Former US president Donald Trump announced that he will run again for the US president in the US presidential election in 2024 during an event at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, November 15, 2022. JONATHAN ERNST FILE PHOTO REUTERS NEW YORK Donald Trump was sued for defamation a second time on Thursday by a writer who accused the former US president of lying by denying that he raped her 27 years ago.
In a complaint filed in Manhattan federal court, former Elle magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll accused Trump of battery in an alleged encounter at the Bergdorf Goodman department store in Manhattan.
Carroll, 78, brought the battery claim under the New York Adult Survivors Act, a new law that gives sexual assault victims a one-year window to sue their alleged abusers, even if the abuse occurred long ago and statutes of limitations have expired.
Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, was the first day that accusers could sue.
Trump, 76, denied raping Carroll, or knowing her at the time, and said she was not my type. Her first denial in June 2019 prompted her to sue for defamation five months later.
He repeated the denial in an Oct 12 post on his Truth Social account, calling Carroll's claim a hoax and lying, prompting the new defamation claim.
Both sides are awaiting appeals court decisions addressing Trump's argument that he was legally immune from Carroll's first lawsuit because he had spoken in his capacity as president.
If the US government, which has immunity from defamation claims, could be substituted for Trump as a defendant, Carroll's first lawsuit would fail.
That would likely not affect her second lawsuit because Trump is a private citizen, having left the White House in January 2021.
Carroll is seeking unspecified damages. She said that Trump caused her lasting psychological harm, leaving her unable to sustain a romantic relationship.
The first lawsuit is scheduled to trial on February 6, 2023 before US District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan, but will likely be delayed because of the appeals process.
At a hearing on Tuesday, Carroll's lawyer Roberta Kaplan asked for an April 10 trial covering both lawsuits, saying they have substantial overlap.
Trump's lawyer Alina Habba wanted a trial on May 8 for the first lawsuit. She told the judge a longer delay made sense because Trump had not hired a lawyer for the second lawsuit.
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Your client in the present action, Ms Habba, has known that this was coming for months, and he would be well-advised to decide who is representing him in it, the judge responded.
Judge Kaplan said he may decide how to schedule both lawsuits early next week.