Donald Trump sues E. Jean Carroll for defamation


▶ Watch Video: Trump to appeal verdict in E. Jean Carroll case

The day after a jury found former President Donald Trump liable for sexually abusing the writer E. Jean Carroll, they were each interviewed on CNN. They’ve now sued each other over those interviews, claiming defamation.

An attorney for Trump wrote in a Tuesday court filing that Carroll defamed Trump by claiming in her May 10 interview that Trump raped her — an allegation she has made repeatedly over the years, including on the stand during their civil trial this spring.

Carroll’s interview aired the same day as a Trump CNN town hall in which he called her a “whack job” who “made up” her allegations, prompting Carroll’s $10 million defamation claim against Trump — an update to a lawsuit she filed in 2019.

In Carroll’s interview, she was asked about the jury finding Trump liable for sexual abuse, but not rape. Carroll’s response, “Oh yes he did. Oh yes he did,” is central to Trump’s counterclaim against her. Trump’s complaint seeks a rejection of her $10 million claim and unspecified additional damages, as well as a retraction.

Robbie Kaplan, an attorney for Carroll, said in a statement to the media that Trump’s claim is “contrary to both logic and fact.”

“Trump’s filing is thus nothing more than his latest effort to delay accountability for what a jury has already found to be his defamation of E. Jean Carroll,” Kaplan said.

On May 9, a federal jury in New York City found Trump liable for defamation and sexual abuse, but not for rape, following a trial in which Carroll said Trump attacked her in a department store changing room in the 1990s. She was awarded $5 million in damages in that case, which Trump is appealing.

Trump has vehemently denied assaulting Carroll and claimed her story was fabricated — repeating that claim during the May 10 town hall even though the jury had found him liable the day before.

The case stemmed from what Carroll described as a chance encounter with Trump at a high-end department store in the mid-1990s. She said at first the two engaged in “joshing” banter as they walked through the store.

She testified during the eight-day trial that what at first seemed like an enjoyably memorable moment — bumping into a famed real estate tycoon, helping him shop for a gift for a young woman — turned violent when he allegedly pushed her against a wall in a dressing room and shoved his hand into her vagina.

During the trial, her attorneys described the allegations as fitting with what they called Trump’s “modus operandi.” In addition to witnesses who said Carroll confided in them after the incident, the jury heard from two other women who described Trump suddenly turning casual confrontations into sexual misconduct. Trump has strenuously denied all allegations of sexual misconduct.

The jury also watched the “Access Hollywood” video clip that emerged during the 2016 campaign, in which Trump could be heard crudely describing grabbing women by their genitals.

In addition to appealing the verdict, Trump is also seeking a new trial, claiming damages awarded by the jury were “grossly excessive.”

More about: