E. Jean Carroll asks judge to throw out Donald Trump’s defamation counterclaim


By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The writer E. Jean Carroll, who convinced a jury that Donald Trump owed her $5 million for sexually abusing and defaming her, asked a judge to dismiss the former U.S. president’s countersuit that she defamed him by repeating her claim that he raped her.

In a Tuesday court filing in Manhattan, Carroll’s lawyers called Trump’s countersuit his latest effort to “spin” his trial loss by claiming she caused him “significant” harm by implying in a post-trial interview that the assault was also a rape.

“Here in federal court, where logic and reason rather than satire prevail, it is clear that Trump’s new counterclaim for defamation should be dismissed with prejudice,” wrote Roberta Kaplan, a lawyer for Carroll, a former Elle magazine columnist.

Lawyers for Carroll, 79, also accused Trump of springing his counterclaim too late, to “hold up yet again this otherwise trial-ready, much-delayed case.”

Trump, 77, who is again seeking the presidency, sued Carroll on June 27, objecting to a CNN interview following the May 9 verdict where she said “oh yes he did, oh yes he did” when asked about the jury finding that he did not commit rape.

His lawyers said Carroll’s “repeated falsehoods and defamatory statements” caused “significant harm to his reputation, which, in turn, has yielded an inordinate amount of damages.”

The countersuit is part of the first of Carroll’s two lawsuits accusing him of defamation – the second resulted in the $5 million verdict – for denying he raped her in a Manhattan department store dressing room in the mid-1990s.

Trump has appealed the $5 million verdict.

Responding to her June 2019 accusation that he raped her, Trump had claimed he had not known Carroll, that she was not his “type,” and that she lied to boost sales of her memoir.

In Tuesday’s filing, Carroll’s lawyers said she did not say “oh yes he did” with actual malice, which would mean she knew or had reckless disregard for whether the statement was false.

They also said the statement was “substantially true,” and therefore not defamatory, and simply reflected what was on Carroll’s mind as the verdict was read.

Carroll is seeking $10 million in damages. A Jan. 15, 2024 trial is scheduled before U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, who handled the earlier trial. He is not related to Roberta Kaplan.

The case is Carroll v Trump, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 20-07311.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Howard Goller)

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