Donald Trump is sued again by writer for defamation and battery over alleged rape

Published November 25, 2022
<p>Former US president Donald Trump announces that he will once again run for US president in the 2024 US presidential election during an event at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, US, November 15. — Reuters</p>

Former US president Donald Trump announces that he will once again run for US president in the 2024 US presidential election during an event at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, US, November 15. — Reuters

Donald Trump was sued for defamation a second time on Thursday by a writer who accused the former US president of lying by denying that he raped her 27 years ago.

In a complaint filed in Manhattan federal court, the former Elle magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll also accused Trump of battery in an alleged encounter at the Bergdorf Goodman department store in Manhattan.

Carroll, 78, brought the battery claim under New York’s Adult Survivors Act, a new law giving sexual assault victims a one-year window to sue their alleged abusers, even if the abuse occurred long ago and statutes of limitations have expired.

Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, was the first day that accusers could sue.

Trump, 76, has denied raping Carroll or knowing her at the time, and said she was “not my type”.

His first denial in June 2019 prompted her to sue for defamation five months later.

He repeated the denial in an October 12 post on his Truth Social account, calling Carroll’s claim a “hoax” and “lie”, prompting the new defamation claim.

Both sides are awaiting appeals court decisions addressing Trump’s argument that he was legally immune from Carroll’s first lawsuit because he had spoken in his capacity as president.

If courts agreed that the US government, which has sovereign immunity from defamation claims, could be substituted for Trump as a defendant, Carroll’s first lawsuit would fail.

That would likely not affect her second lawsuit because Trump is a private citizen, having left the White House in January 2021.

Carroll is seeking unspecified damages. To support her battery claim, she said Trump caused her lasting psychological harm and left her unable to sustain a romantic relationship.

The first lawsuit is scheduled for trial on February 6, 2023, before US District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan, but will likely be delayed because of the appeals process.

At a hearing on Tuesday, Carroll’s lawyer Roberta Kaplan asked for an April 10 trial covering both lawsuits, saying they have substantial overlap.

Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba sought a May 8 trial for only the first lawsuit. She also told the judge a longer delay made sense because Trump had not hired a lawyer for the second lawsuit.

“Your client in the present action, Ms Habba, has known this was coming for months, and he would be well-advised to decide who is representing him in it,” the judge responded.

Judge Kaplan said he may decide early next week how to schedule both lawsuits.

Opinion

Elite politics

Elite politics

For most part, Pakistan’s fractious politics has seen fierce govt-opposition conflict and mutual efforts to upend each other.

Editorial

Extension legacy
Updated 05 Dec, 2022

Extension legacy

The practice of having individuals carry on well beyond their time is up.
Dodging accountability
05 Dec, 2022

Dodging accountability

A WARNING carried in these pages in August appears to have gone completely unheeded. Months ago, as the government...
Double standards
05 Dec, 2022

Double standards

IN a globalised world, if states fail to protect the human rights of their citizens, or worse, participate in ...
Retracted offer
04 Dec, 2022

Retracted offer

WITH so many U-turns under his belt, it was hardly surprising when on Saturday, PTI chairman Imran Khan decided to...
Embassy attack
Updated 04 Dec, 2022

Embassy attack

The Taliban should have enhanced the existing security arrangements.
Smog season
04 Dec, 2022

Smog season

FOR the past week, major cities of Pakistan have been among the top most polluted cities in the world. Lahore ranked...