Donald Trump’s Lawyer Threatens to Take Daily Beast Reporter ‘For Every Penny’ Over Ivana Trump’s ‘Rape’ Comments

The presidential candidate’s ex-wife used the word to describe an incident between them in 1989, and said she felt “violated” during their divorce proceedings

Donald Trump with former wife Ivana, both wearing black jackets, in 2015.
Donald Trump with his former wife Ivana in 2015 (Getty Images)

Update: 8:28 a.m., July 28, 2015

Donald Trump’s special counsel, Michael Cohen, issued an apology on Tuesday for his comments to the Daily Beast.

“As an attorney, husband and father there are many injustices that offend me but nothing more than charges of rape or racism. They hit me at my core,” Cohen said in a statement to the media. “Rarely am I surprised by the press, but the gall of this particular reporter to make such a reprehensible and false allegation against Mr. Trump truly stunned me. In my moment of shock and anger, I made an inarticulate comment – which I do not believe — and which I apologize for entirely.”

Meanwhile, Trump’s presidential campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said, “Mr. Trump didn’t know of his comments but disagrees with them.”

CNN obtained a statement from Ivana Trump calling the Daily Beast’s story “totally without merit.”

“I have recently read some comments attributed to me from nearly 30 years ago at a time of very high tension during my divorce from Donald. The story is totally without merit. Donald and I are the best of friends and together have raised three children that we love and are very proud of. I have nothing but fondness for Donald and wish him the best of luck on his campaign. Incidentally, I think he would make an incredible president.”


Donald Trump’s lawyer threatened to take a reporter “for every penny you still don’t have” when asked to comment on a decades-old report that the presidential candidate’s ex-wife, Ivana Trump, accused him of rape.

“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,” Michael Cohen, special counsel at The Trump Organization, told The Daily Beast. “And I will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know. So I’m warning you, tread very f–king lightly, because what I’m going to do to you is going to be f–king disgusting. You understand me?”

Cohen added: “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.”

The threat, which the outlet printed on Monday, came in response to injuries about a 1993 biography called “Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump,” by Harry Hurt III. The book includes the real estate mogul’s ex-wife Ivana Trump using the word “rape” to describe an incident between them in 1989. She later said she felt “violated” by the experience.

Hurt, a former Texas Monthly and Newsweek reporter, claims that after a showdown over a plastic surgeon, Donald held back Ivana’s arms and began to pull out fistfuls of hair from her scalp and then 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 wrote. “According to versions she repeats to some of her closest confidantes, ‘he raped me.’”

Ivana described the harrowing incident as rape during the couple’s divorce proceedings in the early 1990s and said she felt “violated,” according to legal documents cited by The Daily Beast. The couple (pictured above in Sept. 2014) had three children together, Donald, Jr., Ivanka and Eric, and were divorced in 1992.

The book does include a “Notice to Reader” pasted on the flyleaf — a statement by Ivana saying she didn’t mean it when she testified Trump had raped her. “I do not want the press or media to misconstrue any of the facts,” she wrote.

Trump has denied the allegations and has questioned Hurt’s writing abilities. “It’s obviously false,” he said of the accusation in 1993, according to Newsday. “It’s incorrect and done by a guy without much talent … He is a guy that is an unattractive guy who is a vindictive and jealous person.”

Before Cohen resorted to bullying tactics, he also denied the allegations, and argued it’s impossible for husband to rape his wife, legally speaking.

“You’re talking about the frontrunner for the GOP, presidential candidate, as well as a private individual who never raped anybody. And, of course, understand that by the very definition, you can’t rape your spouse,” Cohen said. “It is true. You cannot rape your spouse. And there’s very clear case law.”

As far as Ivana’s use of the word “rape” in a deposition during their divorce, Cohen explained “she felt raped emotionally.”

“She was not referring to it [as] a criminal matter,” Cohen said. “And not in its literal sense, though there’s many literal senses to the word.”

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