Trump Rape Accuser to Sue Him for Battery Under NY Survivors Law, Judge Says

(Bloomberg) — The New York author who claims Donald Trump raped her in the 1990s filed a public copy of a battery lawsuit she plans to bring against him next week, posing a new legal threat to the former president days after after he announced the third. run for the White House.

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E. Jean Carroll, a former advice columnist for Elle magazine, will file the lawsuit on Nov. 24 — the day a new state law goes into effect temporarily lifting the statute of limitations on civil sex-offense claims, her lawyer said in a. filing Thursday in federal court in Manhattan.

The new complaint, based on the New York Elderly Survivors Act, will make Carroll’s claim one of the first tests of the law, which was passed by New York lawmakers after the “Me Too” movement. Trump vehemently denied attacking Carroll or contacting her in any way.

The alleged assault on Carroll caused her “significant pain and suffering, permanent psychological harm, loss of dignity, and invasion of her privacy,” her lawyer Roberta Kaplan wrote in the planned complaint.

Carroll made her rape claim public in a 2019 New York magazine article detailing how Trump allegedly sexually assaulted her after they got into a fight while shopping in Manhattan. She then sued Trump for defamation when he publicly accused her of making the attack to sell a “crummy book” she had written that otherwise damaged her character.

In Thursday’s filing, Carroll asked the judge overseeing the defamation suit to also handle the battery complaint, and to combine the two cases for a joint trial in April. Carroll included the new complaint as a preview to the judge as part of her application. The defamation case alone is currently scheduled for trial in February.

Trump’s lawyer, Alina Habba, said the early publication of the battery complaint was “typical negligence” by Carroll’s legal team.

“This filing is completely inappropriate and we will take this issue to court,” Habba said in a statement.

The battery complaint revisits the gruesome details of the alleged attack, which Carroll says has not wrapped up after she and Trump joked about one of them trying on a bodysuit while browsing an empty lingerie sales area.

“About 27 years ago, the luxury department store Bergdorf Goodman on Fifth Avenue in New York City took a dark turn when Defendant Donald J. Trump seized Plaintiff E. Jean Carroll, forcing her to resist dressing room wall, pinned her. instead of his shoulder, and raped her,” according to the new complaint.

April Test Application

The battery claim could go to trial as early as April because the defamation suit involves much of the same evidence, which depended in part on whether Carroll could prove it was likely his allegations are true.

Carroll’s lawyers have already deposed Trump and several other witnesses in the defamation case whose testimony would be relevant to the battery claim, including a writer who claims Trump sexually assaulted her during an interview and a former saleswoman who says that he hooked her up on a plane. Both women were questioned as part of Carroll’s attempt to show an established pattern of behaviour.

Trump delayed the defamation suit with numerous appeals and other legal maneuvers before being forced to sit for sworn testimony last month at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. Trump’s lawyer said he answered all questions and was “ready and willing” to testify. Trump’s lawyers also fired Carroll.

Read More: Trump Gives Answers in Rape Accuser’s Defamation Lawsuit

Notably, the new battery lawsuit will include a fresh defamation claim based on comments Trump made about Carroll on social media in October. The new comments are largely the same as those Trump made in 2019, but Trump cannot defend them in the same way because he made them after leaving office.

“And, although I’m not supposed to say it, it will,” Trump said in a post October 12 on his Truth Social platform. “This is not my type! She has no idea what day, week, month, year or year this so-called ‘event’ happened.”

“E. Jean Carroll is not telling the truth,” he said.

In the new complaint, Carroll will say Trump’s Oct. 12 statement “was consistent with other statements Trump has made in response to other allegations of sexual assault by other women.”

The post may undermine Trump’s current defense to the defamation claim — that he is protected by a federal law that bars civil claims against federal government employees over allegations related to their job duties. That argument is the subject of an already drawn-out appeal that has not yet been resolved.

The federal appeals court in September agreed with Trump that he qualified as a government employee under the federal law, known as the Westfall Act, when he made the disputed comments. But a D.C. appeals court has yet to decide whether those comments qualify as official duty. Arguments on that issue are set for January 10 in Washington.

(Updates with comment from Trump’s lawyer.)

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