Former President Donald Trump’s defamation claim has been dismissed by a federal judge in New York regarding his counterclaim against writer E. Jean Carroll. The judge ruled that Carroll’s assertion that Trump raped her is “substantially true,” CBS News reported.
Donald Trump’s Defamation Claim
In May, a civil trial jury found that Trump had “sexually abused” Carroll in the 1990s, awarding her $5 million. However, they did not hold him liable for “rape.” Trump’s legal team argued that Carroll defamed him when she stated in an interview that he had raped her, a claim she had consistently made over the years.
In his recent 24-page verdict, Judge Lewis Kaplan highlighted that although the jury did not find Trump accountable for rape according to the New York penal code, they did establish that he bore responsibility for engaging in sexual abuse by forcefully placing his fingers. This, in Kaplan’s view, constituted an “implicit determination that Mr. Trump digitally raped her.”
Kaplan underscored the substantial accuracy of Carroll’s remarks. He reaffirmed his position as articulated in a court document dated July 19, where he affirmed that “Indeed, Mr. Trump engaged in digital rape of Ms. Carroll.”
Carroll’s attorney, Roberta Kaplan (not related to the judge), expressed satisfaction with the ruling. On the other hand, Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, stated their strong disagreement with the decision and their intent to file an appeal.
Trump’s Defamation Claim
Carroll’s original interview aired on the same day as a CNN town hall with Trump, during which he denied the allegations and called her a “whack job.” This led to Carroll filing a $10 million Trump’s defamation claim.
A separate trial for this Trump’s defamation claim is set to begin on January 15, 2024, the same day as the Iowa caucuses, where Trump’s potential presidential candidacy will be considered.
In addition to this case, Trump is facing multiple other legal proceedings, including criminal trials related to the alleged falsification of business records and efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. Trump has consistently denied the allegations against him and accused his prosecutors of political bias.