The New Yorker article "Documenting Trump's Abuse of Women" (24 October 2016) recounts Trump biographer Harry Hurt III's claim that Ivana Trump said in a sworn deposition she had been raped by Donald Trump:

The part of the book that caused the most controversy concerns Trump’s divorce from his first wife, Ivana. Hurt obtained a copy of her sworn divorce deposition, from 1990, in which she stated that, the previous year, her husband had raped her in a fit of rage. In Hurt’s account, Trump was furious that a “scalp reduction” operation he’d undergone to eliminate a bald spot had been unexpectedly painful. Ivana had recommended the plastic surgeon. In retaliation, Hurt wrote, Trump yanked out a handful of his wife’s hair, and then forced himself on her sexually. Afterward, according to the book, she spent the night locked in a bedroom, crying; in the morning, Trump asked her, “with menacing casualness, ‘Does it hurt?’ ” Trump has denied both the rape allegation and the suggestion that he had a scalp-reduction procedure. Hurt said that the incident, which is detailed in Ivana’s deposition, was confirmed by two of her friends. ...

Hurt held on to his copy of Ivana’s sealed deposition for years. “It was sworn testimony,” he said. ...

When the rape story resurfaced last summer, Ivana issued a statement saying that it was “without merit.” “She and Donald have raised three kids together. They’re picking their bedrooms in the White House,” Hurt said. “But she’s not saying it’s untrue, or that she didn’t swear to it under oath.”

Did Ivana Trump say in a deposition that Donald Trump had raped her?

  • "hey’re picking their bedrooms in the White House". No further comment
    – Mawg
    Commented Mar 27 at 14:50

1 Answer 1


The court documents are sealed and thus not available. Some of the them were still obtained by the New York Daily News, but the deposition in question is missing and was possibly destroyed in a fire.

The book that the quote is referring to is "Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump" by Harry Hurt III.

In a reprint, the following statement by Ivana Trump was added. The statement was made in 1993.

During a deposition given by me in connection with my matrimonial case, I stated that my husband had raped me. I wish to say that on 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.source

When the issue was brought up during the 2016 election, the Trump campaign stated the following:

This is an event that has been widely reported on in the past, it is old news and it [from context, the rape is meant, not the deposition] never happened. It is a standard lawyer technique, which was used to exploit more money from Mr. Trump especially since he had an ironclad prenuptial agreement. It is just a way for the badly failing and money losing Daily Beast, which has been reporting inaccurately on Mr. Trump for years, to get some publicity for itself.source

Michael Cohen - Trump's special counsel - also added:

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. source

The fact that Trump provided a statement for a reprint in 1993 which did not question the existence of the deposition but instead a statement restating what happened and the fact that the Trump campaign did not doubt the existence of the deposition in 2016 but instead argued about the meaning of it suggests that the deposition did indeed exist.

  • 66
    "by the very definition, you can’t rape your spouse" - uh, what??? Marital rape has been illegal in New York since 1984. Might want to mention that in the answer (it kind of goes to the credibility of the lawyer's statement if the second sentence is an outright lie).
    – ff524
    Commented Jan 17, 2017 at 20:21
  • 16
    "the deposition in question is missing and was possibly destroyed in a fire" This is the worrying bit.
    – RedSonja
    Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 7:06
  • 4
    Wow, you'd think someone who was special legal counsel would know enough to not say something that ignorant and legally wrong. Commented Sep 28, 2017 at 14:57
  • 1
    The Federal definition of "rape" doesn't have a "spouse" clause, even before it was changed in 2014. ucr.fbi.gov/recent-program-updates/… And after Trump's own changes, it apparently only matters if it was violent. independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/… Commented Sep 10, 2020 at 19:30

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