By Jack Queen
(Reuters) -Former U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday sued E. Jean Carroll for defamation, alleging she falsely accused him of rape after a jury in a civil trial found that he sexually abused her.
Trump’s counterclaim against Carroll in Manhattan federal court comes after a jury’s unusual finding in May that he sexually abused and defamed but did not rape Carroll, a former Elle magazine advice columnist.
Trump seeks a retraction as well as unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
Carroll’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, said in a statement that Trump’s filing was “nothing more than his latest effort to delay accountability” for the jury’s verdict.
“Donald Trump again argues, contrary to both logic and fact, that he was exonerated by a jury that found that he sexually abused E. Jean Carroll,” Kaplan said.
Trump’s lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The filing by Trump signals that his multi-front legal fight with Carroll is unlikely to end soon as both sides trade accusations and denials in the media.
Carroll amended the first of her two lawsuits against Trump and sought an additional $10 million in damages in May, citing his denials during a CNN appearance the day after the verdict.
Trump’s filing in that same lawsuit Tuesday cite Carroll’s statements on CNN after the verdict, when she said Trump raped her despite the jury’s finding that he only sexually abused her.
Trump, who is running to retake the White House in 2024 and has a comfortable lead over his Republican rivals, has denied raping Carroll. He is appealing the verdict, which found he must pay $5 million in damages.
Carroll testified that Trump raped her in a New York City department store in the mid-1990s and then ruined her reputation by calling her a liar when she went public in 2019.
The new filings come in Carroll’s first lawsuit against Trump, which she filed in 2019 for defamation only. The case has been bogged down in appeals over whether Trump was immune from being sued because he had been president when he spoke.
Carroll filed her second lawsuit against Trump for both defamation and sexual assault after New York passed a law giving survivors of sexual violence a window to file civil suits even if the statute of limitations on their claims had passed.
(Reporting by Jack Queen in New York; Editing by Kim Coghill, Robert Birsel)
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