Writer E Jean Carroll to file new lawsuit after accusing Trump of rape

Writer E Jean Carroll to file new lawsuit after accusing Trump of rape
Writer E Jean Carroll

E Jean Carroll, the writer who accused Donald Trump of raping her more than two decades ago, plans to file a new lawsuit against the former US president.

In a letter made public on Tuesday, a lawyer for former Elle magazine columnist said she planned to sue Trump for battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress under New York state’s Adult Survivors Act.

That law, recently signed by the governor, Kathy Hochul, gives adult accusers a one-year window to bring civil claims over alleged sexual misconduct regardless of how long ago it occurred.

Trump has denied raping Carroll and accused her of concocting the rape claim to sell her book.

Carroll’s lawyer Roberta Kaplan said her client planned to sue Trump on 24 November, when the state law takes effect, and that the claims and Carroll’s existing defamation case against Trump could be tried together in February 2023.

Alina Habba, a lawyer for Trump, said the former president “adamantly” objected to combining both cases, which would occur after both sides finished gathering evidence for trial, and that it was “extraordinarily prejudicial” to add the new claims.

“To permit plaintiff to drastically alter the scope and subject matter of this case at such time would severely prejudice defendant’s rights,” Habba wrote. “Plaintiff’s request must be disregarded in its entirety.”

Carroll has accused Trump of raping her in the dressing room of the upscale Manhattan department store Bergdorf Goodman. She sued him in 2019 while he was serving his presidency, saying he slandered her by denying her allegation that he raped her in a New York department store in the 1990s. Trump said she was “totally lying” and was “not my type”, among other remarks.

Trump has argued that he was shielded from the lawsuit by a federal law that provides immunity to government employees from defamation claims. The case remains ongoing.

Carroll told the Guardian in a 2019 interview that she had begun to keep a loaded gun next to her at night since speaking out.

Carroll’s lawyer Kaplan has said she now wants Trump to testify under oath at a deposition, to better understand his “theory of the case”, despite her saying in February that a deposition wouldn’t be needed.

Carroll’s lawyers have said they want to obtain a DNA sample from Trump to compare against a dress Carroll claimed to have worn during the alleged rape.

Kaplan’s letter is dated 8 August and Habba’s is dated 11 August, though both were only made public on Tuesday afternoon.

Trump faces an array of litigations and investigations, including into his efforts to undo the 2020 US presidential election and refusal to turn over government documents after leaving the White House.

In August, Trump invoked his constitutional right against self-incrimination more than 400 times during a deposition by New York attorney general Letitia James, who is conducting a civil investigation into the Trump Organization’s business practices.

Trump and Carroll are still awaiting a decision by the federal appeals court in Manhattan over whether Carroll’s defamation case can proceed at all.

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