Trump to face defamation lawsuit in April against journalist who accuses him of rape
Eva Deschamps / November 30, 2022
Former U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to appear in April in New York in a defamation lawsuit brought by a journalist who accuses him of raping her in the 1990s, according to a court ruling Tuesday.
A dual court case of alleged rape and defamation has pitted 78-year-old E. Jean Carroll against 76-year-old Donald Trump in Manhattan federal civil court since 2019, both of whom filed sworn depositions in October before New York Judge Lewis Kaplan.
According to a court document made public, Judge Kaplan signed an order on Tuesday setting a defamation trial against the former U.S. president for April 10, 2023, as claimed by Carroll.
In this defamation lawsuit, the author and former columnist for Elle magazine had attacked Donald Trump in civil court in November 2019. She accused him of defaming her for calling her allegations of rape in a fitting room of a New York department store in 1995 or 1996 a "complete lie" in June 2019.
The then Republican president (2017-2021) had responded that he had never met Ms. Carroll and that she was "not his kind of woman." His lawyers have always claimed that he was protected in 2019 by his immunity as head of state.
As for the rape charges, Ms. Carroll was unable to file a complaint in 2019 because the alleged facts were time-barred.
However, on November 24, a new law of the State of New York ("Adult Survivors Act") came into effect allowing, for one year, the victims of sexual assaults to restart their legal action to claim a civil trial.
Ms. Carroll's lawyers filed a new complaint in New York on Thursday for "defamation" but also "assault" and "battery" and asked for a civil trial in 2023 to obtain damages.
In the introduction to this complaint, which recounts all the alleged facts, Donald Trump is accused "about 27 years ago (...) in the luxury department store Bergdorf Goodman on Fifth Avenue in New York (of) grabbing E. Jean Carroll, pinning her against the wall of a dressing room with his shoulder and raping her.
The plaintiff had been silent for 20 years before telling her story in a book, thanks to the #MeToo movement launched in 2017 against violence against women.
Donald Trump's lawyer, Alina Habba, said Thursday that Ms. Carroll's moved "unfortunately constitutes a misuse of the purpose of the law" in New York. In October, Trump called the rape allegations a "hoax and a lie."