Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

Former Individuals journal reporter Natasha Stoynoff testifying on the civil battery and defamation trial introduced by author E. Jean Carroll towards former president Donald Trump. (Courtroom sketch by Jane Rosenberg/Reuters)

NEW YORK CITY — Throughout Wednesday’s testimony within the civil trial of former President Donald Trump, writer and journalist Natasha Stoynoff grew to become the third lady to testify below oath that Trump sexually assaulted her years earlier.

Referred to as as a witness by legal professionals representing author E. Jean Carroll, who’s suing Trump, Stoynoff took the witness stand on the Daniel Patrick Moynihan U.S. Courthouse in Manhattan. She advised the jury about an incident in 2005 throughout which, she stated, Trump forcefully kissed her whereas she was interviewing him at his Mar-a-Lago property for an article for Individuals journal.

Stoynoff testified that she had interviewed Trump a number of occasions over the cellphone and in individual throughout for the journal, and that he had by no means made bodily advances. That modified, she advised the jury, throughout her journey to Mar-a-Lago in December 2005, when Stoynoff was assigned to do a bit on Trump’s first marriage anniversary along with his spouse, Melania, who was then pregnant with the couple’s son, Barron.

Choking again tears, Stoynoff advised the jury that she spent the day at Mar-a-Lago, conducting interviews with Trump and Melania whereas they each had been being photographed outdoors by the pool. Throughout a break, she stated, Melania went upstairs to vary garments and Trump requested her to go inside as a result of he wished to point out her “a extremely nice room.”

She recounted how he led her into the room and heard him shut the door behind them. By the point she rotated, she stated, Trump was pushing her towards the wall and was kissing her. She advised the jury she pushed him away however he got here towards her once more.

Carroll legal professional Michael Ferrara requested her if she screamed or stated something throughout the assault.

“I didn’t say phrases. I couldn’t. I attempted. No phrases got here out. I attempted,” she responded.

The entire encounter lasted only a few minutes, Stoynoff testified, and was interrupted when a butler got here into the room to inform them that Melania was prepared for his or her joint interview.

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Stoynoff stated they went again out into the yard and Trump stated to her “you already know we’re going to have an affair don’t you?” earlier than Melania joined them and he started doting on her.

“I used to be so shocked, flustered. I couldn’t converse,” Stoynoff advised the jury, including that she went into “autopilot” as a way to full the interview.

“It was not simple,” she stated. “I needed to get my work finished.”

Afterward, Stoynoff stated she advised a detailed good friend and a former journalism professor about her encounter with Trump. She additionally advised her direct superior at work, who was additionally a detailed good friend, however she didn’t inform anybody else greater up on the journal for concern that they’d kill her story and Trump would retaliate, she testified.

“I used to be ashamed and humiliated about what occurred,” Stoynoff stated.

Stoynoff, who’s initially from Canada, stated she is “by no means” politically energetic and has solely voted in 3 U.S. presidential elections since turning into an American citizen in her 30s. Her determination to talk publicly concerning the assault took place after Trump’s entry into the 2016 presidential race.

“I wished to warn the American folks,” she testified.

Simply as Jessica Leeds, a second witness known as by Carroll’s legal professionals, testified a day earlier about an alleged sexual assault by Trump, the discharge of the “Entry Hollywood” tape that captured Trump bragging about sexually assaulting different ladies additionally supplied motivation for Stoynoff to come back ahead.

Via tears, Stoynoff testified that when she noticed the tape, she thought, “Oh he does this to a variety of ladies … it’s not simply me. It’s not one thing I did.”

Carroll’s legal professionals sought to point out the jury that Trump engaged in a sample of conduct just like the sexual assault they are saying their shopper suffered within the mid-Nineties, when Carroll says Trump raped her in a altering room on the Bergdorf Goodman division retailer in Manhattan following an opportunity encounter.

Trump has steadfastly denied the claims made by Carroll, Leeds and Stoynoff, however Carroll’s legal professionals additionally launched the notorious “Entry Hollywood” tape to the jury throughout Stoynoff’s testimony.

“I’m mechanically interested in lovely ladies — I simply begin kissing them, it’s like a magnet. Simply kiss. I don’t even wait. And while you’re a star, they allow you to do it. You are able to do something,” Trump was heard saying on the tape performed to the jury, “Seize them by the pussy.”

On the conclusion of Stoynoff’s testimony, the jury heard extra from Trump, although not in individual. Carroll’s legal professionals introduced video-taped excerpts of the October deposition given by the previous president. Within the clip, Trump may very well be seen sitting hunched over a desk, his arms crossed, talking in a low tone and infrequently mumbling.

Carroll legal professional Roberta Kaplan may very well be heard off display screen questioning Trump about his relationships outdoors of his marriage to his first spouse Ivana, together with his affair with Marla Maples, which Trump denied that he had been public about, regardless of widespread media protection.

Kaplan additionally requested Trump whether or not he shopped at Bergdorf Goodman on the time of the alleged assault on Carroll.

“It’s potential I used to be there, however I don’t know that I ever shopped there for myself,” he replied.

On Tuesday, the jury heard from a former Bergdorf Goodman worker who testified he had seen Trump within the ladies’s part of the shop on two events.

Whereas Trump lawyer Joe Tacopina advised Decide Lewis Kaplan on Wednesday that the previous president wouldn’t be showing in court docket to rebut the claims made towards him within the case; a videotaped deposition did, no less than, give Trump the possibility to disclaim them.

“It’s essentially the most ridiculous, disgusting story,” Trump stated within the video. “It’s made up.”

Tacopina additionally relayed to the choose that the protection wouldn’t name any witnesses to again up Trump’s assertions of innocence.

Kaplan then knowledgeable the jury: “I feel you may fairly count on to get the case early subsequent week.”

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