The former president’s blunder in a sworn deposition was quickly corrected by Trump attorney Alina Habba, who told him it was Carroll, not Maples, an actress and singer who was married to Trump from 1993 to 1999.
Maples was Trump’s second of three wives and is the mother of Trump’s youngest daughter, Tiffany.
Trump’s lawyer did not immediately have a comment.
The black-and-white photo at issue has been circulating since Carroll made allegations against Trump in 2019, detailing an account in her memoir of a forced sexual act during an encounter with Trump at the Bergdorf Goodman department store in Manhattan in the mid-1990s.
Trump has denied having ever known Carroll and, in response to the photo’s existence, he has said in the past that he was often introduced to people at events that he didn’t know. In the deposition, he said the photo appeared to show him on a “receiving line,” possibly at a charity event, where he met and greeted guests.
At the time in question, Trump was a celebrity New York real estate developer and titan of the city’s social scene.
Last week, a different unsealed exhibit revealed that in the same October sit-down at Trump’s Florida resort and residence, Trump falsely claimed that Carroll said in a CNN interview that she enjoyed being raped and repeatedly said she was mentally ill, citing the TV appearance as proof.
Her comments were in actuality an expansion of remarks Carroll made explaining her rationale for using terminology other than the word “rape” to describe her alleged assault.
Trump, who remains a large influence in the Republican Party and has announced his candidacy for president in 2024, used the deposition to make false claims about the success of his social media start-up Truth Social and used it to argue that Carroll’s lawsuit is one of many “hoaxes” that have been directed at him, the unsealed portions have revealed.
He’s scheduled to stand trial on both of Carroll’s claims in federal court in New York in April. The defamation claim, however, may depend on how D.C.’s top appeals court rules on whether the Justice Department can intervene on Trump’s behalf, on the basis that Trump was acting as a federal employee when he made disparaging comments about Carroll.
Santos denies reports of performing in drag in Brazil
Republican Representative George Santos of New York is denying that he ever performed as a drag queen after reports emerged that the newly elected congressman years ago competed in Brazilian beauty pageants under the drag name Kitara.
“The most recent obsession from the media claiming that I am a drag Queen or ‘performed’ as a drag Queen is categorically false,” Santos tweeted Thursday morning. “The media continues to make outrageous claims about my life while I am working to deliver results. I will not be distracted nor fazed by this.”
According to a report Wednesday by freelance reporter Marisa Kabas, Santos befriended a Brazilian drag queen named Eula Rochard in Niterói some 15 years ago, when he was living in nearby Rio de Janeiro. Rochard told Kabas that Santos competed under the name Kitara and shared photos that Rochard said showed the two of them dressed in drag at a pride parade in 2008.
“George always lied about everything. He used to create stories, usually involving money — like that his dad was rich,” Rochard told Kabas.
Reuters also reported Wednesday that it had spoken with Rochard and another of Santos’s acquaintances in Brazil, who both said the congressman used to perform as a drag queen there.
The reports drew charges of hypocrisy against Santos, who is openly gay but has spoken out in support of anti-LGBTQ legislation and aligned himself with GOP figures who spout violent rhetoric against transgender people and drag shows.
But they were also merely the latest in a mounting series of news stories that have called into question details about the freshman congressman’s biography, education, business background, and campaign finance expenditures. As The Washington Post reported last month, scores of Santos’s claims about his life have turned out to be false.
Santos is also accused of pocketing $3,000 from a GoFundMe page he set up for a homeless veteran to help pay for surgery for the man’s dying service dog.
US Navy veteran Richard Osthoff recounted to Patch that he was living in a tent on the side of US Route 9 in New Jersey when his beloved service dog, Sapphire, developed a life-threatening stomach tumor in 2016. After he realized he could not afford the thousands of dollars needed for surgery on the pit bull mix, a veterinarian tech recommended Osthoff get in touch with a man named Anthony Devolder, who ran a pet charity that could help his dog.
Anthony Devolder was one of the aliases used by Santos before he got into politics — and long before he lied about much of his biography to win a seat in the House. The pet charity Osthoff was referred to was Friends of Pets United. Neither the IRS nor the attorney general’s offices in New York and New Jersey found any record of a registered charity by that name, The New York Times reported.
After Santos helped Osthoff raise $3,000 through GoFundMe for Sapphire in the summer of 2016, the veteran said, he tried to get hold of the organizer to collect the money. But instead of a happy ending, Osthoff told Patch, Santos closed and deleted the fund-raising page and became more difficult to reach before he stopped responding altogether. “He stopped answering my texts and calls,” the veteran told the outlet.
Osthoff, now 47, said that he never saw any of the money from the online fund-raiser set up by Santos. Sapphire died in January 2017.