The lawyer said he would call no witnesses to rebut E. Jean Carroll’s account of being assaulted at Bergdorf Goodman. The case could go to a jury early next week.

A lawyer defending former President Donald J. Trump against the writer E. Jean Carroll’s lawsuit accusing him of rape said that he would present no witnesses during the trial, which completed its sixth day Wednesday.

The lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, had earlier told Judge Lewis A. Kaplan that Mr. Trump would not come to Manhattan federal court to testify in the civil case.

Mr. Trump, who is again running for president, went to Scotland and Ireland this week. When a reporter asked him why he was in Ireland instead of New York for his civil case, he responded that he had a longstanding agreement to travel there, according to a recording posted on Twitter on Wednesday. “I hear we’re doing very well in New York,” Mr. Trump added.

Even without witnesses, Mr. Trump’s lawyers can still use testimony they have elicited during cross-examinations of Ms. Carroll and others who testified on her behalf when they make their closing argument, likely Monday. Judge Kaplan told jurors that they would likely receive the case to begin deliberations early next week.

Flat Denial

The attack happened during a visit to the luxury department store Bergdorf Goodman one evening in the mid-1990s, Ms. Carroll has said. As she was leaving through a revolving door, Mr. Trump entered and recognized her, she testified, and persuaded her to help him shop for a gift for a female friend. She said the former president went on to rape her in a dressing room in the lingerie department.

On Wednesday, Ms. Carroll’s lawyer, Roberta A. Kaplan, played for the jury clips from an October 2022 deposition by Mr. Trump. At one point, he’s asked whether he ever contacted Bergdorf’s after the allegation.

“I didn’t have to reach out to anybody,” Mr. Trump responds, adding that was because the assault never happened. “It’s the most ridiculous, disgusting story,” he says. “It was just made up.”

At Mar-a-Lago

Ms. Carroll’s lawyers promised in their opening statement last week to show the jury not only that Mr. Trump had assaulted her, but also two other women “in a remarkably similar way.”

One, Jessica Leeds, testified on Tuesday. The other, Natasha Stoynoff, a former People magazine reporter, took the witness stand on Wednesday afternoon.

Ms. Stoynoff choked up as she described how she had traveled to Mar-a-Lago toward the end of 2005 to prepare an article about Mr. Trump’s one-year wedding anniversary with his wife, Melania. Ms. Stoynoff said Mr. Trump led her into a room, shut the door, pushed her against the wall and started kissing her. Ms. Stoynoff said she was “flustered and sort of shocked.”

Ms. Stoynoff disclosed what had happened only to a few friends, she said. But more than a decade later, after the disclosure of the “Access Hollywood” recording, in which Mr. Trump boasted in vulgar terms about grabbing women by the genitals, she said she felt “a combination of sick to my stomach” and “relief.”

“Because I actually for the first time thought to myself, oh, he does this to a lot of women. It’s not just me.”

During Ms. Stoynoff’s appearance, Ms. Carroll’s lawyers played the recording for the jury.

Ms. Stoynoff told the jury that she decided to write publicly about what happened after Mr. Trump said during a presidential debate that he had never kissed a woman without consent. She testified that she “felt really upset that he was lying to the American people.”


Natasha Stoynoff testified that Mr. Trump pushed her against a wall and kissed her as she tried to report on his wedding anniversary.Credit…Stefan Jeremiah/Associated Press

Stress Response

When Mr. Tacopina cross-examined Ms. Carroll earlier in the trial, he highlighted what he described as her unusual behavior during the alleged attack and her inability to remember some key details afterward. On Wednesday, Ms. Kaplan questioned Dr. Leslie Lebowitz, a clinical psychologist who spent about 20 hours interviewing Ms. Carroll, in an attempt to put Ms. Carroll’s behavior in the context of common responses to traumatic events.

Dr. Lebowitz testified that when a person’s brain is inundated with stress hormones, the prefrontal cortex — part of the brain associated with logic and reasoning — shuts down and a person may “do things that appear to be illogical and irrational.”

Ms. Kaplan also questioned Dr. Lebowitz about why Ms. Carroll refused to use the words “rape” or “victim,” and how she has avoided men. She asked also about how the incident affected how Ms. Carroll saw herself in the world.

“She blamed herself for it — she felt like she was stupid in a way that was hard to shake,” Dr. Lebowitz said. But perhaps even more fundamentally than that, she said, “it made her feel like she was worth less than she had been before.”

Chad Seigel, one of Mr. Trump’s lawyers, asked Dr. Lebowitz whether it would be fair to say that Ms. Carroll had presented her symptoms in a way that would benefit her case. “I don’t believe she did that,” Dr. Lebowitz said.

He asked whether Ms. Carroll had a “vested interest” in the case’s result.

“She certainly cares very much about the outcome of this case,” Dr. Lebowitz replied.



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