Former Elle columnist E Jean Carroll sued Trump for battery and libel over an incident she says happened in 1995 or 1996.
Carroll was able to file the lawsuit thanks to the Adult Survivors Act, a law signed into law by New York Governor Kathy Hochul that temporarily lifts the statute of limitations for survivors.
“Thanksgiving Day was the very first day Ms. Carroll could file a complaint under New York law, so our complaint was filed in court shortly after midnight,” said Carroll’s attorney Roberta Kaplan.
Carroll says she met the former president at the Bergdorf Goodman department store in Manhattan, where he attacked her in a dressing room. She first publicized the allegations in a memoir published in 2019, which was excerpted in New York magazine.
According to Carroll, “Trump opens the overcoat, unzips his pants, and, forcing his fingers around my genitals, pushes his penis half—or all the way, I’m not sure—into me.”
In response, Trump claimed that Carroll is “totally lying” to sell books, that he’s never met her, and that she’s “not my type.”
Following Trump’s response, Carroll filed a defamation lawsuit, alleging that Trump’s comments damaged her reputation and cost her a writing job at Elle.
The case has been stuck in Manhattan courts for years, but now seems to be making progress. Trump was deposed by lawyers on October 25.
However, Trump has also doubled down on his insistence that the attack never happened.
“She completely made up a story that I met her at the doors of this busy department store in New York City and she was ‘swooning’ within minutes,” he said on his social media site Truth Social. He also repeated the claim that Carroll is “not my type.”
Alina Habba, a lawyer who represented him in the original defamation case, called the case “totally baseless.”
“While I respect and admire individuals who come forward, this case is unfortunately a misuse of the purpose of this law, which sets a terrible precedent and risks undermining the credibility of actual victims,” Habba said on Thursday.
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