Donald Trump’s campaign responded with threatening statements following a story published by the Daily Beast that reflected the comments of Trump’s wife where she referred to one of her sexual encounters as “rape.”
Later, Ivana Trump said that she used the word “rape” in an emotional context and did not mean it in a “literal or criminal sense.”
According to Business Insider, a spokesperson for Trump said that the incident was “old news” and that “it never happened.” In addition, the spokesperson also said that Ivana accused Trump of raping her to “exploit” him during their divorce proceedings in the 1990s.
“This is an event that has been widely reported on in the past, it is old news and it never happened,” the spokesperson said. “It is a standard lawyer technique, which was used to exploit more money from Mr. Trump especially since he had an ironclad prenuptial agreement.”
The story – first released in the 1993 book Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump, written by former Newsweek and Texas Monthly Reporter Harry Hurt III – talks about Ivana’s claim in a deposition that she was “raped” by Trump and that she had told “some of her closest confidantes” about it.
The story also talks about the business tycoon forcing himself onto Ivana as revenge for her encouraging him to undergo an unsuccessful scalp reduction surgery in late 1980s, as reported by The Guardian.
Two years before the book was published, Trump and Ivana had settled for a $14 million cash divorce.
Following the release of the book, Trump and his lawyers provided a statement from Ivana.
“During a deposition given by me in connection with my matrimonial case, I stated that my husband had raped me,” Ivana’s statement said. “[O]n one occasion during 1989, Mr. Trump and I had marital relations in which he behaved very differently toward me than he had during our marriage. As a woman, I felt violated, as the love and tenderness, which he normally exhibited towards me, was absent. I referred to this as a ‘rape,’ but I do not want my words to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense.”
Ivana’s statement featured on the first page of the book.
In the Daily Beast’s initial “rape” story, Michael Cohen, Trump’s lawyer, said, “You’re talking about the front-runner for the GOP, presidential candidate, as well as private individual who never raped anybody. And, of course, understand that by the very definition, you can’t rape your spouse.”
“It is true,” Cohen said. “You cannot rape your spouse. And there’s very clear case law.”
When questioned by a reporter from the Daily Beast, Cohen threatened – supplemented with a series of offensive remarks – to take legal action if the story was made public.
“I will make sure that you and I meet one day while we’re in the courthouse. And I will take you for every penny you still don’t have. And I will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know,” Cohen said. “So I’m warning you, tread very f*cking lightly, because what I’m going to do to you is going to be f*cking disgusting. You understand me?”
“You write a story that has Mr. Trump’s name in it, with the word ‘rape’, and I’m going to mess your life up … for as long as you’re on this frickin’ planet.”
“[Y]ou’re going to have judgments against you, so much money, you’ll never know how to get out from underneath it,” Cohen said.
Marital rape was deemed unlawful in New York in 1984 – five years prior to the alleged incident; and in all US states in 1993.
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