Trump’s defamation lawsuit advances despite prior sexual abuse verdict

A US federal judge has ruled that E Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit against former President Donald Trump can proceed, despite a jury in May finding Trump liable for defaming and sexually abusing her. District Judge Lewis Kaplan dismissed arguments that the case could not go ahead due to the jury’s determination that Trump was responsible for sexual abuse, not rape.

Carroll’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, expressed eagerness to move forward with the remaining claims. This decision is another in a series of legal challenges faced by the former president, who continues to be embroiled in scandals and investigations while seeking the Republican Party’s nomination for the 2024 presidential election.

In addition to this lawsuit, Trump entered a not-guilty plea in Miami, Florida, on Tuesday, in a federal case concerning his handling of classified documents after leaving office. Prosecutors accused him of hoarding sensitive records and refusing to hand them over when requested.

Carroll has pursued two civil suits against Trump, both stemming from allegations that he raped her in a department store dressing room in the 1990s. In May, a jury awarded her US$5 million in compensatory and punitive damages, including US$2 million for the sexual abuse and US$3 million for defamation. The jury concluded that Trump had sexually assaulted Carroll, but there was insufficient evidence to prove rape.

The ongoing defamation suit seeks US$10 million in damages and includes remarks made by Trump after the conclusion of the previous case. The suit accuses him of “doubling down” on his defamatory statements against Carroll during a CNN interview, in which he dismissed the May verdict and called her a “whack job” with a “fake” story.

Trump has consistently denied Carroll’s claims and disparaged her, stating she was not his “type.” The former president has a history of demeaning comments towards women, such as in 2016 when an old interview surfaced where he bragged about grabbing women “by the pussy.”

Judge Kaplan also set a deadline of July 13 for the Department of Justice to decide whether it could be substituted for Trump as the defendant. If the Justice Department were to be substituted, it would essentially end the US$10 million defamation case, as the US government cannot be sued for defamation. The Department previously argued in favour of such a change but requested time to reassess on June 9, stating it had been “overtaken by events.”

World News


With a Bachelor's Degree in English, Jenn has plenty of experience writing and editing on different topics. After spending many years teaching English in Thailand, Jenn has come to love writing about Thai culture and the experience of being an ex-pat in Thailand. During long holidays, she travels to North of Thailand just to have Khao Soi!

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