By Jonathan Stamp
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Donald Trump was sued for a second time for libel by a writer who accused the former US president of lying by denying he raped her 27 years ago.
In a complaint filed in Manhattan federal court, former Elle magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll also accused Trump of battery in an alleged encounter at Manhattan’s Bergdorf Goodman department store.
Carroll, 78, filed the battery claim under New York’s Adult Survivors Act, a new law that gives victims of sexual assault a year to sue their alleged abusers, even if the abuse happened a long time ago and statutes of limitations are up. expired.
Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, was the first day prosecutors could charge.
Trump, 76, has denied raping Carroll or knowing her at the time, saying she was “not my type”.
His initial denial in June 2019 prompted her to file a libel suit five months later.
He reiterated the denial in an Oct. 12 post on his Truth Social account, calling Carroll’s claim a “hoax” and “lie,” leading to 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 courts agreed that the US government, which has sovereign immunity from defamation claims, could replace Trump as defendant, Carroll’s first trial would fail.
That probably wouldn’t affect her second trial because Trump is a private citizen and left the White House in January 2021.
Carroll is seeking unspecified damages. To support her battery claim, she said Trump caused her permanent psychological damage and left her unable to maintain a romantic relationship.
The first trial is scheduled for February 6, 2023 before U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan, but will likely be postponed due to the appeals process.
At a hearing Tuesday, Carroll’s attorney, Roberta Kaplan, called for an April 10 trial for both lawsuits, saying they overlap significantly.
Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, filed a lawsuit on May 8 for just the first lawsuit. She also told the judge that a longer delay made sense because Trump had not hired an attorney for the second trial.
“Your client in this lawsuit, Ms. Habba, had known for months that this was coming, and he would do well to decide who represents him in it,” the judge replied.
Judge Kaplan said he could decide how to schedule both trials early next week.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Howard Goller and Nick Zieminski)