Social, Judge Kaplan, who is not associated with Carroll's lawyers, said Trump's comments were “grossly inappropriate” and expressed concern that Trump was trying to communicate to jurors “about things that don't need to be talked about.”