NEW YORK – A lawyer for Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump has issued vulgar threats to a reporter on Monday, claiming it was legal for a husband to rape his wife in New York State, the Guardian newspaper has reported.
This after a deposition by a Trump biographer came to light detailing the mogul's ex-wife Ivana reported claim that the mogul had forced himself on her as revenge for her encouraging him to undergo an unsuccessful scalp reduction surgery in the 1980s.
The newspaper reports that Michael Cohen, special counsel for the Trump Organization, threatened Canadian-American reporter Tim Mak of the Daily Beast with "untold legal consequences" in response to an article that resurfaced allegations that Trump had raped his ex-wife.
The statements from Trump’s long-time attorney may undermine his presidential campaign that has been marred by provocative remarks about Mexican migrants whom he called “rapists” and "drug dealers" and disparaging comments about the popular Vietnam war hero, Arizona senator John McCain.
The Daily Beast story repeated details of the Trump biographer's deposition, who described the mogul as forcing himself on his then-wife.
The 1993 book, by author Harry Hurt III, includes a statement from Ivana stating she referred to the sexual encounter in question “as a ‘rape’, but I do not want my words to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense”.
Trump has long denied any such assault.
Ivana Trump states that ex-husband Donald Trump sexually "violated" her during their marriage http://t.co/LesvNBDM34— Jezebel (@Jezebel) July 28, 2015
But Cohen issued a series of vulgar threats when questioned by the Daily Beast reporter.
“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 told the website.
“So I’m warning you, tread very f****** lightly, because what I’m going to do to you is going to be f****** 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.
Trump's lawyer threatened a journalist not to put Trump & rape in the same sentence. Let's put them together in every tweet. #TrumpRape— Greg Stevens (@gregstevens) July 28, 2015
“(You’re) going to have judgments against you, so much money, you’ll never know how to get out from underneath it,” Cohen told the Daily Beast.
“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,” he said.
“It is true. You cannot rape your spouse. And there’s very clear case law.”
Marital rape was made illegal in New York state in 1984, five years before the alleged incident. Donald and Ivana Trump divorced in 1992.