UNITED STATES: Donald Trump, the former US president, sued E. Jean Carroll for defamation on Tuesday, alleging that she falsely accused him of rape following a civil trial where a jury found that he had sexually abused her.
Following a jury’s unusual finding in May that Trump had sexually abused and defamed Carroll but not raped her, he filed a counterclaim against Carroll in federal court in Manhattan.
In his lawsuit, the former US president is seeking a retraction from Carroll and unspecified compensatory as well as punitive damages.
Carroll’s attorney, Roberta Kaplan, stated in a statement that Trump’s filing was “nothing more than his latest effort to delay accountability” for the jury’s ruling.
“Donald Trump again argues, contrary to both logic and fact, that he was exonerated by a jury that found that he sexually abused E. Jean Carroll,” said Kaplan.
The recent filing by the former US president indicates that his ongoing legal battle with Carroll is unlikely to come to a swift conclusion as both sides continue to exchange accusations and denials through the media.
Carroll modified her initial lawsuit against Trump and requested an additional $10 million in damages in May, citing his denial of the allegations during a US-based news channel appearance the day after the verdict was announced.
In response, Trump’s Tuesday filing in the same lawsuit refers to Carroll’s remarks on the same US-based news channel following the verdict, when she stated that he had raped her, despite the jury’s determination that he had only committed sexual abuse.
Trump, who is currently campaigning to regain the presidency in 2024 and holds a strong lead over his Republican competitors, vehemently denies the rape accusation made by Carroll. He is currently appealing the verdict that ordered him to pay $5 million in damages.
Carroll has testified that Trump raped her in a department store in New York City during the mid-1990s. Furthermore, she claims that he tarnished her reputation by publicly labelling her a liar after she went public with her accusations in 2019.
Initially, Carroll filed a lawsuit against Trump in 2019, focusing solely on defamation. The lawsuit had gotten bogged down in appeals on whether he was exempt from being sued because he was president when he made his remarks.
Carroll has now initiated a second lawsuit against Donald Trump, encompassing both defamation and sexual assault claims. This action was made possible by a new law enacted in New York, which allows survivors of sexual violence to pursue civil suits even if the statute of limitations on their claims has expired.