Judge tosses out Trump’s defamation suit against E. Jean Carroll

August 7, 2023

Judge Lewis Kaplan on Monday dismissed former President Trump’s defamation lawsuit against writer E. Jean Carroll, who successfully sued him on accusations of rape and defamation in May. 

In his order, Kaplan said Trump had not proven that Carroll’s statements were false or “not at least substantially true” during an interview the day after a jury awarded her $5 million, finding Trump was liable for sexual abuse and defamation.

She had testified before the jury that Trump had raped her in a department store dressing room in Manhattan in the mid-1990s and then defamed her, causing her lasting harm.

The morning after her May 9th legal victory, Carroll appeared in a number of TV interviews. On CNN she was asked about the verdict, which found that Trump had sexually abused her but had not raped her.

She responded, “Oh, yes he did.”

In throwing out Trump’s lawsuit, Judge Kaplan wrote that the jury’s verdict “establishes, as against Mr Trump, the fact that Mr Trump ‘raped her’, albeit digitally rather than with his penis. Thus, it establishes against him the substantial truth of Ms Carroll’s ‘rape’ accusations.”

In July Kaplan rejected Trump’s request for a new trial.

Carroll, meanwhile, has filed a follow-up defamation suit against Trump based on statements he made during a CNN town hall.

On May 10—the day after the jury ruled against him—Trump did not back down from his earlier accusations against Carroll, calling the former Elle magazine columnist a “wack job” and saying her civil trial was “rigged.”

He went on to suggest during that broadcast that it was Carroll who initiated the incident, positing, “What kind of a woman meets somebody and brings them up and within minutes you’re playing hanky panky in a dressing room?”

Carroll’s attorney Roberta Kaplan (no relation to the judge) said the second defamation suit was filed because Trump’s remarks make “a mockery of the jury verdict and our justice system if he can just keep on repeating the same defamatory statements over and over again.”

Of Judge Kaplan’s latest decision, Carroll’s attorney said, “We are pleased that the Court dismissed Donald Trump’s counterclaim” because it means the new trial, set for January 15, “will be limited to a narrow set of issues and shouldn’t take very long to complete.”

PHOTO: Daniel Patrick Moynihan Federal Courthouse, Manhattan

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