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Donald Trump will testify in his own defense in a defamation case brought by author E. Jean Carroll after she accused him of rape – and the former president also plans to call CNN host Anderson Cooper as a witness.

In a memoir written after Trump became president, Carroll accused him of raping her in dressing room of Manhattan’s Bergdorf Goodman department store in the mid-1990s during a chance encounter.

She sued Trump for defamation in 2019 after he accused her of lying to sell her book. Carroll is also suing Trump for sexual battery.

New court filings list both Carroll and Trump as the first potential witnesses for the trial, which starts on April 25. Lawyers for Trump also plan to call Cooper and New York Magazine editor David Haskell. Cooper interviewed Carroll shortly after she made the allegations against Trump public.

Manhattan Federal Court Judge Lewis Kaplan said on Tuesday that the trial can begin in spring, rejecting a request by Trump’s legal team to push it back to summer.

Donald Trump

E. Jean Carroll

Trump said the encounter with Carroll in the mid-1990s at an upscale Manhattan department store never happened

Trump has denied the alleged rape and described Carroll in a deposition as ‘mentally sick’ and a ‘nut job’.

Trump said under oath: ‘She said that I did something to her that never took place. There was no anything. I know nothing about this nut job.’

The deposition took place in October 2022. In another section, the 2024 presidential candidate said: ‘I know nothing about her. I think she’s sick, mentally sick.’ Trump reiterated his claim that Carroll was ‘not his type.’

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The release of excerpts from the deposition came the same day as Judge Kaplan also refused a request by Trump’s lawyers to toss out the two lawsuits by Carroll. 

In releasing the transcript, Kaplan called Trump’s legal team’s arguments to keep it sealed as ‘entirely baseless.’

Trump said the encounter with Carroll in the upscale Manhattan department store never happened. She says that the pair’s interaction began as she helped him to pick out lingerie for a friend.

In his daylong testimony, he repeatedly attacked Carroll’s depiction of him as a rapist.

In his testimony, Trump said of Carroll: 'She is not a woman I would ever be attracted to. There is no reason for me to be attracted to her'

In his testimony, Trump said of Carroll: ‘She is not a woman I would ever be attracted to. There is no reason for me to be attracted to her’

Donald Trump was reportedly shown this photo with his first wife, Ivana, rape accuser E. Jean Carroll and Carroll's then-husband, when he mistook Carroll for Marla Maples

Donald Trump was reportedly shown this photo with his first wife, Ivana, rape accuser E. Jean Carroll and Carroll’s then-husband, when he mistook Carroll for Marla Maples

Trump shares a daughter, Tiffany, with actress Marla Maples (pictured in 1996)

Writer E. Jean Carroll (pictured in 2020) accused him of sexual assault

Trump shares a daughter, Tiffany, with actress Marla Maples (pictured, left, in 1996). Writer E. Jean Carroll (pictured, right, in 2020) accused him of sexual assault

Trump said he knew it wasn’t ‘politically correct’ to say ‘she’s not my type’ when he responded to claims shortly after Carroll’s 2019 book was published.

During his time as president, Trump attacked Carroll repeatedly and alleged that her claims were made up as a means to sell a book.

He has denied knowing Carroll, calling the former Elle columnist’s rape allegations ‘a complete con job.’

In deposition Trump echoed his previous statements in which he said that Carroll was not attractive enough to be sexually assaulted by him.

The prospective 2024 nominee said: ‘She is not a woman I would ever be attracted to. There is no reason for me to be attracted to her. It’s not even meant to be an insult. There’s no way I would ever be attracted to her. Now, some people would be attracted to her perhaps. I would never be attracted to her.’

In Carroll’s testimony, which was released in December, she said that the ‘music had stopped’ in her love life after she was raped by Donald Trump.

During the videotaped deposition, Carroll said she didn’t develop any new romantic relationships after her encounter with Trump at Bergdorf Goodman. She said she hasn’t had sex since 1994 or 1995.

‘Looking back on it, it may have been what happened at Bergdorf’s,’ she said.

Trump also mistook Carroll for his ex-wife Marla Maples during a deposition last year. 

‘That’s Marla, yeah,’ the 76-year-old Trump said when shown a photograph of Carroll according to the transcript. ‘That’s my wife’.

But his lawyer Alina Habba stepped in and corrected him.

The mistake could potentially undermine Trump’s denials in future court proceedings after the former president claimed he would not have assaulted Carroll because ‘she’s not my type.’

Maples, a former actress, is the mother of Trump’s daughter Tiffany.

Trump has denied knowing Carroll, despite a 1987 photo showing them along with Carroll’s then-husband and the former president’s first wife Ivana Trump, who died last year.

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It was that photo that he was apparently shown in October 2022 when he mistook her for his second ex-wife.

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