E. Jean Carroll sues Trump for defamation over rape accusation denial

Journalist E. Jean Carroll sued President Donald Trump for defamation following his denial of her allegation of rape.

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“Salute! I’m suing Donald Trump: CarrollvTrump,” Carroll added to her Twitter bio Monday.

In an excerpt of a book published initially by New York magazine’s The Cut in June, Carroll wrote that Trump raped her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in the mid-1990s.

When she first went public with her allegation, Carroll did not use the term “rape” and has said she struggled with the term, but the lawsuit refers to a “rape” allegation.

The president denied this allegation, saying in a statement he never met her and adding, “She is trying to sell a new book — that should indicate her motivation. It should be sold in the fiction section. Shame on those who make up false stories of assault to try to get publicity for themselves, or sell a book, or carry out a political agenda.”

“Trump knew that these statements were false; at a bare minimum, he acted with reckless disregard for their truth or falsity,” the lawsuit reads. “Trump had recognized Carroll on sight at Bergdorf Goodman. He knew who she was when he raped her, and he knew who she was in 2019. He certainly knew that she was telling the truth.”

“After he lied about attacking her,” the suit continues, “he surrounded that central lie with a swarm of related lies in an effort to explain why she would invent an accusation of rape. To do so, he smeared her integrity, honesty, and dignity – all in the national press.”

PHOTO: President Donald Trump speaks to the media on the South Lawn of the White House before his departure to New York, Nov. 2, 2src19. Yuri Gripas/Reuters, FILE
President Donald Trump speaks to the media on the South Lawn of the White House before his departure to New York, Nov. 2, 2019.

In a June interview with The Hill shortly after the excerpt was published, the president said Carroll was “totally lying” and added, “I’ll say it with great respect: No. 1, she’s not my type. No. 2, it never happened. It never happened, OK?”

Carroll’s lawsuit asserts these two statements, as well as a third made during the same time period, were false and defamatory.

“I love that. I am so glad I’m not his type. I’m so glad,” Carroll said in response, laughing, in June during an interview with Anderson Cooper.

The lawsuit claims that in addition to “emotional pain and suffering,” Trump’s comments caused her “professional harm” by injuring “the reputation on which she makes her livelihood and attracts readers.” It adds that Carroll has been receiving fewer letters for her advice column for Elle magazine, “Ask E. Jean,” since her allegation and Trump’s denial.

The president has been accused of sexual harassment or sexual assault by at least 17 women and has denied all allegations.

The lawsuit references that Carroll’s allegation is not the first Trump has denied allegations on the basis of the accuser’s appearance. At a 2016 rally, he responded to another allegation of sexual assault by saying, “Believe me, she would not be my first choice. That I can tell you. You don’t know. That would not be my first choice.”

“He denies. He turns it around. He threatens, and he attacks,” Carroll told CNN in June.

PHOTO: E. Jean Carroll is photographed on June 23, 2src19, in New York.Craig Ruttle/AP
E. Jean Carroll is photographed on June 23, 2019, in New York.

This is also not the first time Trump has been sued for defamation after denying an allegation. Summer Zervos, a former contestant on “The Apprentice” who accused Trump of “repeated” touching, groping and kissing, is pursuing a defamation case.

“To be clear, I never met her at a hotel or greeted her inappropriately a decade ago,” Trump said in a 2016 statement. “That is not who I am as a person, and it is not how I’ve conducted my life.”

Trump faces a deadline of Dec. 6 to sit for a deposition in that case.

Stormy Daniels, additionally, sued the president for defamation following his denial of her allegation of a consensual extramarital affair. Her case was dismissed last year and she was ordered to pay Trump legal fees. She has appealed the case.

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