A writer who has accused former US President Donald Trump of rape has filed a second lawsuit against him, minutes after a new New York state law allowing victims of sexual violence to sue over attacks that occurred decades ago took effect.
E. Jean Carroll’s complaint, filed in federal court in New York City, accuses Trump of battery, “when he forcibly raped and groped her” and defamation, citing an October post on his Truth Social platform where he denied the alleged rape.
Carroll sought unspecified damages and punitive damages for pain and suffering, psychological harm, loss of dignity and damage to her reputation.
Carroll, a longtime advice columnist for Elle magazine, first wrote the sexual assault allegation in a 2019 book, saying: Trump raped her In the dressing room of a luxury Manhattan department store in 1995 or 1996.
The battery lawsuit was filed under New York’s Adult Survivors Act, a new law that gives sexual assault victims a one-year window to sue alleged abusers, even if the abuse occurred long ago and the statute of limitations has expired.
Thursday, November 24—Thanksgiving Day and a national holiday in the United States—was the first day the defendants could file a lawsuit. Her lawyer submitted the legal papers electronically in the first moments of the day.
Trump denied raping Carol or knowing her at the time, and said she was “not my type”.
His first denial in June 2019 prompted her to File a lawsuit for defamation Five months later, that suit has been lodged in the appeals courts as judges decide whether Trump is protected from legal action for comments made while he was president.
He reiterated the denial in an October 12 post on his Truth Social account, calling Carroll’s claim a “hoax” and a “lie”, which led to the new defamation claim.
In his statement, Trump said Carroll “completely made up a story I met her at the doors of a packed New York City department store and, within minutes, ‘passed out’. It’s a hoax and a lie, just like all the other hoaxes that have been played on me for the past seven years.”
Both sides are awaiting appeals court decisions that address Trump’s argument that as president he enjoys immunity.
Carroll’s new suit masquerades in this case, since Trump is no longer in office in October.
If the courts ultimately deem that Trump’s original insulting comments about Carroll’s rape allegations were part of his job duties as president, they will be barred from suing him over the remarks, because federal employees are protected from defamation lawsuits. Such protection would not cover the things he did before he became president.
Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, who presides over Carroll’s defamation lawsuit three years ago, may decide to include the new allegations in a trial likely to occur in the spring.
The first lawsuit was scheduled to go to trial on February 6, 2023, by Kaplan in Manhattan, but will likely be delayed due to the appeals process.
At a hearing Tuesday, Carroll’s attorney Roberta Kaplan asked for an April 10 trial covering both lawsuits, saying there was too much overlap.
Trump’s attorney, Alina Habbeh, requested a May 8 trial in the first lawsuit only. She also told the judge that a longer delay made sense because Trump had not appointed an attorney for the second suit.
The judge replied, “Your client in the current case, Mrs. Heba, knows that this has been coming for months, and it is better for him to decide who will represent him in it.”
Judge Kaplan said he may decide early next week how to schedule the lawsuits.
Previously, state law prevented Carroll from suing for alleged rape because so many years had passed since the incident.
However, the new New York law gives sex crime victims who miss deadlines associated with statutes of limitations a second chance to file a lawsuit. A window for such suits would open for a year, after which the usual time limits would be reinstated.
At least hundreds of lawsuits are expected to be filed, including many by women who say they were assaulted by co-workers, prison guards, medical providers or others.