E. Jean Carroll sues Trump for battery and defamation as lookback window for adult sex abuse survivors’ suits opens in New York



CNN

Former magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll is suing former President Donald Trump for defamation and defamation under a new New York law that allows adults who allege sexual assault to file lawsuits years after the assault.

Carroll filed the lawsuit Thursday, the first day civil lawsuits can be filed under a new law, the Adult Survivors Act, which gives adults a one-year deadline to file a lawsuit.

The lawsuit is Carroll’s second against Trump, but the first to hold him accountable for allegedly raping Carroll in a New York department store dressing room in the mid-1990s. The suit also alleges a new defamation claim based on statements Trump made last month.

Carroll is asking the judge to order Trump to retract his defamatory statements and award compensatory, punitive and exemplary damages in an amount to be determined at trial.

“Trump’s underlying sexual assault seriously injured Carroll, causing significant pain and suffering, lasting psychological harm, loss of dignity and invasion of her privacy. His recent defamatory statement has only added to the damage Carroll has already suffered,” the lawsuit alleges.

At a hearing on the previous lawsuit on Tuesday, Trump’s attorney Alina Haba told Judge Lewis Kaplan that she was not yet authorized to represent Trump in the Adult Survivors Act lawsuit.

Kaplan said Trump knew the lawsuit was “months away and he would be well-advised to decide who is representing him.”

In 2019, Carol sued Trump for defamation after he denied her sexual assault allegations, said he had never met Carol, that she was not his type, and that she made up the story to boost sales of her new book.

In Thursday’s lawsuit, Carroll repeated those previous statements and added a new one from October 2022, when Trump said similar things about him when he was scheduled to enter a plea in connection with the 2019 lawsuit.

“I don’t know this woman, I have no idea who she is, except it seems she took a photo of me with her husband shaking my hand on the reception line at a celebrity charity event many years ago. She completely made up the story that I met her at the door of this crowded New York department store and within minutes I “drunk” her,” Trump posted on his social media platform, Truth Social.

“It’s a hoax and a lie, just like every other hoax that’s been played on me for the past seven years. And even though I don’t have to say it, I will. This woman is not my type!” the post office said.

Habba responded to the filing Thursday, saying, “While I respect and admire the individuals who come forward, this case is an unfortunate abuse of the intent of this law that sets a terrible precedent at the risk of delegitimizing the credibility of the actual victims.”

Carroll’s 2019 defamation lawsuit against Trump hangs in the balance. Trump’s lawyers contested the lawsuit, saying the Justice Department should be substituted as a defendant because Trump answered reporters’ questions about Carroll’s claims as president. The Ministry of Justice agreed.

Kaplan ruled in Carroll’s favor, but Trump and the Justice Department appealed. A federal appeals court in New York ruled that Trump was a federal employee at the time, but asked a Washington appeals court to determine whether the statements fell within the scope of his job.

The D.C. Court of Appeals has expedited the case and could issue a decision early next year. If the court rules against Carroll, the case will likely be dismissed because the federal government cannot be sued for defamation.

If the 2019 case is dismissed, the 2022 defamation charges will not be affected because Trump was not a federal employee when he made the new statements last month.

Carroll’s lawyers previously asked Kaplan to combine the 2019 and 2022 actions into one lawsuit early next year. The judge said he will weigh in next week.

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