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E. Jean Carroll Signals Plans to File New Defamation Claim Against Trump Over Truth Social Post Calling Rape Allegations a ‘Hoax and a Lie’

 
E. Jean Carroll and Donald Trump

E. Jean Carroll and Donald Trump (Images via Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Glamour, Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Writer E. Jean Carroll signaled plans to file another defamation claim against former President Donald Trump over his lengthy post attacking her on Truth Social, where he branded her rape allegations as a “hoax and a lie.”

Trump’s post on his social media platform replicates the 406-word statement from his political action committee Save America, which he released last month on the same day a federal judge dealt him another defeat in a pre-trial motion.

“I don’t know this woman, have no idea who she is, other than it seems she got a picture of me many years ago, with her husband, shaking my hand on a reception line at a celebrity charity event. She completely made up a story that I met her at the doors of this crowded New York City Department Store and, within minutes, ‘swooned’ her,” Trump wrote.

By “swooned,” the former president is referring to allegations that he sexually assaulted Carroll in the dressing room of a Bergdorf Goodman in the 1990s. Trump ridiculed the claim, referring to Carroll as “Ms. Bergdorf Goodman.” He also repeated the denial using the same language that sparked Carroll’s original lawsuit in 2019.

“This woman is not my type!” Trump wrote, following up his lengthy statement with Carroll’s picture.

On Thursday, Carroll’s attorney Roberta Kaplan informed Senior U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan about Trump’s comments in a brief letter previewing their upcoming lawsuit.

“Plaintiff E. Jean Carroll also intends to file a separate action against Defendant Donald J. Trump on November 24, 2022, raising a claim of battery pursuant to the Adult Survivors Act and a new claim of defamation relating to an October 12 statement that Defendant made about Plaintiff,” the attorney wrote, linking to the Truth Social post in a footnote.

Signed by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) in May, the Adult Survivors Act removes what would have been the bar for Carroll to address her rape allegations directly. Her litigation has previously focused on Trump’s denials, rather than his alleged sexual assault.

Starting on Nov. 24, her lawyers have said, Carroll would pursue civil actions on both.

In addition to attacking Carroll in his statement, Trump also took swipes at her lawyer, whom he called a “political operative,” and the presiding judge.

“This decision is from the Judge who was just overturned on my same case,” Trump wrote, calling the legal system a “broken disgrace.”

The former president posted his statement on the same day at Judge Kaplan issued a ruling refusing to pause the case and denouncing the litigation strategy of Trump’s lawyers.

“As this Court previously has observed, Mr. Trump has litigated this case since it began in 2019 with the effect and probably the purpose of delaying it,” Kaplan wrote toward the start of his Oct. 12 opinion.

Shortly before that ruling, Trump had notched a partial appellate court victory. The Second Circuit found that Trump, when he was president, qualified as a government “employee” under the Westfall Act, potentially immunizing him from the civil action. A divided three-judge panel certified a question to the D.C. Court of Appeals whether Trump made his denials under the scope of his employment. The answer to that question could be critical to deciding who the defendant will be over the defamation claims: Trump or the U.S. government.

The D.C. Court of Appeals slated oral arguments over the unresolved issue for Jan. 10, 2023, which Carroll’s attorneys anticipate may shake up the trial schedule.

“In light of the D.C. Court of Appeals’ scheduling order, and to ensure the efficiency of
these proceedings, we respectfully request a conference to discuss the trial date in this matter,” Carroll’s attorney wrote, adding that Trump “consents to this request.”

For now, trial is scheduled for Feb. 6, 2023.

Read the letter, here.

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Law&Crime's managing editor Adam Klasfeld has spent more than a decade on the legal beat. Previously a reporter for Courthouse News, he has appeared as a guest on MSNBC, BBC, NPR, PBS, Sky News, and other networks.