A new article in the Daily Beast resurfaces a very old and very ugly allegation: seemingly impossible GOP frontrunner Donald Trump was once accused of angrily raping his former wife, Ivana Trump, during a bedroom dispute. But what’s almost as shocking as the early-90s rape claim is the Trump legal team 2015 response.
The rape allegation, Daily Beast reporter Tim Mak explains, comes from “The Lost Tycoon,” a controversial 1993 biography of Trump. In it, author Harry Hurt III quotes from a deposition taken from Ivana during the couple’s divorce proceedings:
After a painful scalp reduction surgery to remove a bald spot, Donald Trump confronted his then-wife, who had previously used the same plastic surgeon.
What followed was a “violent assault,” according to Lost Tycoon. Donald held back Ivana’s arms and began to pull out fistfuls of hair from her scalp, as if to mirror the pain he felt from his own operation. He tore off her clothes and unzipped his pants.
“Then he jams his penis inside her for the first time in more than sixteen months. Ivana is terrified…It is a violent assault,” Hurt writes. “According to versions she repeats to some of her closest confidantes, ‘he raped me.’”
Ivana—and Donald Trump’s lawyers—later claimed that she had meant not literal rape, but some figurative form of emotional violation. Since then, Donald Trump has blossomed from an unlikeable real estate mogul into an unlikeable hocker of silk ties, reality programming, and political quasi-ideology, including a very spirited opposition to rape by Mexican immigrants.
When asked about Ivana’s decades-old deposition, the Daily Beast received this jarring response from Trump’s lawyer:
Michael Cohen, special counsel at The Trump Organization, defended his boss, saying, “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 added. “You cannot rape your spouse. And there’s very clear case law.”
This is of course, a complete garbage lie: of course you can rape your own wife, and the law reflects this, in New York and across the country. Cohen doesn’t seem to be disputing Ivana’s earlier claim of rape, but instead argues that such a thing isn’t even conceptually possible. The Beast’s reporter also received a slew of personal threats from Cohen, who says that when Ivana used the word rape, she meant only that “she didn’t feel emotionally satisfied” at the time:
“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 fucking lightly, because what I’m going to do to you is going to be fucking 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…you’re going to have judgments against you, so much money, you’ll never know how to get out from underneath it,” he added.
I’ve asked Cohen if he plans on following through with these threats of financial and personal destruction against a reporter for merely republishing some quotes from a 1993 book, and will update upon reply.