“I don’t know her. I never met her. I have no idea who she is...she’s a whack-job.”

Hearing the ex-president Donald Trump on CNN last week call the victim of his assault a “whack-job” rang a memory bell – a similar defense by another sexual predator living in art history infamy.

The doppelganger

You might call landscape painter Agostino Tassi the Donald Trump of 1612. At his trial for sexual assault, he called his accuser, a 17-year-old student Artemisia Gentileschi, “mentally unstable.”

Tassi’s trial took seven months, and according to the transcript held in Italy’s state archive in Rome, the number of tall tales he told piled so high that the judge had to frequently admonish him.

In one instance, Tassi told the court that Artemesia was not a virgin and wrote erotic letters to men. Apparently, he was unaware that she didn’t know how to write.

He accused her of sleeping with different men, including her father. Not only did Tassi call Artemisia a whore, but he also said the same of her dead mother, aunts and sisters, tagging her household a bordello.

Artemia's testimony – 400 pages worth – was given under duress. She was tortured with ropes tied around her hands and pulled tightly to force her to confess. Despite the thumbscrews, she stuck to her story: “He threw me on to the edge of the bed, pushing me with a hand on my breast, and put a knee between my thighs to prevent me from closing them.

Then, lifting my clothes, he placed a hand with a handkerchief on my mouth to keep me from screaming and entered me.”

The judge asked her if she bled from the attack, and she said she was menstruating at the time. Besides the thumbscrews, Artemisia underwent a physical examination to determine if she was still a virgin.

Artemisia insisted that she never was alone with any men outside her family.

"I have never had any sexual relations with any other person besides the said Agostino."

One of the witnesses for the prosecution was Tassi’s friend Giovanni Battisti Stiattesi, who testified that he overheard him ask Artemesia to blame someone else for the rape.

And another friend of the accused, Father Pietro Giordano, said Tassi admitted the rape to him, although at the trial, he denied saying that, and sought to bribe witnesses to speak for him.

Story without an end

In art historian Mary Garrard's 1989 book “Artemidia Gentleschi,” she noted that Tassi was a convicted rapist before attacking Artemisia. Sad to say, the last few pages that included the verdict of her trial are missing from the transcript. But historians surmise that he was convicted and sentenced to eight months in prison.

If E.Jean Carroll decides to take Trump to court again for re-victimizing her on CNN and wins again, he’ll have another mutuality with serial rapist Tassi as a repeat offender.