Donald Trump has missed the deadline to testify in the civil rape trial brought against him by writer E Jean Carroll.
The Sunday 5pm ET deadline passed without Mr Trump’s lawyers filing a motion to inform the court of any change in plans – despite the former president saying last week that he was cutting his trip to Scotland and Ireland short to head back to New York and “confront” Ms Carroll.
US District Judge Lewis Kaplan had warned Mr Trump that once the deadline passed, he would no longer have the opportunity to testify in the case.
“That ship will be irrevocably sailed,” he said.
Ms Carroll, a former Elle advice columnist, claimed that he raped her in a dressing room in Manhattan’s Bergdorf Goodman department store in 1995 or 1996 – a claim Mr Trump strongly denies.
Now, the defamation and battery trial is set to enter its final stages as closing arguments begin on Monday.
Judge Kaplan issued the Sunday 5pm deadline on Thursday giving Mr Trump an extension to appear and testify in court.
This came after Mr Trump told reporters in Ireland that he would “probably” shorten his trip and return to the US to attend the trial.
“I’m going to go back, and I’m going to confront this,” Mr Trump said, adding that “this woman is a disgrace and it shouldn’t be allowed to happen in our country”, according to The Daily Beast.
He also attacked Ms Carroll, calling her “fake” and saying that Judge Kaplan was “extremely hostile”.
“I have to leave early. I don’t have to but I choose to,” Mr Trump said, according to the New York Daily News. “I was falsely accused by this woman. I have no idea who she is. It’s ridiculous.”
“He doesn’t like me very much,” Mr Trump added of Judge Kaplan. “It’s a disgrace but we have to do it. It’s a part of life.”
Judge Kaplan mentioned Mr Trump’s comments in Ireland when saying that the jury needed the opportunity to hear from him personally.
“In the interests of justice,” the judge said he would allow the case to be reopened for a short period of time to give Mr Trump an opportunity to testify.
“If he has second thoughts, I’ll at least consider it,” the judge said as he announced the deadline.
But, despite Mr Trump’s comments, his lawyer Joe Tacopina said on Thursday that he wouldn’t be attending the trial.
Ms Carroll’s legal team called 11 witnesses during the two-week proceedings while the defence called none. Both legal teams rested their cases on Thursday.
Mr Trump has rejected all allegations in relation to the case, saying that Ms Carroll wasn’t his “type” and that he doesn’t know who she is.
In his deposition in October of last year, which was partly shared by Ms Carroll’s legal team in court, he called Ms Carroll a “nutjob” who had made up the story of the rape to boost her book sales.
Following Monday’s closing arguments, the jury is set to receive the case for deliberation on Tuesday.
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