In the latest twist of an ongoing legal saga, former President Donald Trump has launched a counter lawsuit against writer E. Jean Carroll, accusing her of defamation. This move, announced Tuesday by Trump's attorneys in a New York federal court, lists several instances where Carroll accused Trump of rape.
A recent incident, detailed in the counterclaim, occurred during a television interview on May 10. Carroll maintained her accusations against Trump, disregarding the findings of a separate jury which deemed Trump guilty of sexual abuse and defamation, but acquitted him of rape.
Trump, who is currently running for a second term in the White House, has persistently denied Carroll's allegations of rape, which she claims took place in a Manhattan department store in the mid-1990s.
Carroll has launched a series of legal claims against Trump, the most notable being a sex-abuse lawsuit, in which she was awarded $5 million in damages last month. This suit was made possible by a New York law that allowed victims of alleged sexual abuse to sue their alleged attackers, irrespective of whether the statute of limitations had expired.
This fresh counterclaim from Trump’s legal team is tied to a separate defamation lawsuit filed in 2019. The lawsuit, which seeks at least $10 million in damages, is slated for trial in January.
Previously, the court dismissed Trump’s attempt to countersue, but his renewed effort follows the judge's permission for Carroll to amend her complaint with new denials from Trump, referring to her allegations as a “hoax and a lie.”
In response to Trump’s latest legal gambit, Carroll’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, argued that Trump's claim of exoneration was contrary to the findings of the jury which deemed him guilty of sexually abusing Carroll. Kaplan characterized Trump’s counterclaim as an attempt to delay the inevitable accountability for his defamation of Carroll, stating that such accountability is imminent.
Trump’s counterclaim seeks multiple forms of relief, including retractions, damages, and a denial of Carroll's relief. The filing argues that Carroll's claims have inflicted significant harm to Trump’s reputation, resulting in substantial damages.